Effects of microgravity on urinary osteopontin.J Am Soc Nephrol. 1999 Nov; 10 Suppl 14:S389-93.JA
Increased risk of renal stone formation during space flight has been linked primarily to increased calcium excretion from bone demineralization induced by space flight. Other factors contributing to increased risk include increased urinary calcium oxalate supersaturation, while urinary citrate, magnesium and volume are all decreased. The aim of this study was to increase the predictive value of stone risk profiles for crew members during space flight by evaluating the excretion of urinary protein inhibitors of calcium crystallization so that more comprehensive stone risk profiles could relate mineral saturation to the concentrations of inhibitor proteins. Levels of urinary osteopontin (uropontin) are reported in a series of 14 astronauts studied before, during, and after space flights. During space flight, a compensatory increase in uropontin excretion was not observed. However, the uropontin excretion of a majority of astronauts was increased during the period after space flight and was maximal at 2 wk after landing. The downward shift in the molecular size of uropontin observed in samples obtained during space flight was shown to result from storage at ambient temperature during flight, rather than an effect of microgravity on uropontin synthesis.