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Effects of Simulated Microgravity on Vascular Development in Zebrafish

XiangXie1,a, Deng Liu1,a, Daoxi Lei1, Yongfei Liu1, Qi Wang1, Zaien Wen1, Juhui Qiu1, Dongyu Jia1,2, Hans Gregersen1, Guixue Wang1,*

Key Laboratory for Biorheological Science and Technology of Ministry of Education, State and Local Joint Engineering Laboratory for Vascular Implants, Bioengineering College of Chongqing University, Chongqing, 00044, China.
Department of Biology, Georgia Southern University, Statesboro, GA 30460 -8042, USA.
Correspondence should be addressed to Prof.Guixue Wang, Bioengineering College of Chongqing University, Chongqing, 400044, China.Tel.: +86 23 6511 2675; Fax: +86 23 6511 2672; Email address:
Contributed equally

Molecular & Cellular Biomechanics 2017, 14(3), 171-186.


Research in microgravity is of utmost importance for disclosing the impact of gravity on biological processes and organisms. With the development of space technology, scientists pay more attention to cardiovascular diseases associated with microgravity. However, up to date only sparse data exist on microgravity and cardiovascular development mechanisms. In this study, zebrafish was chosen as the model organism. Zebrafish embryos were exposed to microgravity using a ground-based simulation microgravity (SM) bioreactor. The effects of SM on the development of early embryonic vascular system were studied in vivo in real-time. Zebrafish embryos were selected and divided into two groups at 12 hpf. One group was cultured in the MG-IIA bioreactor whereas the control group was cultured under normal gravity conditions. SM did not affect the number of live zebrafish and there were nonspecific developmental phenotypes in two groups. The heart rate in SM zebrafish embryos was significantly decreased. Then the vascular development differences between two groups were analyzed by qPCR and whole mount in situ hybridization. The effect of SM on zebrafish vascular development was not evident at 12 hpf - 24 hpf stage, but it had significant influences at 24 hpf-36 hpf stage.We also found that nos2b expression was up-regulated in the SM group both at 24 hpf and 36 hpf, interesting, all nos2b expression was observed in the hypothalamus at 24 hpf, it was no difference in the hypothalamus but significantly increased in the dorsal near the vascular at 36 hpf. These data suggested that the effect of SM on vasculogenesis stage is not obvious, but it has significant influences on angiogenesis, which maybe has relationship with the expression of nos2b.


Cite This Article

, X., Liu, D., Lei, D., Liu, Y., Wang, Q. et al. (2017). Effects of Simulated Microgravity on Vascular Development in Zebrafish. Molecular & Cellular Biomechanics, 14(3), 171–186.

cc This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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