Responsible Center: NASA JSC
Grant Monitor: Stenger, Michael
Center Contact: 281-483-1311
Solicitation / Funding Source: Directed Research
Grant/Contract No.: Directed Research
Project Type: GROUND
No. of Post Docs: 0
No. of PhD Candidates: 0
No. of Master's Candidates: 0
No. of Bachelor's Candidates: 0
No. of PhD Degrees: 0
No. of Master's Degrees: 0
No. of Bachelor's Degrees: 0
|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-102:Evaluate the effects of altered atmospheric conditions such as elevated CO2 levels or mildly hypoxic exploration atmosphere on immune dysfunction (IRP Rev L)
(3) IM-301: Identify appropriate ground-based analogs to spaceflight-induced immune dysfunction to enable ground validation of preventive/mitigative countermeasures and derive mechanistic insights (IRP Rev L)
(4) IM-401:Test, optimize and validate nutrition-based preventive/mitigative countermeasures (IRP Rev L)
(5) IM-403:Test, optimize and validate stress reduction techniques as preventive and mitigative immune dysfunction countermeasures (IRP Rev L)
|Flight Assignment/Project Notes:
|| NOTE: End date changed to 10/31/2022 per PI (Ed., 4/23/21)
|| Recent publications have characterized adverse health events potentially related to immune system dysregulation in some crewmembers onboard the International Space Station (ISS). An appropriate ground analog has yet to be validated, although several European bases are being characterized. This study seeks to collect low-cost pilot data assessing stress, immunity, and viral reactivation during winterover at the U.S. Palmer Station, Antarctica. The goal is to ascertain if Palmer may serve as a spaceflight analog option for ground validation of immune countermeasures. NASA currently has no relevant data from Palmer station. This study may be performed by simply returning frozen saliva samples, frozen plasma from a venous blood sample, a 3 cm hair sample, as well as a rapid fingerstick blood analysis on location from crewmembers performing winterover. The inclusion of a hand held fingerstick blood analyzer will enable the use of a neutrophil/lymphocyte ratio as an indicator of disease susceptibility. Returned saliva samples will be used to assess a variety of parameters including stress hormones, cytokines/inflammation, and latent herpesviruses (an excellent flight-validated biomarker of immune dysregulation). Returned plasma samples will be used to assess plasma cytokines/inflammation biomarkers.
1. Investigate the effect of coastal Antarctica winterover on salivary stress hormones, salivary cytokine profiles, plasma cytokines, and basic peripheral leukocyte distribution.
2. Investigate the effect of coastal Antarctica winterover on the reactivation and shedding of latent herpesviruses.
3. Characterize other adverse clinical outcomes, as voluntarily shared by crewmembers via a health survey, such that immune changes, viral reactivation, and clinical manifestations may be correlated to infer information regarding clinical risk from persistent immune dysregulation.
|Rationale for HRP Directed Research:
|| The justification for Directed Task is the highly constrained nature of this pilot study involving focused and constrained data gathering and analysis that is more appropriately obtained through a non-competitive proposal, which could include a follow on task to a solicitation. This is a low-cost pilot study that would have been classified as Discretionary if not for the use of an analog site (Antarctica).
|Research Impact/Earth Benefits:
|| This study may be able to provide new insights into the relationship between immune function, stress, and adverse clinical events. In particular, as relates to confinement and deployment stress.