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Strewe, Claudia; Zeller, R.; Feuerecker, Matthias; Hoerl, M.; Kumprej, I.; Crispin, Alexander; Johannes, B.; Debevec, T.; Mekjavic, I.; Schelling, G.; Chouker, Alexander (20. March 2017): PlanHab study: assessment of psycho-neuroendocrine function in male subjects during 21 d of normobaric hypoxia and bed rest. In: Stress : The International Journal on the Biology of Stress, Vol. 20, No. 2: pp. 131-9
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Abstract

Immobilization and hypoxemia are conditions often seen in patients suffering from severe heart insufficiency or primary pulmonary diseases (e.g. fibrosis, emphysema). In future planned long-duration and exploration class space missions (including habitats on the moon and Mars), healthy individuals will encounter such a combination of reduced physical activity and oxygen tension by way of technical reasons and the reduced gravitational forces. These overall unconventional extraterrestrial conditions can result in yet unknown consequences for the regulation of stress-permissive, psycho-neuroendocrine responses, which warrant appropriate measures in order to mitigate foreseeable risks. The Planetary Habitat Simulation Study (PlanHab) investigated these two space-related conditions: bed rest as model of reduced gravity and normobaric hypoxia, with the aim of examining their influence on psycho-neuroendocrine responses. We hypothesized that both conditions independently increase measures of psychological stress and enhance neuroendocrine markers of stress, and that these effects would be exacerbated by combined treatment. The cross-over study composed of three interventions (NBR, normobaric normoxic horizontal bed rest; HBR, normobaric hypoxic horizontal bed rest; HAMB, normobaric hypoxic ambulatory confinement) with 14 male subjects during three sequential campaigns separated by 4 months. The psychological state was determined through three questionnaires and principal neuroendocrine responses were evaluated by measuring cortisol in saliva, catecholamine in urine, and endocannabinoids in blood. The results revealed no effects after 3 weeks of normobaric hypoxia on psycho-neuroendocrine responses. Conversely, bed rest induced neuroendocrine alterations that were not influenced by hypoxia.