Microgravity Science and Technology

, Volume 30, Issue 4, pp 483–489 | Cite as

Effect of Local Vibration and Passive Exercise on the Hormones and Neurotransmitters of Hypothalamic–Pituitary–Adrenal Axis in Hindlimb Unloading Rats

  • Huiqin Luan
  • Yunfei Huang
  • Jian Li
  • Lianwen Sun
  • Yubo FanEmail author
Original Article


Astronauts are severely affected by spaceflight-induced bone loss. Mechanical stimulation through exercise inhibits bone resorption and improves bone formation. Exercise and vibration can prevent the degeneration of the musculoskeletal system in tail-suspended rats, and long-term exercise stress will affect endocrine and immune systems that are prone to fatigue. However, the mechanisms through which exercise and vibration affect the endocrine system remain unknown. This study mainly aimed to investigate the changes in the contents of endocrine axis-related hormones and the effects of local vibration and passive exercise on hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis-related hormones in tail-suspended rats. A total of 32 Sprague–Dawley rats were randomly distributed into four groups (n = 8 per group): tail suspension (TS), TS + 35Hz vibration, TS + passive exercise, and control. The rats were placed on a passive exercise and local vibration regimen for 21 days. On day 22 of the experiment, the contents of corticotrophin-releasing hormone, adrenocorticotropic hormone, cortisol, and 5-hydroxytryptamine in the rats were quantified with kits in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. Histomorphometry was applied to evaluate histological changes in the hypothalamus. Results showed that 35Hz local vibration cannot cause rats to remain in a stressed state and that it might not inhibit the function of the HPA axis. Therefore, we speculate that this local vibration intensity can protect the function of the HPA axis and helps tail-suspended rats to transition from stressed to adaptive state.


Passive exercise Vibration Hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis Hormone Hindlimb unloading 



This work was funded by grants from Fundamental Research Funds for Central Public Welfare Research Institutes (118009001000160001), China National Key Research and Development Plan Project (No. 2016YFB1101102) and Beijing outstanding young backbone personnel training project (No. 2017000026825G280).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interests

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All animal treatments were conducted in accordance with the Regulation of Administration of Affairs Concerning Experimental Animals of State Science and Technology Commission of China and were approved by the Animal Care Committee of Beihang University.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Huiqin Luan
    • 1
    • 2
  • Yunfei Huang
    • 3
  • Jian Li
    • 1
    • 2
  • Lianwen Sun
    • 3
  • Yubo Fan
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Intelligent Control and Rehabilitation Technology of the Ministry of Civil AffairsNational Research Center for Rehabilitation Technical AidsBeijingChina
  2. 2.Beijing Key Laboratory of Rehabilitation Technical Aids for Old-Age DisabilityBeijingChina
  3. 3.Key Laboratory for Biomechanics and Mechanobiology of Ministry of Education, School of Biological Science and Medical EngineeringBeihang UniversityBeijingChina

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