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Space Relevant Radiation-Induced Cardiovascular Disease Risk Thresholds: Effect of Gender on the Outcome (80NSSC18K0921)
Research Area:
Biomedical countermeasures
Cardiovascular physiology
Species Studied
Scientific Name: Mus musculus Species: Mouse Strain: C57BL/6NTac

Our central hypothesis is that low-dose proton and HZE (high energy) particle IR-induced biological responses are long-lasting, IR type- and dose-dependent and may augment excess relative risk (ERR) estimates for the development of CV diseases during and after long-duration space missions. In addition, we hypothesize that gender differences could further modify radio-biologically effective (RBE) IR thresholds for CV risk estimates. Gene expression and epigenetic modifications in protein and microRNA (miRNA) in exosomes from the blood (e.g., plasma/serum) may be altered before the onset of the cardiac symptoms, which could be used as potential biomarkers to predict the CV disease risks. We will test our hypotheses with the following specific aims:

AIM 1. Determine the longitudinal effect of IR type, dose, and gender on cardiovascular physiology in wild type mice and ApoE null mice after full-body 5-ion simplified mixed field and gamma radiation.

AIM 2. Determine space-type IR mediated modulations in exosomal cargo in the blood, and determine whether these changes are associated with alterations in the heart function, structure, and vasculature before manifestation of clinical symptoms.

AIM 3. Utilize known and newly identified bio-markers in the blood to develop human-relevant point-of-care tests (POCT) for predicting and monitoring possible CV alterations before and during the space flights.

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Carotid artery intima analysis
Left carotid artery intima analysis

Mission/Study Information
Mission Launch/Start Date Landing/End Date Duration
Ground 05/01/2009 In Progress

Human Research Program (HRP) Human Research Roadmap (HRR) Information
Crew health and performance is critical to successful human exploration beyond low Earth orbit. The Human Research Program (HRP) investigates and mitigates the highest risks to human health and performance, providing essential countermeasures and technologies for human space exploration. Risks include physiological and performance effects from hazards such as radiation, altered gravity, and hostile environments, as well as unique challenges in medical support, human factors, and behavioral health support. The HRP utilizes an Integrated Research Plan (IRP) to identify the approach and research activities planned to address these risks, which are assigned to specific Elements within the program. The Human Research Roadmap is the web-based tool for communicating the IRP content.

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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)
Proposal Date
Proposal Source
2016-2017 HERO NNJ16ZSA001N-SRHHC. Appendix E: Space Radiobiology and Human Health Countermeasures Topics