ESA title
Stress Challenges and Immunity in Space - SciSpacE

Stress Challenges and Immunity in Space

During space flight human physiology and health is affected by complex environmental challenges which might be most pronounced by extended periods during interplanetary missions. Adequate immune response is crucial to maintain health and is based on the interaction of lymphoid cells, inflammatory cells, and hematopoietic cells. To our knowledge the influence of stressful conditions of psychological or physical nature can activate and/or paralyse humans’ innate or specific immunity. Previous findings from terrestrial studies as well as from pre- and post-space flight studies and first preliminary data from the ISS indicate a strong interaction between stress-associated neuroendocrine mediators and the immune system. Moreover, this complex communication among immune cells is also mediated by tissue hormones e.g., derived from the cells metabolism (e.g., adenosine) and other hormone-like substances (endocannabinoids), altogether modulating the reactivity of immune cells.

The goal of this proposed Topical Team is to identify interdisciplinary approaches to analyse the impact of important variables and living conditions occurring in space or in future lunar habitats (e.g., confinement, weightlessness, different level of oxygen tension, radiation effects) and their interaction with the immune system.