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Weightlessness is one of the important reasons to cause lower limb muscle atrophy of the astronauts, which is serious harm to the health of astronauts.


To explore the progress of weightlessness that cause lower limb muscle atrophy.


A computer-based online search of PubMed database and CNKI database was performed to search related articles between May 1981 and March 2013 with the key words of “weightless, weightlessness, muscle, atrophy, space” in English and Chinese, respectively. Literatures related to progress of weightlessness that cause lower limb muscle atrophy were selected; in the same field, the literatures published lately in authoritative journals were preferred.


A total of 409 literatures were primarily selected, and 47 documents were involved for summary according to the inclusion criteria. The progress of weightlessness that cause muscle atrophy is the hot topic among the space medical research. The main reasons that cause weightlessness muscular atrophy include the reduced muscle spindle neurotrophic factor synthesis caused by reduced information transmission of peripheral sensory nerve, damage of muscle cell ultrastructure, substantial decline in mitochondrial myofibrils, troponin decreasing, decreased intracellular calcium content, and decreased antigravity muscle blood flow in lower limbs.

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