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Project Title:  Consequences of Long-Term Confinement and Hypobaric Hypoxia on Immunity in the Antarctic Concordia Environment (CHOICE) Reduce
Fiscal Year: FY 2012 
Division: Human Research 
Research Discipline/Element:
HRP HHC:Human Health Countermeasures
Start Date: 10/01/2008  
End Date: 09/30/2012  
Task Last Updated: 05/28/2013 
Download report in PDF pdf
Principal Investigator/Affiliation:   Sams, Clarence  Ph.D. / NASA Johnson Space Center 
Address:  Human Adaptation and Countermeasures Office  
2101 NASA Parkway, Mail Code SK 
Houston , TX 77058-3607 
Email: clarence.sams-1@nasa.gov 
Phone: 281-483-7160  
Congressional District: 22 
Web:  
Organization Type: NASA CENTER 
Organization Name: NASA Johnson Space Center 
Joint Agency:  
Comments:  
Co-Investigator(s)
Affiliation: 
Chouker, Alexander  Co-PI: Hospital of the Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Munich, Germany 
Baatout, Sarah  SCK-CEN, Belgium 
Campolongo, Patricia  University of Rome “La Sapienza”, Italy 
Crucian, Brian  NASA Johnson Space Center 
Duchamp, Claude  Université Claude Bernard, Lyon, France 
Gunga, Hanns-Christian  University of Berlin, Charité, Germany 
Kaufmann, Ines  Ludwig-Maximilians-University of Munich, Germany 
Kreth, Simone  Ludwig-Maximilians-University of Munich, Germany 
Pierson, Duane  NASA Johnson Space Center  
Praun, Siegfried  V&F Medical, Austria 
Raccurt, Mireille  Université Claude Bernard, Lyon, France 
Schachtner, Thomas  Ludwig-Maximilians-University of Munich, Germany 
Schelling, Gustav  Ludwig-Maximilians-University of Munich, Germany 
Thiel, Manfred  Ludwig-Maximilians-University of Munich, Germany 
Mehta, Satish  EASI, Houston, Texas 
Key Personnel Changes / Previous PI: Alexander Choukèr, Department of Anaesthesiology, Hospital of the Ludwig-Maximilians-University of Munich, Germany, is the European (ESA) PI. Clarence Sams is the U.S. PI. Dr. Duane Pierson, Dr. Satish Mehta, and Dr. Brian Crucian are NASA Co-Investigators.
Project Information: Grant/Contract No. Directed Research 
Responsible Center: NASA JSC 
Grant Monitor: Baumann, David  
Center Contact:  
david.k.baumann@nasa.gov 
Solicitation / Funding Source: Directed Research 
Grant/Contract No.: Directed Research 
Project Type: GROUND 
Flight Program:  
TechPort: No 
No. of Post Docs:
No. of PhD Candidates:
No. of Master's Candidates:
No. of Bachelor's Candidates:
No. of PhD Degrees:
No. of Master's Degrees:
No. of Bachelor's Degrees:
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) IM03:We have not defined and validated a terrestrial human analog for spaceflight-associated immune system dysregulation (IRP Rev E)
(2) IM06:We do not know the cumulative effects of chronic immune dysfunction on missions greater than six months (IRP Rev E)
Flight Assignment/Project Notes: NOTE: End date is 9/30/2012 per CoI and HRP Master Task List dtd 7/12/2011 (Ed., 8/8/2011)

Task Description: The vulnerability of totally isolated wintering groups in Antarctica is a concern alike of those needing major consideration when planning health care and health monitoring during long-term space flights, manned lunar exploration and potential future extraterrestrial settlement. The recently published medical statistics of Antarctic wintering-over teams in the last decades and new research reports indicate that the health and the immune system are affected under the conditions of confinement in the pole regions. Apart from the consequences of confinement on stress-dependent immune-modulation, hypobaric hypoxia may add to modulate immunity and potentially aggravate immune suppression. Therefore, this protocol seeks to investigate the consequences of long-term confinement in a space-analog deployment and hypobaric hypoxia using the opportunity of research on the CONCORDIA station. To delineate the consequences of confinement from hypoxia, this study is designed to allow for comparison of results of several earth-bound (e.g. Antarctic Georg Neumayer Station) and space-flight control groups in former and ongoing scientific studies.

NASA participation in this study consisted of monitoring immune system dysregulation, virus specific immunity and latent viral reactivation. This panel of assays, by design, was similar to those used to monitor astronauts who participated in the Integrated Immune in-flight study. This homology allowed a direct flight data to ground data comparison, to facilitate validation of Concordia as a ground-based spaceflight analog for immune dysregulation. Crews deployed to winter-over at the Concordia Station (Dome C, Antarctica) during the 2009 and 2010 seasons were subjects for this study. Typical winter-over is a 1 year deployment. Blood, saliva and urine samples were collected for analysis at Concordia Station within the first few weeks of deployment, and within a few weeks before departure. Other overwinter samples were planned to be minimal, primarily collection and freezing of blood and saliva samples. Availability of a flow cytometer at Concordia Station allowed additional mid-winter samples to be collected and added to the data set, allowing a complete profile of the overwinter period to be determined. Mission data was compared to pre-mission baseline, and post-mission recovery data, both collected in Germany. A subsequent smaller-scope Phase II study is ongoing examine a subset of parameters at a coastal Antarctic station (Neumayer III, Germany), to control for the effects of hypoxia.

Research Impact/Earth Benefits: This study has assessed immune system, stress, and viral reactivation alterations in a high-fidelity ground-based spaceflight analog. Missions consist of Antarctic winterover, a 1 year deployment consisting of extreme temperatures, risk, stress, isolation, and disrupted circadian rhythms. These data should be applicable to other similar terrestrial situations, such as undersea naval missions or government/scientific deployment to extreme environment stations. Thus, the monitoring strategy developed by this study, and any future countermeasures development, should have terrestrial benefit for these analogous situations.

Task Progress & Bibliography Information FY2012 
Task Progress: It was recently established that immune dysregulation occurs during spaceflight (Crucian 2012 JCI) and persists for the duration of a 6 month ISS mission (Crucian et al., and Mehta et al., NASA HRP Workshop, February 2013). During exploration class space missions, immune dysregulation may pose a unique clinical health risk to astronauts. A validated ground analog for this in-flight phenomenon would have utility for basic research and possible countermeasures evaluation. It has been speculated that Antarctica winterover may be a potential analog for in-flight immune dysregulation.

Among all Antarctica bases, it is thought that Concordia Station might serve as the closest analog to exploration class deep space missions. This is due to the extremely harsh environment in the Antarctic interior (much worse than coastal stations), and the spaceflight-similar environment/lifestyle experienced at Concordia Station (referring to both interior station lifestyle and the exterior EVA conditions). The intent of this study was to assess immunity, viral reactivation, stress and adverse clinical outcomes during Antarctica winterover at Concordia Station. These parameters have been shown to be significantly altered during spaceflight (HRP reference). The battery of assays was similar to those used for the Integrated Immune flight study, to therefore allow a straightforward comparison of in-flight and overwinter data. Due to fortuitous scheduling, the flight and ground studies actually operated in parallel. Integrated Immune ISS astronauts were actually able to hold teleconferences with winterover participants at Concordia Station.

Following study completion and full sample analysis, the data showed that immune system changes did manifest during the overwinter period at Concordia Station. These changes consisted of alterations in the distribution of the peripheral blood immune cells, alterations in the plasma concentration of various cytokines (proteins that regulate immunity), alterations in T cell function. Parallel with the alterations in immunity, the consistent reactivation of latent herpesviruses was observed, as was alterations in various stress hormones. The circadian rhythm of the overwinter participants also appeared to be misaligned. An increase in constitutively activated T cells is thought to correlate with in-vivo immune activation or illness. During winterover, an increase in activated T cells was observed only during early deployment, which correlated with clinical incidence data showing at least three periods of endemic clinical illness. These overall clinical findings correlate perfectly with the elevation in constitutively activated T cells for the CHOICE subjects.

NASA study data was presented at the NASA HRP Investigators' Workshop, February 2012 and February 2013. Joint NASA-ESA investigator meetings were held in early 2013 to review all participant data (both NASA and ESA), and a publication strategy was planned for this data set.

References

B. E. Crucian, S. Mehta, R. P. Stowe, P. Uchakin, H. Quiriarte, D. Pierson, C. F. Sams. Immune System Dysregulation Persists During Long-Duration Spaceflight. 2013 Human Research Program Investigators Workshop, Galveston, Texas, February 11-14, 2013.

S. K. Mehta, B. E. Crucian, R. P. Stowe, C. Sams, V. A. Castro, C. M. Ott, and D. L. Pierson. Viral reactivation in the International Space Station Crew. 2013 Human Research Program Investigators Workshop, Galveston, Texas, February 11-14, 2013.

B. Crucian, A. Chouker, R. Stowe, S. Mehta, A. Salam, M. Feuerecker, H. Quiriarte, D. Pierson, C. Sams. Immune dysregulation and latent viral reactivation during winterover at Concordia Station, Dome C, Antarctica. NASA Human Research Program Investigators' Workshop. Houston, Texas, February 14-16, 2012.

Brian Crucian, Raymond Stowe, Satish Mehta, Peter Uchakin, Heather Quiriarte, Duane Pierson and Clarence Sams. Immune System Dysregulation Occurs During Short Duration Spaceflight On Board the Space Shuttle. Journal of Clinical Immunology (Published online ahead of print, October 2012).

Bibliography Type: Description: (Last Updated: 12/11/2020)  Show Cumulative Bibliography Listing
 
Abstracts for Journals and Proceedings Crucian BE, Mehta S, Stowe RP, Uchakin P, Quiriarte H, Pierson D, Sams CF. "Immune System Dysregulation Persists During Long-Duration Spaceflight." 2013 NASA Human Research Program Investigators’ Workshop, Galveston, TX, February 12-14, 2013.

2013 NASA Human Research Program Investigators’ Workshop, Galveston, TX, February 12-14, 2013. , Feb-2013

Abstracts for Journals and Proceedings Mehta S, Crucian BE, Stowe RP, Sams CF, Castro VA, Ott CM, Pierson D. "Viral reactivation in the International Space Station Crew." 2013 NASA Human Research Program Investigators’ Workshop, Galveston, TX, February 12-14, 2013.

2013 NASA Human Research Program Investigators’ Workshop, Galveston, TX, February 12-14, 2013. , Feb-2013

Articles in Peer-reviewed Journals Feuerecker M, Crucian B, Salam AP, Rybka A, Kaufmann I, Moreels M, Quintens R, Schelling G, Thiel M, Baatout S, Sams C, Choukèr A. "Early adaption to the Antarctic environment at dome C: consequences on stress-sensitive innate immune functions." High Alt Med Biol. 2014 Sep;15(3):341-8. Epub 2014 Aug 6. https://doi.org/10.1089/ham.2013.1128 ; PubMed PMID: 25099674 , Sep-2014
Articles in Peer-reviewed Journals Feuerecker M, Crucian BE, Quintens R, Buchheim JI, Salam AP, Rybka A, Moreels M, Strewe C, Stowe R, Mehta S, Schelling G, Thiel M, Baatout S, Sams C, Choukér A. "Immune sensitization during one year in the Antarctic high altitude Concordia environment." Allergy. 2019 Jan;74(1):64-77. Epub 2018 Nov 20. https://doi.org/10.1111/all.13545 ; PubMed PMID: 29978486 , Jan-2019
Articles in Peer-reviewed Journals Crucian B, Stowe R, Mehta S, Uchakin P, Quiriarte H, Pierson D, Sams C. "Immune system dysregulation occurs during short duration spaceflight on board the space shuttle." Journal of Clinical Immunology. 2013 Feb;33(2):456-65. Epub 2012 Oct 26. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10875-012-9824-7 ; PubMed PMID: 2310014 , Feb-2013
Project Title:  Consequences of Long-Term Confinement and Hypobaric Hypoxia on Immunity in the Antarctic Concordia Environment (CHOICE) Reduce
Fiscal Year: FY 2011 
Division: Human Research 
Research Discipline/Element:
HRP HHC:Human Health Countermeasures
Start Date: 10/01/2008  
End Date: 09/30/2012  
Task Last Updated: 08/10/2011 
Download report in PDF pdf
Principal Investigator/Affiliation:   Sams, Clarence  Ph.D. / NASA Johnson Space Center 
Address:  Human Adaptation and Countermeasures Office  
2101 NASA Parkway, Mail Code SK 
Houston , TX 77058-3607 
Email: clarence.sams-1@nasa.gov 
Phone: 281-483-7160  
Congressional District: 22 
Web:  
Organization Type: NASA CENTER 
Organization Name: NASA Johnson Space Center 
Joint Agency:  
Comments:  
Co-Investigator(s)
Affiliation: 
Chouker, Alexander  Co-PI: Hospital of the Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Munich, Germany 
Baatout, Sarah  SCK-CEN, Belgium 
Campolongo, Patricia  University of Rome “La Sapienza”, Italy 
Crucian, Brian  NASA Johnson Space Center 
Duchamp, Claude  Université Claude Bernard, Lyon, France 
Gunga, Hanns-Christian  University of Berlin, Charité, Germany 
Kaufmann, Ines  Ludwig-Maximilians-University of Munich, Germany 
Kreth, Simone  Ludwig-Maximilians-University of Munich, Germany 
Pierson, Duane  NASA Johnson Space Center  
Praun, Siegfried  V&F Medical, Austria 
Raccurt, Mireille  Université Claude Bernard, Lyon, France 
Schachtner, Thomas  Ludwig-Maximilians-University of Munich, Germany 
Schelling, Gustav  Ludwig-Maximilians-University of Munich, Germany 
Thiel, Manfred  Ludwig-Maximilians-University of Munich, Germany 
Key Personnel Changes / Previous PI: Alexander Choukèr, Department of Anaesthesiology, Hospital of the Ludwig-Maximilians-University of Munich, Germany, is the European (ESA) PI. Clarence Sams is the U.S. PI.
Project Information: Grant/Contract No. Directed Research 
Responsible Center: NASA JSC 
Grant Monitor: Baumann, David  
Center Contact:  
david.k.baumann@nasa.gov 
Solicitation / Funding Source: Directed Research 
Grant/Contract No.: Directed Research 
Project Type: GROUND 
Flight Program:  
TechPort: No 
No. of Post Docs:
No. of PhD Candidates:
No. of Master's Candidates:
No. of Bachelor's Candidates:
No. of PhD Degrees:
No. of Master's Degrees:
No. of Bachelor's Degrees:
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) IM03:We have not defined and validated a terrestrial human analog for spaceflight-associated immune system dysregulation (IRP Rev E)
(2) IM06:We do not know the cumulative effects of chronic immune dysfunction on missions greater than six months (IRP Rev E)
Flight Assignment/Project Notes: NOTE: End date is 9/30/2012 per CoI and HRP Master Task List dtd 7/12/2011 (Ed., 8/8/2011)

Task Description: The vulnerability of totally isolated wintering groups in Antarctica is a concern alike of those needing major consideration when planning health care and health monitoring during long-term space flights, manned lunar exploration and potential future “extraterrestrial” settlement. The recently published medical statistics of Antarctic wintering-over teams in the last decades and new research reports indicate that the health and the immune system are affected under the conditions of confinement in the pole regions. Beside the consequences of confinement on stress-dependent immune-modulation, hypobaric hypoxia may add to modulate immunity and potentially aggravate immune suppression. Therefore, this protocol seeks to investigate the consequences of long-term confinement AND hypobaric hypoxia using the opportunity of research on the CONCORDIA station. To delineate the consequences of confinement from hypoxia, this study is designed to allow for comparison of results of several earth-bound (e.g. Antarctic Georg Neumayer Station) and space-flight control groups in former and ongoing scientific studies.

NASA participation in this study will consist of monitoring immune system dysregulation, virus specific immunity and latent viral reactivation. This panel of assays is similar to those being used to monitor astronauts participating in the Integrated Immune in-flight study. This homology allows a direct flight-ground comparison to enable validation of Concordia as a ground-based spaceflight analog for immune dysregulation. Crews deployed to winter-over at the ‘Concordia’ station (Dome C, Antarctica) will be subjects for this study. Typical winter-over is a 1 year deployment. Blood, saliva and urine samples will be collected for analysis at Concordia Station within the first few weeks of deployment, and within a few weeks before departure. Other overwinter samples were planned to be minimal, primarily collection and freezing of blood and saliva samples. Mission data will be compared to pre-mission baseline, and post-mission recovery data, both collected in Germany.

Research Impact/Earth Benefits: This study has assessed immune system, stress, and viral reactivation alterations in a high-fidelity ground-based spaceflight analog. Missions consist of Antarctic winterover, a 1 year deployment consisting of extreme temperatures, risk, stress, isolation, and disrupted circadian rhythms. These data should be applicable to other similar terrestrial situations, such as undersea naval missions or government/scientific deployment to extreme environment stations. Thus, the monitoring strategy developed by this study, and any future countermeasures development, should have terrestrial benefit for these analogous situations.

Task Progress & Bibliography Information FY2011 
Task Progress: All pre-, during-, and post-deployment sample processing was successfully completed on the winterover 2009 crewmembers (n=6). NASA and ESA scientists visited Concordia during the entry and exit transition phases to process these deployment samples. All necessary equipment, including a fully-operational flow cytometer, was deployed to Concordia to support the field sample processing. In an unplanned bonus, the ESA scientist physician kept the flow cytometer during the winterover period and processed additional leukocyte distribution and cytokine production samples. Training for this activity occurred during the early-winterover phase but the deployed NASA field scientist. Overwinter data were processed, and raw data files were emailed via satellite to JSC for immediate analysis. This additional data helped to define immune changes during the overwinter (consisting of 24-hour darkness) period.

All pre-, and during-mission sampling were successfully processed for the winterover 2010 crewmembers (n=9). Currently NASA is awaiting collection of the 2010 post-deployment samples from Europe. This sampling has been delayed for crewmember logistical reasons.

A data update for this study was presented at the 2011 NASA Investigators Workshop:

B. E. Crucian, M. Feuerecker, AP. Salam, A. Rybka, R.P. Stowe, M. Morrels, S. K. Mehta, H. Quiriarte, Roel Quintens, U. Thieme, I.Kaufmann, D. S. Baatout, D.L. Pierson, C. F. Sams and A. Choukèr. The ESA-NASA ‘CHOICE’ Study: Winterover at Concordia Station, Interior Antarctica, as an Analog for Spaceflight-Associated Immune Dysregulation. 18th IAA Humans in Space Symposium. Houston, Texas, April 11-15, 2011.

Bibliography Type: Description: (Last Updated: 12/11/2020)  Show Cumulative Bibliography Listing
 
Abstracts for Journals and Proceedings Crucian BE, Feuerecker M, Salam AP, Rybka A, Stowe RP, Morrels M, Mehta SK, Quiriarte H, Quintens R, Thieme U, Kaufmann I, Baatout DS, Pierson DL, Sams CF, Choukèr A. "The ESA-NASA ‘CHOICE’ Study: Winterover at Concordia Station, Interior Antarctica, as an Analog for Spaceflight-Associated Immune Dysregulation." 18th IAA Humans in Space Symposium, Houston, Texas, April 11-15, 2011.

18th IAA Humans in Space Symposium, Houston, Texas, April 11-15, 2011. , Apr-2011

Project Title:  Consequences of Long-Term Confinement and Hypobaric Hypoxia on Immunity in the Antarctic Concordia Environment (CHOICE) Reduce
Fiscal Year: FY 2009 
Division: Human Research 
Research Discipline/Element:
HRP HHC:Human Health Countermeasures
Start Date: 10/01/2008  
End Date: 09/30/2012  
Task Last Updated: 09/01/2009 
Download report in PDF pdf
Principal Investigator/Affiliation:   Sams, Clarence  Ph.D. / NASA Johnson Space Center 
Address:  Human Adaptation and Countermeasures Office  
2101 NASA Parkway, Mail Code SK 
Houston , TX 77058-3607 
Email: clarence.sams-1@nasa.gov 
Phone: 281-483-7160  
Congressional District: 22 
Web:  
Organization Type: NASA CENTER 
Organization Name: NASA Johnson Space Center 
Joint Agency:  
Comments:  
Co-Investigator(s)
Affiliation: 
Chouker, Alexander  Co-PI: Hospital of the Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Munich, Germany 
Baatout, Sarah  SCK-CEN, Belgium 
Campolongo, Patricia  University of Rome “La Sapienza”, Italy 
Crucian, Brian  NASA Johnson Space Center 
Duchamp, Claude  Université Claude Bernard, Lyon, France 
Gunga, Hanns-Christian  University of Berlin, Charité, Germany 
Kaufmann, Ines  Ludwig-Maximilians-University of Munich, Germany 
Kreth, Simone  Ludwig-Maximilians-University of Munich, Germany 
Pierson, Duane  NASA Johnson Space Center  
Praun, Siegfried  V&F Medical, Austria 
Raccurt, Mireille  Université Claude Bernard, Lyon, France 
Schachtner, Thomas  Ludwig-Maximilians-University of Munich, Germany 
Schelling, Gustav  Ludwig-Maximilians-University of Munich, Germany 
Thiel, Manfred  Ludwig-Maximilians-University of Munich, Germany 
Key Personnel Changes / Previous PI: Alexander Choukèr, Department of Anaesthesiology, Hospital of the Ludwig-Maximilians-University of Munich, Germany, is the European (ESA) PI. Clarence Sams is the U.S. PI.
Project Information: 
Responsible Center: NASA JSC 
Grant Monitor: Goodwin, Thomas  
Center Contact:  
thomas.j.goodwin@nasa.gov 
Solicitation / Funding Source: Directed Research 
Project Type: GROUND 
Flight Program:  
TechPort: No 
No. of Post Docs:  
No. of PhD Candidates:  
No. of Master's Candidates:  
No. of Bachelor's Candidates:  
No. of PhD Degrees:  
No. of Master's Degrees:  
No. of Bachelor's Degrees:  
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) IM03:We have not defined and validated a terrestrial human analog for spaceflight-associated immune system dysregulation (IRP Rev E)
(2) IM06:We do not know the cumulative effects of chronic immune dysfunction on missions greater than six months (IRP Rev E)
Flight Assignment/Project Notes: NOTE: End date is 9/30/2012 per CoI and HRP Master Task List dtd 7/12/2011 (Ed., 8/8/2011)

Task Description: The vulnerability of totally isolated wintering groups in Antarctica is a concern alike of those needing major consideration when planning health care and health monitoring during long-term space flights, manned lunar exploration and potential future “extraterrestrial” settlement. The recently published medical statistics of Antarctic wintering-over teams in the last decades and new research reports indicate that the health and the immune system are affected under the conditions of confinement in the pole regions. Beside the consequences of confinement on stress-dependent immune-modulation, hypobaric hypoxia may add to modulate immunity and potentially aggravate immune suppression. Therefore, this protocol seeks to investigate the consequences of long-term confinement AND hypobaric hypoxia using the opportunity of research on the CONCORDIA station. To delineate the consequences of confinement from hypoxia, this study is designed to allow for comparison of results of several earth-bound (e.g. Antarctic Georg Neumayer Station) and space-flight control groups in former and ongoing scientific studies.

Research Impact/Earth Benefits: 0

Task Progress & Bibliography Information FY2009 
Task Progress: New project for FY2009.

Bibliography Type: Description: (Last Updated: 12/11/2020)  Show Cumulative Bibliography Listing
 
 None in FY 2009