Our overall objective is to investigate alterations in gene expression in articular cartilage, skeletal muscle and skin exposed to microgravity. Our data from STS-131 animals demonstrate that in cartilage, muscle and skin, genes that respond to different types of common stresses such as oxidative stress and genotoxic stress are also upregulated under conditions of microgravity. This is a completely novel finding and may explain some of the tissue level effects of microgravity reported, such as muscle atrophy. We hypothesize that one effect of microgravity in these tissues is the activation of stress response genetic networks, and this has effects on cell proliferation and tissue maintenance.
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As we did for STS-131 samples, RNA will be extracted using MirVana and the RNA assessed for quality. Samples will then be assessed for gene expression differences using defined microarrays for Affymetrix. The tissue samples stored in formalin will be used to examine microgravity-related changes in protein levels and will be guided by the gene expression analyses.
No scientifically relevant results are available. Results incomplete.