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Osteocalcin as an Indicator of Bone Metabolism During Spaceflight (SL3 BSP10)
Research Area:
Skeletal physiology
Species Studied
Scientific Name: Rattus norvegicus Species: Rat Strain: Sprague-Dawley


The early changes in bone metabolism that precede the documented decrease in bone formation witnessed in previous Cosmos flights are not understood. A primary defect in osteoblast rather than osteoclast function is suggested by bone histomorphometry measurements and kinetic studies with stable calcium isotopes in young animals. Osteocalcin, a noncollagenous bone protein synthesized by the osteoblast, has been suggested as a good biochemical marker for bone turnover or bone formation. This study was to determine if microgravity affects either the bone content or circulating levels of osteocalcin.

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Arnaud SB, et al. Early Effects of Weightlessness on Growing Bone. Space Life Sciences Symposium: Three Decades of Life Science Research in Space; 1987, NASA TM-108002: 226-7.

Buckendahl PE, Cann CE, Grindeland RE, Martin RB, Mechanic G, Arnuad SB. Osteocalcin as an Indicator of Bone Metabolism During Spaceflight. Abstract 83.26. 36th Annual Fall Meeting of the American Physiological Society; 1985 Oct 13-18; Buffalo (NY) Physiologist 1985; 28(4):379.

Patterson -Buckendahl PE, et al. Effects of Simulated Weightlessness on Rat Osteocalcin and Bone Calcium. American Journel of Physiology 1989; 257:R1103-9.

Patterson -Buckendahl PE, et al. Osteocalcin as an Indicator of Bone Metabolism During Spaceflight. Abstract S-227. Proceedings of the Seventh Annual Meeting on the IUPS Commission on Gravitational Physiology; 1985 Oct 13-18; Niagara Falls(NY).

Patterson -Buckendahl PE, et al.Fragility and Composition of Growing Rat Bone After One Week in Spaceflight. American Journal of Physiology 1987; 252:R240-6.

Patterson -Buckendahl PE, Grindeland RE, Martin RB, Cann CE, Arnaud SB. Osteocalcin as an Indicator of Bone Metabolism During Spaceflight. Physiologist 1985; 28(6 Suppl):S227-S228.

1,25-Dihydroxyvitamin D3
Alkaline phosphatase (AP)
Bone and bones
Bone remodeling
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Data Information
Data Availability
Archive is complete. No data sets are available for this experiment. Please Contact LSDA if you know of available data for this investigation.

Activity, enzymic, Alkaline phosphatase (AP), serum, rat, Analyzer
Content, 1,25 Dihydroxyvitamin D (1,25(OH)2D), serum, rat
Content, Calcium, serum, rat, Automated analysis
Content, Calcium, vertebra, bone, rat
Content, Collagen, vertebra, bone, rat
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Mission/Study Information
Mission Launch/Start Date Landing/End Date Duration
STS-51B 04/29/1985 05/06/1985 7 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)
Protocol / Approach
Simulated flight control
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