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Decreases in thymopoiesis of astronauts returning from space flight

Overview of attention for article published in JCI Insight, August 2016
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About this Attention Score

  • In the top 25% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (91st percentile)
  • Above-average Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age and source (53rd percentile)

Mentioned by

1 news outlet
1 blog
14 tweeters
1 Facebook page


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20 Mendeley
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Decreases in thymopoiesis of astronauts returning from space flight
Published in
JCI Insight, August 2016
DOI 10.1172/jci.insight.88787
Pubmed ID

Cara L. Benjamin, Raymond P. Stowe, Lisa St. John, Clarence F. Sams, Satish K. Mehta, Brian E. Crucian, Duane L. Pierson, Krishna V. Komanduri


Following the advent of molecular assays that measure T cell receptor excision circles (TRECs) present in recent thymic emigrants, it has been conclusively shown that thymopoiesis persists in most adults, but that functional output decreases with age, influencing the maintenance of a diverse and functional T cell receptor (TCR) repertoire. Space flight has been shown to result in a variety of phenotypic and functional changes in human T cells and in the reactivation of latent viruses. While space flight has been shown to influence thymic architecture in rodents, thymopoiesis has not previously been assessed in astronauts. Here, we assessed thymopoiesis longitudinally over a 1-year period prior to and after long-term space flight (median duration, 184 days) in 16 astronauts. While preflight assessments of thymopoiesis remained quite stable in individual astronauts, we detected significant suppression of thymopoiesis in all subjects upon return from space flight. We also found significant increases in urine and plasma levels of endogenous glucocorticoids coincident with the suppression of thymopoiesis. The glucocorticoid induction and thymopoiesis suppression were transient, and they normalized shortly after return to Earth. This is the first report to our knowledge to prospectively demonstrate a significant change in thymopoiesis in healthy individuals in association with a defined physiologic emotional and physical stress event. These results suggest that suppression of thymopoiesis has the potential to influence the maintenance of the TCR repertoire during extended space travel. Further studies of thymopoiesis and endogenous glucocorticoids in other stress states, including illness, are warranted.

Twitter Demographics

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Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 20 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Japan 1 5%
Unknown 19 95%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Ph. D. Student 6 30%
Researcher 4 20%
Student > Bachelor 3 15%
Student > Doctoral Student 2 10%
Student > Master 1 5%
Other 1 5%
Unknown 3 15%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Immunology and Microbiology 7 35%
Medicine and Dentistry 4 20%
Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology 3 15%
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 2 10%
Economics, Econometrics and Finance 1 5%
Other 0 0%
Unknown 3 15%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 22. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 23 April 2020.
All research outputs
of 17,391,055 outputs
Outputs from JCI Insight
of 2,336 outputs
Outputs of similar age
of 271,839 outputs
Outputs of similar age from JCI Insight
of 56 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 17,391,055 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 93rd percentile: it's in the top 10% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 2,336 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 20.4. This one has done well, scoring higher than 82% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 271,839 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 91% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 56 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has gotten more attention than average, scoring higher than 53% of its contemporaries.