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Red Cell Metabolism (M114)
Principal Investigator
Research Area:
Environmental monitoring
Species Studied
Scientific Name: Homo sapiens Species: Human

The use of a hyperoxic environment in the cabins of space vehicles increases the risk of toxic effects of hyperoxic exposure. Simulated and actual space-flight studies have demonstrated decreases in the red blood cell mass. However, it was not clear if these decreases were due to hyperoxia. Studies on animals and humans exposed to oxygen under high pressure indicated that hemolysis could develop due to peroxidation of unsaturated fatty acids in red blood cell membrane. The Skylab flights provided an opportunity to study the effects of hyperoxic exposure on the metabolism of red blood cells. The objective of experiment M114 was to determine the metabolic and cell membrane changes that occur in the human red blood cell as a result of exposure to weightlessness and the spacecraft environment.

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Mengel CE. Red cell metabolism studies on Skylab. In: Johnston RS, Dietlein LF, eds. The Proceedings of the Skylab Life Sciences Symposium; Houston, TX; 27-29 August 1974. Houston, TX: NASA Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center; 1974;2:507-18. NASA TM X-58154. [NTRS]

Mengel CE. Chapter 27: red cell metabolism studies on Skylab.In: Johnston RS, Dietlein LF, eds. Biomedical Results from Skylab. Washington, DC: NASA Headquarters; 1977:242-8. NASA SP-377. [NTRS]

Lipid peroxidation

Data Information
Data Availability
Archive is complete. Data sets are not publicly available but can be requested.
Data Sets+ Request data

2,3-Diphosphoglyceric Acid (2,3-DPG): erythrocytes
Acetylcholinesterase (AChE) activity: erythrocytes
Adenosine triphosphate (ATP): erythrocytes
Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) activity: erythrocytes
Glutathione reduced: erythrocytes
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Mission/Study Information
Mission Launch/Start Date Landing/End Date Duration
Skylab 2 05/25/1973 06/22/1973 28 days
Skylab 3 07/28/1973 09/25/1973 59.5 days
Skylab 4 11/16/1973 02/08/1974 84 days

Additional Information
Managing NASA Center
Johnson Space Center (JSC)
Responsible NASA Representative
Johnson Space Center LSDA Office
Project Manager: Pamela A. Bieri
Institutional Support