The Immune System in Space: Are we prepared?

  • Alexander Choukèr
  • Oliver Ullrich

Part of the SpringerBriefs in Space Life Sciences book series (BRIEFSSLS)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xvii
  2. Buqing Yi, Manfred Thiel, Alexander Choukèr
    Pages 1-5
  3. How Does Space and Space Like Conditions Affect Immunity?

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 7-7
    2. Swantje Hauschild, Svantje Tauber, Beatrice A. Lauber, Cora S. Thiel, Liliana E. Layer, Oliver Ullrich
      Pages 47-75
    3. Beatrice Astrid Lauber, Olga Bolshakova, Oliver Ullrich
      Pages 77-86
  4. The Upcoming Venues and New Perspectives

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 87-87
    2. Beatrice Astrid Lauber, Oliver Ullrich
      Pages 89-96
    3. Liliana E. Layer, Oliver Ullrich
      Pages 97-109
    4. Quirin Zangl, Alexander Choukèr
      Pages 111-119
  5. Summary

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 121-121

About this book


This book gives insight into the mechanism of the immune system and the influence of the environment on earth. Further, the book explains the changes that occur in our immune system in the absence of gravity and their fundamental consequences.

Several limiting factors for human health and performance in microgravity have been clearly identified as an unacceptable risk for long-term and interplanetary flights. Serious concerns arose whether spaceflight-associated immune system dysfunction ultimately precludes the expansion of human presence beyond Earth's orbit. The immune system has undergone many evolutionary steps to cope with a new and changing environment, but `space` has not been evolutionary experienced before. Through endocrine orchestration of cell functions, cell to cell communications and intracellular mechanisms the human body and his immune system have an enormous capacity to adapt and react to altered environmental conditions. Thus, the special sensitivity to altered gravity renders the immune system an ideal biological model system to understand if and how gravity on Earth is required for the normal function of cells and cellular networks. It is one of the most fundamental challenges to find out, if our organism and our cellular machinery are able to live and to adequately perform without the gravity field of Earth.  

The book is written for immunologists and researchers in human physiology under normal and stressfull conditions.


Adaptive Immunity Cell to cell interaction/communication Clinical Immunology Host defense Innate Immunity/Monocyte-macrophage-system space medicine

Authors and affiliations

  • Alexander Choukèr
    • 1
  • Oliver Ullrich
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of AnesthesiologyHospital of the University of MunichMunichGermany
  2. 2.Institute of AnatomyUniversity ZurichZurichSwitzerland

Bibliographic information

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