The mollusk statocyst is a mechanosensing organ detecting the animal’s orientation with respect to gravity. This system has clear similarities to its vertebrate counterparts: a weight-lending mass, an epithelial layer containing small supporting cells and the large sensory hair cells, and an output eliciting compensatory body reflexes to perturbations.
In terrestrial gastropod snail we studied the impact of 16- (Foton M-2) and 12-day (Foton M-3) exposure to microgravity in unmanned orbital missions on: (i) the whole animal behavior (
Upregulation of statocyst function in snails following microgravity exposure parallels that observed in vertebrates suggesting fundamental principles underlie gravi-sensing and the organism’s ability to adapt to gravity changes. This simple animal model offers the possibility to describe general subcellular mechanisms of nervous system’s response to conditions on Earth and in space.
Publisher: Public Library of Science
Date Published: 29-March-2011
Author(s): Balaban P., Malyshev A., Ierusalimsky V., Aseyev N., Korshunova T., Bravarenko N., Lemak M., Roshchin M., Zakharov I., Popova Y., Boyle R.