Responsible Center: NASA JSC
Grant Monitor: Stenger, Michael
Center Contact: 281-483-1311
Solicitation / Funding Source: 2014-15 HERO NNJ14ZSA001N-MIXEDTOPICS. Appendix E: Behavioral Health & Human Health Countermeasures Topics
Grant/Contract No.: Internal Project
Project Type: GROUND
No. of Post Docs: 1
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
|Flight Assignment/Project Notes:
|| NOTE: End date changed to 9/30/2023 per NASA JSC. (Ed., 11/18/21)
NOTE: End date changed to 9/30/2022 per PI (Ed., 10/6/20)
NOTE: Extended to 3/31/2021 per PI (March 2019)--Ed., 10/3/19
|| 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.
The unique radiation environment encountered in space has been known to cause deleterious effects in humans, and these effects are of special concern for prolonged space missions beyond the protective terrestrial magnetosphere. DNA lesions, namely single- and double-strand breaks, are the most common of these effects and the most likely to compromise health. In addition to radiation, astronauts in space experience microgravity and other stress factors. In human cells, immune cells in particular, stress-induced catecholamine and corticoid release, as well as increased levels of inflammation, are known to induce DNA damage and impair DNA repair, which in turn results in single and double-strand breaks. Intact DNA repair machinery is crucial for immune cell functionality. Therefore understanding the interaction between DNA damage response and immune response is an important step towards improving knowledge of the mechanisms associated with immune dysfunction in the space environment.
In this study, we propose to quantify DNA damage in astronauts’ lymphocytes by measuring the frequency of single- and double-strand breaks. We will also perform RNA-seq analysis with a focus on pathways involved in DNA damage response and/or inflammatory response. Measures of DNA damage obtained before, during, and after long-duration International Space Station (ISS) missions will then be compared with the mRNA levels. The outcomes in the present study will also be compared to the measured T cell function, cytokine profiles and viral reactivation in the Integrated Immune Flight Study, which is the parental project of our proposed study.