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Envihab Bed Rest Standard Measures: Immunology (ESA_BRSM_Immunology)
Principal Investigator
Research Area:
Species Studied
Scientific Name: Homo sapiens Species: Human


Immunology is one of eleven International Bedrest Standard Measures conducted on healthy subjects at the :envihab facility in Cologne, Germany. Immune system dysregulation during spaceflight is well characterized and may result in specific clinical risk to crewmembers participating in exploration class space missions. Casual factors for this phenomenon may include microgravity, physiological stress, isolation, altered nutrition, and disrupted circadian rhythms. The appropriateness of a bed rest analog to demonstrate impacts on the immune system is inconclusive. There are some isolation and fluid shifts associated with bed rest which could influence the immune system.

A complete blood count and basic leukocyte subsets indicate constitutive immune activation for an individual subject. Concurrent with any functional dysregulation, it is important to know if a subject’s current immune system remains within baseline values. Stress hormone levels provide an important physiological indicator regarding subject adaptation to the space-analog condition. Globulin fractionation is also an indicator of dysregulation in plasma protein concentrations, which may correlate with constitutive immune activation or inflammatory processes. Plasma immunoglobin G (IgG) levels are also an indicator of constitutive immune activation, specifically humoral immune responses. Viral antibody levels however, are an indicator of latent herpes virus reactivation. Latent viral reactivation is associated with immune suppression both terrestrially and during spaceflight.

The purpose of the standard measures project is to populate a repository with data that enables high-level monitoring of countermeasure effectiveness and meaningful interpretation of health and performance outcomes. The :envihab standard measures will support future, hypothesis-driven research that enables planetary missions by providing an optimized minimal set of measures captured from subjects. These measures will be available to other studies under data sharing agreements as well as undergo analysis to understand risk posture.

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Data Information
Data Availability
Archiving in Progress. Some restricted access data exist for this experiment.
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Alpha 1 globulin
Alpha 1 globulin, percent
Alpha 2 globulin
Alpha 2 globulin, percent
Basic leukocyte subsets
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Mission/Study Information
Mission Launch/Start Date Landing/End Date Duration
VaPER 10/02/2017 12/04/2017 63 days

Additional Information
Managing NASA Center
Johnson Space Center (JSC)
Responsible NASA Representative
Institutional Support
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
Alternate Experiment Name
Proposal Date
Proposal Source