Ovarian Follicular and Luteal Development in the Spaceflight Mouse
Smith, Ian M, et al. (2012). "Ovarian Follicular and Luteal Development in the Spaceflight Mouse." Gravitational and Space Biology 26 2
The effects of space travel are relatively unexplored in regard to the female reproductive system. An important step in determining possible adverse effects on the human female reproductive system is the analysis of test animal data. This study analyzed the ovarian tissue of mice flown aboard space shuttle Endeavour on NASA mission STS-118. The experiment consisted of three groups of animals: two sets of control animals and a single set of flight animals. Each set consisted of twelve individual mice. The flight animals were housed in the Animal Enclosure Module (AEM) of the Commercial Biomedical Testing Module-2 (CBTM-2) over the 13 day flight. One set of control animals (baseline) were housed in standard cages at room temperature. The other set of control animals (ground control) were housed in ground based AEMs which were environmentally controlled to match the conditions aboard the shuttle Endeavour with a delay of 48 hours and subject to normal gravity. The ovarian tissue samples were fixed in 4% paraformaldehyde, paraffin embedded, sectioned, mounted, and stained using standard Hematoxylin and Eosin staining procedures, and cover-slipped. The gross morphology of the tissue was then qualitatively analyzed. The flight animals were compared to the baseline and ground control sets. The presence of developing follicles of all stages as well as the presence of corpora lutea in all three treatment groups indicates no significant gross morphological changes occur within ovarian tissue when exposed to spaceflight for 13 days or less.