Effect of spaceflight on human protein metabolism

Thomas Stein, M. J. Leskiw, M. D. Schluter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Nitrogen balance and the whole body protein synthesis rate were measured before, during, and after a 9.5-day spaceflight mission on the space shuttle Columbia. Protein synthesis was measured by the single-pulse [15N]glycine method. Determinations were made 56, 26, and 18 days preflight, on flight days 2 and 8, and on days 0, 6, 14, and 45 postflight. We conclude that nitrogen balance was decreased during spaceflight. The decrease in nitrogen balance was greatest on the 1st day when food intake was reduced and again toward the end of the mission. An ~30% increase in protein synthesis above the preflight baseline was found for flight day 8 for all 6 subjects (P < 0.05), indicating that the astronauts showed a stress response to spaceflight.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number5 27-5
StatePublished - Jan 1 1993
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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