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Fluid shift versus body size: changes of hematological parameters and body fluid volume in hindlimb-unloaded mice, rats and rabbits [RESEARCH ARTICLE]

Alexander A. Andreev-Andrievskiy, Anfisa S. Popova, Evgeniia A. Lagereva, and Olga L. Vinogradova

The cardiovascular system is adapted to gravity, and reactions to the loss of gravity in space are presumably dependent on body size. The dependence of hematological parameters and body fluid volume on simulated microgravity have never been studied as an allometric function before. Thus, we estimated red blood cell (RBC), blood and extracellular fluid volume in hindlimb-unloaded (HLU) or control (attached) mice, rats and rabbits. RBC decrease was found to be size independent, and the allometric dependency for RBC loss in HLU and control animals shared a common power (–0.054±0.008) but a different Y0 coefficient (8.66±0.40 and 10.73±0.49, respectively, P<0.05). Blood volume in HLU animals was unchanged compared with that of controls, disregarding body size. The allometric dependency of interstitial fluid volume in HLU and control mice shared Y0 (1.02±0.09) but had different powers N (0.708±0.017 and 0.648±0.016, respectively, P<0.05), indicating that the interstitial fluid volume increase during hindlimb unloading is more pronounced in larger animals. Our data underscore the importance of size-independent mechanisms of cardiovascular adaptation to weightlessness. Despite the fact that the use of mice hampers application of a straightforward translational approach, this species is useful for gravitational biology as a tool to investigate size-independent mechanisms of mammalian adaptation to microgravity.

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