Responsible Center: NASA ARC
Grant Monitor: Sato, Kevin
Center Contact: 650-604-1104
Solicitation: 2012 Space Biology NNH12ZTT001N
Grant/Contract No.: NNX13AN38G
Project Type: FLIGHT
No. of Post Docs:
No. of PhD Candidates: 1
No. of Master's Candidates:
No. of Bachelor's Candidates:
No. of PhD Degrees: 0
No. of Master's Degrees:
No. of Bachelor's Degrees:
|Space Biology Element:
(1) Animal Biology: Invertebrate
|Space Biology Cross-Element Discipline:
(1) Reproductive Biology
(2) Developmental Biology
(3) Musculoskeletal Biology
|Space Biology Special Category:
(1) Translational (Countermeasure) Potential
|Flight Assignment/Project Notes:
NOTE: Extended to 9/30/2019 per F. Hernandez/ARC; previously had been extended to 9/30/2018 (Ed. 9/21/18)
NOTE: Extended to 9/30/2018 per F. Hernandez/ARC (Ed., 4/13/18)
NOTE: Extended to 6/30/2018 per NSSC information (Ed., 10/10/17)
NOTE: Extended to 9/30/2017 per NSSC information (Ed., 7/18/16)
NOTE: Extended to 12/31/2015 per NSSC information (Ed., 2/18/16)
NOTE: Extended to 10/31/2015 per NSSC information (Ed., 9/15/15)
|| The detrimental effects of spaceflight on the cardiovascular system are well known. It is believed that these effects may lead to clinically significant risks to astronauts on long duration space missions as well as to the success of these missions themselves. Current studies are limited primarily to human studies and rodent experiments. However, these model systems and human studies have significant limitations that may be addressed by using the well-established Drosophila model. Drosophila have previously been successfully launched into space and a ground-based Drosophila model for cardiac disease and function has been developed. However, the genetically versatile Drosophila model has yet to be used for studying the effects of spaceflight on the cardiovascular system. We are currently preparing flies for a scheduled launch in Sept. 2015 and analyzing data from a preliminary space flown test of our experimental system.
In this proposal we propose to fly groups of Drosophila aboard the International Space Station (ISS) for approximately 30 days, along with identical on-board 1-g controls as well as ground controls. The Drosophila will require minimal astronaut intervention involving changing feeding trays on 1 or 2 occasions. The samples will be retrieved post-flight and analyzed using established methods. Heart function, including measurements of diastolic and systolic intervals, heart rate, heart diameters, contractility, and arrhythmias will be recorded. Microscopic and immunohistochemical evaluations of heart morphology will also be carried out. We will also conduct intracellular membrane potential recordings of the heart. Finally, we will analyze mRNA expression with a microarray.
The ultimate goal of this research is to obtain data while validating the Drosophila model for studying the effects of spaceflight on cardiac disease and function. The development of such a model would be a potentially significant advancement in the study and understanding of how spaceflight affects the cardiovascular system, and may ultimately lead to countermeasures to prevent them.
|Research Impact/Earth Benefits:
|| Information about cardiac muscle function in microgravity is also expected to provide insights on genetic and molecular changes that occur with muscle atrophy on Earth. For example, we expect to identify basic molecular alterations that are associated with muscle atrophy that occurs during prolonged bed rest or muscle disuse in muscular dystrophies.