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Spaceflight Changes in Skeletal mRNA (PARE02 BSP1)
Principal Investigator
Research Area:
Muscle physiology
Species Studied
Scientific Name: Rattus norvegicus Species: Rat Strain: Sprague-Dawley


Spaceflight can lead to osteopenia in developing rats through decreased bone formation, inhibited mineralization and delayed maturation. This may be a result of decreased osteoblast differentiation, decreased calcium to hydroxyproline ratio or decreased osteocalcin levels in bone and serum as observed in previous spaceflight studies. Of interest in osteoblast differentiation is the observed increase in alkaline phosphatase mRNA during matrix production and the subsequent increase in osteocalcin mRNA during mineralization. A decrease in mRNA levels of insulin-like-growth factor and its receptor has also been observed. This turning on and off of gene expression may be a regulating factor in bone development and was the subject of this study.

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Bikle DD, Harris J, Halloran BP, Morey-Holton E: Altered skeletal pattern of gene expression in response to spaceflight and hindlimb elevation. American Journal of Physiology, vol. 267(6:1), Dec 1994, pp. E822-E827.

Alkaline phosphatase (AP)
Bone and bones
Bone matrix
Bone mineralization
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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, Alkaline phosphatase mRNA, femur/tibia, bone, rat, Northern assay
Activity, Insulin-like Growth Factor I, mRNA, bone (tibia/femur), rat, Hybridization/ribonuclease protection analysis
Activity, Osteocalcin mRNA, femur/tibia, bone, rat, Northern assay
Expression, gene, Alkaline phosphatase mRNA, femur, tibia, bone, rat, Northern assay
Receptor, Insulin-like Growth Factor I, mRNA, bone (tibia/femur), rat, Hybridization/ribonuclease protection analysis
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Mission/Study Information
Mission Launch/Start Date Landing/End Date Duration
STS-54 01/13/1993 01/19/1993 6 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
Asynchronous control
Tail suspension
Proposal Date
Proposal Source
Dear Colleague Letter