3D microenvironment attenuates simulated microgravity-mediated changes in T cell transcriptome

Mei ElGindi, Jiranuwat Sapudom, Praveen Laws, Anna Garcia-Sabaté, Mohammed F. Daqaq, Jeremy Teo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Human space travel and exploration are of interest to both the industrial and scientific community. However, there are many adverse effects of spaceflight on human physiology. In particular, there is a lack of understanding of the extent to which microgravity affects the immune system. T cells, key players of the adaptive immune system and long-term immunity, are present not only in blood circulation but also reside within the tissue. As of yet, studies investigating the effects of microgravity on T cells are limited to peripheral blood or traditional 2D cell culture that recapitulates circulating blood. To better mimic interstitial tissue, 3D cell culture has been well established for physiologically and pathologically relevant models. In this work, we utilize 2D cell culture and 3D collagen matrices to gain an understanding of how simulated microgravity, using a random positioning machine, affects both circulating and tissue-resident T cells. T cells were studied in both resting and activated stages. We found that 3D cell culture attenuates the effects of simulated microgravity on the T cells transcriptome and nuclear irregularities compared to 2D cell culture. Interestingly, simulated microgravity appears to have less effect on activated T cells compared to those in the resting stage. Overall, our work provides novel insights into the effects of simulated microgravity on circulating and tissue-resident T cells which could provide benefits for the health of space travellers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number508
JournalCellular and Molecular Life Sciences
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2022


  • 3D cell culture
  • Simulated microgravity
  • Space biology
  • T cells
  • Transcriptome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Pharmacology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Cell Biology


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