Morin sulphates/glucuronides enhance macrophage function in microgravity culture system

C. L. Hsieh, P. D.L. Chao, Shih Hua Fang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


Background: The immune system changes significantly in astronauts during and after space flight. Although the mechanism has not been defined, it is reasonable to begin developing effective countermeasures to the physiological consequences of spaceflight, especially immunosuppression. Many studies have been published about the effect of flavonoids on immune modulation. Thus, the aim of this study was to develop whether flavonoids could be the effective countermeasures to the immunosuppression caused by microgravity. Materials and methods: We used a rotating wall vessel 3D (three-dimensional) culture system which recreates some of the culture conditions that occur during microgravity to study the effects of microgravity on the function of macrophages and assess the modulating effects of flavonoids on microgravity-induced macrophage dysfunction. Results: We demonstrated 65% and 80% reduction in mitogen-induced nitric oxide and cytokine production of 3D-cultured macrophages, compared to conventional two-dimensional (2D)-cultured cells. Moreover, the microgravity-induced macrophage dysfunction was not restored by transferring cells from 3D to 2D culture. However, the addition of morin sulphates/ glucuronides in 3D culture compensated for the loss of macrophage function. Conclusion: The result presented here suggests for the first time that an immune-modulatory strategy using flavonoid supplements such as morin would benefit the health of astronauts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)591-596
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Journal of Clinical Investigation
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Macrophage
  • Microgravity
  • Morin sulphates/glucuronides
  • Rotating wall vessel
  • Three-dimensional culture

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Clinical Biochemistry


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