Task Book: Biological & Physical Sciences Division and Human Research Program
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Project Title:  Use of Microbial Based Countermeasures to Mitigate Radiation Induced Intestinal Damage Reduce
Fiscal Year: FY 2021 
Division: Human Research 
Research Discipline/Element:
Start Date: 10/01/2020  
End Date: 09/30/2022  
Task Last Updated: 12/02/2020 
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Principal Investigator/Affiliation:   Blutt, Sarah  Ph.D. / Baylor College of Medicine 
Address:  Department of Molecular Virology and Microbiology 
One Baylor Plaza 
Houston , TX 77030 
Phone: 7137984584  
Congressional District:
Organization Type: UNIVERSITY 
Organization Name: Baylor College of Medicine 
Joint Agency:  
Britton, Robert  Ph.D. Baylor College of Medicine 
Coarfa, Cristian  Ph.D. Baylor College of Medicine 
Estes, Mary  Ph.D. Baylor College of Medicine 
Grosshans, David  M.D., Ph.D. The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center 
Taniguchi, Cullen  M.D., Ph.D. The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center 
Project Information: Grant/Contract No. NNX16AO69A-RAD0101 
Responsible Center: TRISH 
Grant Monitor:  
Center Contact:   
Solicitation / Funding Source: 2020 TRISH Space Radiation Solicitation TSRAD-2020. Translational Research Institute for Space Health (TRISH) Human-Based Models to Study Effects of Space Radiation and Countermeasures 
Grant/Contract No.: NNX16AO69A-RAD0101 
Project Type: GROUND 
Flight Program:  
TechPort: No 
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Human Research Program Elements: None
Human Research Program Risks: None
Human Research Program Gaps: None
Task Description: Very little is known about how exposure to space radiation might affect gastrointestinal health and function. The high turnover rate of the intestinal stem cell (ISC) predicts that the small intestine will be vulnerable to the effects of radiation exposure associated with long duration space flight. However, there is much that is unknown about the response of the human ISC to space radiation due to the lack of in vitro and in vivo mechanistic data and systems that model the complex biology and physiology of the human small intestine. Human intestinal organoid (HIOs) cultures provide a new model system in which (1) the impacts of simulated space radiation on the ISC can be examined, (2) biomarkers of small intestinal damage and repair following radiation exposure can be identified, and (3) countermeasures to the damage can be explored. One potential countermeasure for intestinal damage is the gastrointestinal microbiome. A postulated function of the microbiome is to regulate intestinal epithelial homeostasis and participate in epithelial repair. However, neither the specific microbial communities or their factors that are capable of inducing these effects nor the epithelial cellular pathways induced have been elucidated. We have treated HIOs with conditioned media obtained from complex commensal communities derived from human stool and found that factors produced by specific communities stimulate proliferative and stem cell marker expression suggesting that the microbiome may be a putative countermeasure for space radiation induced damage of the small intestine. The results from this study will provide direct insights into the effects of simulated space radiation on the small intestinal epithelium and elucidate microbial countermeasures that facilitate epithelial renewal.

Research Impact/Earth Benefits:

Task Progress & Bibliography Information FY2021 
Task Progress: New project for FY2021.

Bibliography Type: Description: (Last Updated: )  Show Cumulative Bibliography Listing
 None in FY 2021