Checkpoint and physiological apoptosis in germ cells proceeds normally in spaceflown Caenorhabditis elegans

A. Higashitani, A. Higashibata, Y. Sasagawa, T. Sugimoto, Y. Miyazawa, N. J. Szewcyk, M. Viso, G. Gasset, B. Eche, K. Fukui, T. Shimazu, N. Fujimoto, K. Kuriyama, N. Ishioka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Citations (Scopus)


It is important for human life in space to study the effects of environmental factors during spaceflight on a number of physiological phenomena. Apoptosis plays important roles in development and tissue homeostasis in metazoans. In this study, we have analyzed apoptotic activity in germ cells of the nematode C. elegans, following spacefight. Comparison of the number of cell corpses in wild type or ced-1 mutants, grown under either ground or spaceflight conditions, showed that both pachytene-checkpoint apoptosis and physiological apoptosis in germ cells occurred normally under spaceflight conditions. In addition, the expression levels of the checkpoint and apoptosis related genes are comparable between spaceflight and ground conditions. This is the first report documenting the occurrence of checkpoint apoptosis in the space environment and suggests that metazoans, including humans, would be able to eliminate cells that have failed to repair DNA lesions introduced by cosmic radiation during spaceflight.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)949-954
Number of pages6
JournalApoptosis : an international journal on programmed cell death
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2005 Oct


  • C. elegans
  • ced-1
  • Cell corpse
  • Checkpoint
  • Meiosis
  • Pachytene
  • Spaceflight


Dive into the research topics of 'Checkpoint and physiological apoptosis in germ cells proceeds normally in spaceflown Caenorhabditis elegans'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this