Microgravity induces alterations in the function- ing of immune cell; however, the underlying mechanisms have not yet been identified. In this study, hemocytes (blood cells) of the blue mussel Mytilus edulis were investigated under altered gravity conditions. The study was conducted on the ground in preparation for the BIOLAB TripleLux- B experiment, which will be performed on the International Space Station (ISS). On-line kinetic measurements of reac- tive oxygen species (ROS) production during the oxidative burst and thus cellular activity of isolated hemocytes were performed in a photomultiplier (PMT)-clinostat (simulated microgravity) and in the 1g operation mode of the clino- stat in hypergravity on the Short-Arm Human Centrifuge (SAHC) as well as during parabolic flights. In addition to studies with isolated hemocytes, the effect of altered gravity conditions on whole animals was investigated. For this pur- pose, whole mussels were exposed to hypergravity (1.8 g) on a multi-sample incubator centrifuge (MuSIC) or to simu- lated microgravity in a submersed clinostat. After exposure for 48 h, hemocytes were taken from the mussels and ROS production was measured under 1 g conditions. The results from the parabolic flights and clinostat studies indicate that mussel hemocytes respond to altered gravity in a fast and reversible manner. Hemocytes (after cryo-conservation)exposed to simulated microgravity (μ g), as well as fresh hemocytes from clinorotated animals, showed a decrease in ROS production. Measurements during a permanent exposure of hemocytes to hypergravity (SAHC) show a decrease in ROS production. Hemocytes of mussels mea- sured after the centrifugation of whole mussels did not show an influence to the ROS response at all. Hypergravity dur- ing parabolic flights led to a decrease but also to an increase in ROS production in isolated hemocytes, whereas the cen- trifugation of whole mussels did not influence the ROS response at all. This study is a good example how ground- based facility experiments can be used to prepare for an upcoming ISS experiment, in this case the TRIPLE LUX B experiment.
Research Containing: Reactive oxygen species
Space biology provides an opportunity to study plant physiology and development in a unique microgravity environment. Recent space studies with plants have provided interesting insights into plant biology, including discovering that plants can grow seed-to-seed in microgravity, as well as identifying novel responses to light. However, spaceflight experiments are not without their challenges, including limited space, limited access, and stressors such as lack of convection and cosmic radiation. Therefore, it is important to design experiments in a way to maximize the scientific return from research conducted on orbiting platforms such as the International Space Station. Here, we provide a critical review of recent spaceflight experiments and suggest ways in which future experiments can be designed to improve the value and applicability of the results generated. These potential improvements include: utilizing in-flight controls to delineate microgravity versus other spaceflight effects, increasing scientific return via next-generation sequencing technologies, and utilizing multiple genotypes to ensure results are not unique to one genetic background. Space experiments have given us new insights into plant biology. However, to move forward, special care should be given to maximize science return in understanding both microgravity itself as well as the combinatorial effects of living in space.
Assessment of Nutrient Stability in Foods from the Space Food System After Long-Duration Spaceflight on the ISS
ABSTRACT: Maintaining an intact nutrient supply in the food system flown on spacecraft is a critical issue for mission success and crew health. Ground-based evidence indicates that some vitamins may be altered and fatty acids oxidized (and therefore rendered useless, or even dangerous) by long-term storage and by exposure to radiation, both of which will be issues for long-duration exploration missions in space. In this study, the stability of nutrients was investigated in food samples exposed to spaceflight on the Intl. Space Station (ISS). A total of 6 replicates of 5 different space food items, a multivitamin, and a vitamin D supplement were packaged into 4 identical kits and were launched in 2006 on the space shuttle. After 13, 353, 596, and 880 d of spaceflight aboard the ISS, the kits were returned to Earth. Nine replicates of each food item and vitamin, from the same lots as those sent into space, remained in an environmental chamber on Earth to serve as controls at each time point. Vitamins, hexanal, oxygen radical absorbance capacity, and amino acids were measured in identical-lot food samples at each time point. After 596 d of spaceflight, differences in intact vitamin concentrations due to duration of storage were observed for most foodstuffs, but generally, nutrients from flight samples did not degrade any faster than ground controls. This study provided the 1st set of spaceflight data for investigation of nutrient stability in the food system, and the results will help NASA design food systems for both ISS and space exploration missions.
Genome-wide expression analysis of reactive oxygen species gene network in Mizuna plants grown in long-term spaceflight
BACKGROUND: Spaceflight environment have been shown to generate reactive oxygen species (ROS) and induce oxidative stress in plants, but little is known about the gene expression of the ROS gene network in plants grown in long-term spaceflight. The molecular response and adaptation to the spaceflight environment of Mizuna plants harvested after 27 days of cultivation onboard the International Space Station (ISS) were measured using genome-wide mRNA expression analysis (mRNA-Seq). RESULTS: Total reads of transcripts from the Mizuna grown in the ISS as well as on the ground by mRNA-Seq showed 8,258 and 14,170 transcripts up-regulated and down-regulated, respectively, in the space-grown Mizuna when compared with those from the ground-grown Mizuna. A total of 20 in 32 ROS oxidative marker genes were up-regulated, including high expression of four hallmarks, and preferentially expressed genes associated with ROS-scavenging including thioredoxin, glutaredoxin, and alternative oxidase genes. In the transcription factors of the ROS gene network, MEKK1-MKK4-MPK3, OXI1-MKK4-MPK3, and OXI1-MPK3 of MAP cascades, induction of WRKY22 by MEKK1-MKK4-MPK3 cascade, induction of WRKY25 and repression of Zat7 by Zat12 were suggested. RbohD and RbohF genes were up-regulated preferentially in NADPH oxidase genes, which produce ROS. CONCLUSIONS: This large-scale transcriptome analysis revealed that the spaceflight environment induced oxidative stress and the ROS gene network activation in the space-grown Mizuna. Among transcripts altered in expression by space conditions, some were common genes response to abiotic and biotic stress. Furthermore, certain genes were exclusively up-regulated in Mizuna grown on the ISS. Surprisingly, Mizuna grew in space normally, as well as on the ground, demonstrating that plants can acclimate to long-term exposure in the spaceflight environment by reprogramming the expression of the ROS gene network.
There is evidence that space flight condition-induced biological damage is associated with increased oxidative stress and extracellular matrix (ECM) remodeling. To explore possible mechanisms, changes in gene expression profiles implicated in oxidative stress and in ECM remodeling in mouse skin were examined after space flight. The metabolic effects of space flight in skin tissues were also characterized. Space Shuttle Atlantis (STS-135) was launched at the Kennedy Space Center on a 13-day mission. Female C57BL/6 mice were flown in the STS-135 using animal enclosure modules (AEMs). Within 3-5 h after landing, the mice were euthanized and skin samples were harvested for gene array analysis and metabolic biochemical assays. Many genes responsible for regulating production and metabolism of reactive oxygen species (ROS) were significantly (p < 0.05) altered in the flight group, with fold changes >1.5 compared to AEM control. For ECM profile, several genes encoding matrix and metalloproteinases involved in ECM remodeling were significantly up-/down-regulated following space flight. To characterize the metabolic effects of space flight, global biochemical profiles were evaluated. Of 332 named biochemicals, 19 differed significantly (p < 0.05) between space flight skin samples and AEM ground controls, with 12 up-regulated and 7 down-regulated including altered amino acid, carbohydrate metabolism, cell signaling, and transmethylation pathways. Collectively, the data demonstrated that space flight condition leads to a shift in biological and metabolic homeostasis as the consequence of increased regulation in cellular antioxidants, ROS production, and tissue remodeling. This indicates that astronauts may be at increased risk for pathophysiologic damage or carcinogenesis in cutaneous tissue.