Functional Anatomy and Cell Biology

Loss in skeletal muscle mass and neuromuscular control impairments are serious risks during prolonged gravitational unloading that need to be addressed by adequate countermeasures. If exercise countermeasures are able to maintain or even strengthen key signaling pathways  relevant to structure, metabolism and function during longer periods of disuse (bedrest, spaceflight) are mostly unknown. We use a set of relevant immuno-histochemical sub cellular biomarkers detected by high-resolution multichannel confocal laser and 3-D electron microscopic imaging, and current molecular biochemistry tools (gene arrays, omics) to further understand disuse – induced adaptation and plasticity in animal and human studies as a prerequisite for the design of new countermeasure protocols on Earth and in Space.