Cineradiographic analysis of mouse postural response to alteration of gravity and jerk (gravity deceleration rate)

Life (Basel). 2014 Apr 24;4(2):174-88. doi: 10.3390/life4020174.


The ability to maintain the body relative to the external environment is important for adaptation to altered gravity. However, the physiological limits for adaptation or the disruption of body orientation are not known. In this study, we analyzed postural changes in mice upon exposure to various low gravities. Male C57BL6/J mice (n = 6) were exposed to various gravity-deceleration conditions by customized parabolic flight-maneuvers targeting the partial-gravity levels of 0.60, 0.30, 0.15 and μ g (<0.001 g). Video recordings of postural responses were analyzed frame-by-frame by high-definition cineradiography and with exact instantaneous values of gravity and jerk. As a result, the coordinated extension of the neck, spine and hindlimbs was observed during the initial phase of gravity deceleration. Joint angles widened to 120%-200% of the reference g level, and the magnitude of the thoracic-curvature stretching was correlated with gravity and jerk, i.e., the gravity deceleration rate. A certain range of jerk facilitated mouse skeletal stretching efficiently, and a jerk of -0.3~-0.4 j (g/s) induced the maximum extension of the thoracic-curvature. The postural response of animals to low gravity may undergo differential regulation by gravity and jerk.