Titolo della tesi: Simulated Microgravity Modulates Focal Adhesion Gene Expression in Human Neural Stem Progenitor Cells
We analyzed the morphology and the transcriptomic changes of human neural stem progenitor cells (hNSPCs) grown on laminin in adherent culture conditions and subjected to simulated microgravity for different times in a random positioning machine apparatus. Low-cell-density cultures exposed to simulated microgravity for 24 h showed cell aggregate formation and significant modulation of several genes involved in focal adhesion, cytoskeleton regulation, and cell cycle control. These effects were much more limited in hNSPCs cultured at high density in the same conditions. We also found that some of the genes modulated upon exposure to simulated microgravity showed similar changes in hNSPCs grown without laminin in non-adherent culture conditions under normal gravity. These results suggest that reduced gravity counteracts the interactions of cells with the extracellular matrix, inducing morphological and transcriptional changes that can be observed in low-density cultures.