• Simulated microgravity;
  • Xenopus laevis embryos;
  • Glutathione;
  • Oxidative stress;
  • Random positioning machine


Space flights cause a number of patho-physiological changes. Oxidative damage has been demonstrated in astronauts after space flights. Oxidative stress is due to an imbalance between production of oxidant and antioxidative defence. In embryos of Xenopus laevis, the glutathione system is an inducible antioxidant defence. For this reason, we investigated the effect of gravity deprivation on endogenous antioxidant enzymes in X. laevis embryos developed for 6 days in a Random Positioning Machine. The results show that glutathione content and the activity of antioxidant enzymes increase in RPM embryos, suggesting the presence of a protective mechanism. An induction of antioxidant defence might play an important role for animals to adapt to micro-gravitational stress, possibly during actual space flights.