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Rodent Research 4 (RR4) (ARC00XX199)
Research Area:
Developmental biology
Skeletal physiology
Species Studied
Scientific Name: Mus musculus Species: Mouse Strain: C57BL/6J


The Rodent Research 4 (RR-4) science investigation was sponsored by the Center for Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) and the US Department of Defense Space Test Program. The investigation was designed to examine bone healing and bone tissue regeneration, to study the impacts of microgravity on these processes, and to examine the ability of a bone healing drug (BMP-2) and a new drug (TPO) to improve bone healing in spaceflight.

Although reduced gravity induces cell proliferation and propagation, which is favorable for tissue regeneration, immunological responses are delayed in this environment. Therefore, microgravity presents a contrasting environment for the healing process. The results from this experiment may help scientists evaluate the practicality of growing complex bone tissues in spaceflight and examine molecular mechanisms underlying the negative effects of microgravity on bone density.

Specifically, this flight study had four aims:
1. To characterize the biological events associated with the healing and tissue regeneration process in spaceflight.
2. To gauge the therapeutic success of certain osteoinductive agents capable of inducing bone healing and regeneration in spaceflight.
3. To evaluate the transcriptomic, epigenomic, proteomic, metabolomic, and metagenomic (microbiome) aspects of the selected biomaterials critical for bone healing and regeneration, as well as sort and integrate the pan-omics results to discover regeneration mechanisms.
4. To use these methods to identify novel biomarkers of bone regeneration, loss, and healing.

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Dadwal, U., Maupin, K., Zamarioli, A., Tucker, A., Harris J., Fischer, J., Rytlewski, J., Scofield, D., Wininger A., Ur Rehman Bhatti F., Alvarez, M., Childress P., Chakraborty N., Gautam, A., Hammamieh, R., Kacena, M. (2019). The efects of spacefight and fracture healing on distant skeletal sites. Scientific Reports, 9:11419. doi:10.1038/s41598-019-47695-3. [DOI]

Data Information
Data Availability
Archiving in Progress. Some data exist for this experiment.
Data Sets+ View data

Mission/Study Information
Mission Launch/Start Date Landing/End Date Duration
SpaceX_10 02/19/2017 03/19/2017 28 days

Additional Information
Managing NASA Center
Ames Research Center (ARC)
Responsible NASA Representative
Ames Research Center LSDA Level 3
Project Manager: Sylvain Costes
Institutional Support
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)