• 1 Institute of Pathology, Laboratory and Forensic Medicine, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Sungai Buloh 47000, Selangor, Malaysia.
Malays J Pathol, 2019 Dec;41(3):283-292.
PMID: 31901913


INTRODUCTION: Apart from inflammation and endothelial dysfunction, other key components in the development of atherogenesis include prothrombogenesis and oxidative stress. The effects of long-term confinement and isolation, exposure to radiation and different gravity forces during space travel could potentially increase the long-term risk of atherosclerosis. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study determining the status of prothrombogenesis and oxidative stress in six cosmonauts subjected to the longest duration of confined isolation period of 520 days in preparation for prospective undetermined manned space travel to Mars.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: This collaborative research between the National Space Agency (ANGKASA), Universiti Teknologi MARA, Malaysia and Institute of Biomedical Problems (IBMP), Russia was conducted at the Russian Academy of Sciences IBMP, Moscow, Russia. Six multi-national cosmonauts were assigned to live in a ground-based confined module for 520 days. Standard exercise and diet regime were instituted throughout the isolation phase. Six age, ethnic and gender-matched healthy, free-living ground controls were recruited in parallel. Serial serum and whole blood were analysed for biomarkers of prothrombogenesis [plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1) and homocysteine] and oxidative stress [oxidised low-density lipoprotein (ox-LDL) and malondialdehyde (MDA)].

RESULTS: There were significantly lower concentrations of PAI-1 and homocysteine in cosmonauts during confinement compared to the controls. There were no significant differences seen in the concentrations of biomarkers of oxidative stress during confinement but there was a significant percentage change increment for serum MDA in cosmonauts.

CONCLUSION: Long-term confinement decreased the risk of prothrombogenesis and this could be attributed to the exercise and diet regime which includes omega-3 fatty acids supplementation given to the crew members during their confinement period. However, oxidative damage could not be excluded and may be attributed to the influence of psychological stress during this prolonged confinement.

* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.