Task Book: Biological & Physical Sciences Division and Human Research Program
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Project Title:  The Impact of an ISS Mission on the Anti-Viral and Functional Properties of NK-cells, T-cells, B-cells and Dendritic Cells Reduce
Fiscal Year: FY 2016 
Division: Human Research 
Research Discipline/Element:
HRP HHC:Human Health Countermeasures
Start Date: 06/01/2016  
End Date: 12/31/2022  
Task Last Updated: 06/22/2016 
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Principal Investigator/Affiliation:   Simpson, Richard  Ph.D. / University of Arizona 
Address:  College of Agriculture and Life Sciences; College of Medicine 
1177 E. Fourth Street, Room 308, Shantz Building 
Tucson , AZ 85721-0001 
Phone: 713-397-0121  
Congressional District:
Organization Type: UNIVERSITY 
Organization Name: University of Arizona 
Joint Agency:  
Comments: NOTE: Formerly at University of Houston until September 2017 move to University of Arizona.  
Bigley, Austin  Ph.D. University of Houston 
Laughlin, Mitzi  Ph.D. University of Houston 
LaVoy, Emily  Ph.D. University of Houston 
Spielman, Guillaume  Ph.D. Louisiana State University 
Rezvani, Katayoun  M.D., Ph.D. University of Texas M D Anderson Cancer Center 
Project Information: Grant/Contract No. NNX16AG02G 
Responsible Center: NASA JSC 
Grant Monitor: Norsk, Peter  
Center Contact: 
Solicitation / Funding Source: 2014-15 HERO NNJ14ZSA001N-MIXEDTOPICS. Appendix E: Behavioral Health & Human Health Countermeasures Topics 
Grant/Contract No.: NNX16AG02G 
Project Type: FLIGHT 
Flight Program: ISS 
TechPort: No 
No. of Post Docs:  
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Human Research Program Elements: (1) HHC:Human Health Countermeasures
Human Research Program Risks: (1) Immune:Risk of Adverse Health Event Due to Altered Immune Response (IRP Rev F)
Human Research Program Gaps: (1) IM-101:Evaluate the effects of deep-space radiation on immune dysfunction, as an additional hazard to the effects of psychophysiological stress and weightlessness (IRP Rev L)
(2) IM-105:Identify immune biomarkers that correlate with known spaceflight-related immune dysfunction and immune outcomes, as a first step in designing in-flight monitoring paradigms (IRP Rev L)
Flight Assignment/Project Notes: NOTE: End date changed to 12/31/2022 (original end date was 5/31/2019) per NSSC information (Ed., 1/17/22)

Task Description: NOTE: This is an integrated project consisting of Dr. Brian Crucian's "Functional Immune Alterations, Latent Herpesvirus Reactivation, Physiological Stress, and Clinical Incidence Onboard the International Space Station" directed research; and Dr. Richard Simpson's "The Impact of an ISS Mission on the Anti-Viral and Functional Properties of NK-cells, T-cells, B-cells and Dendritic Cells," Dr. Kanokporn Rithidech's "Effects of Space Flights on the Proteome of Astronauts' Plasma," and Dr. Honglu Wu's "DNA Damage in the ISS Astronaut's Lymphocytes and Their Association with Stress-Induced Immune Dysfunction" solicited research.

Immune system dysregulation is known to occur after both short and long-duration spaceflight, which may leave astronauts at risk of an adverse health event during exploration-class missions. The consistent and profound observation that spaceflight induces latent viral reactivation is a strong indication that immunity is compromised in flight. Moreover, the viruses themselves pose a very real risk to the crew and may compromise their safety and jeopardize mission success. It is pertinent therefore to comprehensively determine how spaceflight impacts the anti-viral properties of the immune system so that effective countermeasures can be developed to mitigate these risks. The parent ‘Functional Immune’ study will markedly advance our understanding in this area and the present proposal aims to contribute by determining the impact of an International Space Station (ISS) mission of the anti-viral properties of NK-cells and T-cells, and the function of B-cells and dendritic cells (DCs). In our ongoing ISS flight study (‘Salivary Markers’), we have found that NK-cell function is drastically impaired during flight and that latent viral reactivation still occurs despite a robust expansion of viral-specific T-cells. It is possible, therefore, that it is the anti-viral capabilities of T-cells and NK-cells that are compromised in flight and we propose to address this question here using both standard and cutting-edge analytical techniques (CyTOF). We will also address the paucity of spaceflight data on B-cells and dendritic cells by assessing B-cell responses to viral peptide stimulation and the differentiation of monocytes to dendritic cells, their antigen uptake capabilities, and ability to activate and expand autologous viral-specific T-cells. All assays will be performed in crewmembers and healthy controls before, during, and after spaceflight using blood volumes that are conducive to the restrictions associated with flight experiments. The studies described in this proposal will make a significant contribution to the parent ‘Functional Immune’ study and will allow us to determine if spaceflight affects the anti-viral properties of cellular and humoral-mediated immunity. On conclusion of this study, it is expected that all ‘immune risks’ will be identified and the focus can shift to the development of countermeasures to preserve crew ‘immune health’ during future exploration-class spaceflight mission.

Research Impact/Earth Benefits:

Task Progress & Bibliography Information FY2016 
Task Progress: New project for FY2016.

Bibliography Type: Description: (Last Updated: 08/04/2021)  Show Cumulative Bibliography Listing
 None in FY 2016