Hormones are important effectors of the body's response to microgravity in the areas of fluid and electrolyte metabolism, erythropoiesis, and calcium metabolism. For many years antidiuretic hormone, cortisol and aldosterone have been considered the hormones most important for regulation of body fluid volume and blood levels of electrolytes, but they cannot account totally for losses of fluid and electrolytes during space flight. We have now measured atrial natriuretic factor (ANF), a hormone recently shown to regulate sodium and water excretion, in blood specimens obtained during flight. After 30 or 42 h of weightlessness, mean ANF was elevated. After 175 or 180 h, ANF had decreased by 59%, and it changed little between that time and soon after landing. There is probably an increase in ANF early inflight associated with the fluid shift, followed by a compensatory decrease in blood volume. Increased renal blood flow may cause the later ANF decrease. Erythropoietin (Ep), a hormone involved in the control of red blood cell production, was measured in blood samples taken during the first Spacelab mission and was significantly decreased on the second day of flight, suggesting also an increase in renal blood flow. Spacelab-2 investigators report that the active vitamin D metabolite 1α, 25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 increased early in the flight, indicating that a stimulus for increased bone resorption occurs by 30 h after launch.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Aerospace Engineering