Does Exposure to Simulated Microgravity Affect Cranial Neural Crest-Derived Tissues in Danio rerio?
Edsall, Sara C.
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To determine whether exposure to simulated microgravity (SMG) affects cranial neural crest (CNC)-derived tissues, zebrafish embryos were exposed to SMG starting at one of three developmental stages corresponding to CNC migration. Juvenile and adult fish were analyzed after exposure to SMG using statistics and geometric morphometrics for changes in melanophore surface area and number, and changes in skull morphology. Analyses reveal an initial increase in the surface area of melanophores present on the dorsal view of the juvenile skull and a decrease in melanophore number over the period of a week. Additionally, buckling is observed in CNC-derived frontal bones in juvenile fish after exposure. The effects on the melanophores are transient and the effects on CNC-derived bones are short-term. Surprisingly, severe long-term effects occurred in mesoderm-derived bones, such as the parasphenoid. In summary, exposure to SMG affects both CNC- and mesoderm-derived tissues in the juvenile and adult zebrafish head.