It is hypothesized that human pancreatic islets of Langerhans have an increased requirement for amino acids in microgravity. It is also hypothesized, that supplementation with specific additional amino acids will augment, enhance and normalize insulin secretion, when space flight paradigm stressors known to decrease insulin secretion, are applied. The specific aims in this study are to:
1) assess the effect of a microgravity model cell culture on basal amino acid requirements and endocrine secretory function in human islets of Langerhans, and
2) determine human islet endocrine function while testing amino acid countermeasures in the microgravity model.
It is anticipated that these studies will further refine our understanding of human pancreatic amino acid requirements and endocrine regulation: phenomenon which may be limiting to extended-duration space flight missions. These studies will test countermeasures to augment pancreatic endocrine function, while considering both insulin and glucagon production in a way that will involve supplementation of diet with additional amino acids. These measures are ultimately aimed at improving space flight induced muscle atrophy, and ameliorating current re-adaptation constraints.
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