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Effect of Spaceflight on TGF-Beta Expression by hFOB Cells (9304007 1_2)
Principal Investigator
Research Area:
Cell and molecular biology
Skeletal physiology
Species Studied
Scientific Name: Homo sapiens Species: Human Strain: hFOB cell line


The purpose of this study is to establish whether changes in gravitational loading have a direct effect on osteoblast ability to regulate TGF-beta expression. The effects of spaceflight and reloading on TGF-beta mRNA and peptide levels will be studied in a newly developed line of immortalized human fetal osteoblasts (hFOB) transfected with an SV40 temperature dependent mutant to generate proliferating, undifferentiated hFOB cells at 33-34 degrees Celsius and a non-proliferating, differentiated hFOB cells at 37-39 degrees Celsius. Unlike previous cell culture models, hFOB cells have unlimited proliferative capacity yet can be precisely regulated to differentiate into mature cells which express mature osteoblast function. If isolated osteoblasts respond to changes in mechanical loading in a manner similar to their response in animals, the cell system could provide a powerful model to investigate the signal transduction pathway for gravitational loading.

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Backup, P; Westerlind, K; Harris, S; Spelsberg, T; Kline, B; Turner, R: Space flight results in reduced mRNA levels for tissue-specific proteins in the musculoskeletal system. American Journal of Physiology, vol. 266, 1994, pp. E567-E573.

Evans, GL; Morey-Holton, E; Turner, RT: Spaceflight has compartment- and gene-specific effects on mRNA levels for bone matrix proteins in rat femur. Journal of Applied Physiology, vol. 84(6), Jun 1998, pp. 2132-2137.

Turner, RT; Evans, GL; Wakley, GK.: Effects of short-term spaceflight and recombinant human growth hormone (rhGH) on bone growth in young rats. Aviation Space and Environmental Medicine, vol. 66(8) , Aug 1995, pp. 763-769.

Turner, RT; Evans, GL; Wakley, GK: Spaceflight results in depressed cancellous bone formation in rat humeri. Aviation, Space and Environmental Medicine, vol. 66, 1995, pp. 770-774.

Westerlind, KC; Turner, RT: The skeletal effects of space flight in growing rats: Tissue-specific alterations in mRNA levels for TGF-b. Journal of Bone Mineral Research, vol. 10, 1995, pp. 843-848.

Zhang, M; Turner, RT: The effects of spaceflight on mRNA levels for cytokines in proximal tibia of ovariectomized rats. Aviation Space and Environmental Medicine, vol. 69(7), Jul 1998, pp. 626-629.

Bone and bones
Bone development
DNA, complementary (cDNA)
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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.

Content, mRNA for Interleukin-1 beta, hFOB cell line, UV spectrophotometry (Northern or Rase assay)
Content, mRNA for Interleukin-12, hFOB cell line, UV spectrophotometry (Northern or Rase assay)
Content, mRNA for Interleukin-1a, hFOB cell line, UV spectrophotometry (Northern or Rase assay)
Content, mRNA for Interleukin-6, hFOB cell line, UV spectrophotometry (Northern or Rase assay)
Content, mRNA for Osteocalcin, in osteoblast, hFOB cell line, UV spectrophotometry (Northern or RNase assay)
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Mission/Study Information
Mission Launch/Start Date Landing/End Date Duration
STS-69 09/07/1995 09/18/1995 11 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
Synchronous control
Proposal Date
Proposal Source