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Gene, Immune and Cellular Responses to Single and Combined Space Flight Conditions - A (TripleLux-A)


Overview | Description | Applications | Operations | Results | Publications | Imagery

Experiment Overview

This content was provided by Bertold Hock, Ph.D., and is maintained in a database by the ISS Program Science Office.

Information provided courtesy of the Erasmus Experiment Archive.
Brief Summary

Gene, Immune and Cellular Responses to Single and Combined Space Flight Conditions - A (TripleLux-A) studies the effects of space flight and radiation on the immune function of vertebrate cells in microgravity.

Principal Investigator(s)

  • Bertold Hock, Ph.D., Technical University of Munich at Weihenstephan, Freising, Germany
  • Co-Investigator(s)/Collaborator(s)

  • Peter-Diedrich Hansen, Ph.D., Berlin Institute for Technology, Berlin, Germany
  • Developer(s)
    Information Pending

    Sponsoring Space Agency

    European Space Agency (ESA)

    Sponsoring Organization

    Information Pending

    Research Benefits

    Information Pending

    ISS Expedition Duration:

    Expeditions Assigned

    Information Pending

    Previous ISS Missions

    Information Pending

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    Experiment Description

    Research Overview

    • The Gene, Immune and Cellular Responses to Single and Combined Space Flight Conditions - A (TripleLux-A) experiment aims to understand the mechanisms at a cellular level which cause impairment of immune functions under space flight conditions, enhancement of responses to radiation and microgravity and clearly separate the effects of microgravity from other space flight factors.

    • TripleLux-A will examine the ability of rodent macrophages (white blood cells responsible for eating foreign material on the cellular level) to function in microgravity, macrophages are the first line of defense in the vertebrate immune system.


    The aim of the Gene, Immune and Cellular Responses to Single and Combined Space Flight Conditions - A (TripleLux-A) experiment is to understand the mechanisms at the cellular level that impair vertebrate immune functions and enhance responses to radiation under space flight conditions. Specifically, TripleLux-A will study the ability of rodent macrophages (large white blood cells that ingests foreign material) from NR8383, ATCC# CRL-2192 to engulf zymosan (an insoluble carbohydrate that serves as an analogue of bacteria).

    Phagocytosis (ingestion of foreign material) is the first line of defense against microbial infection by the immune system. Phagocytosis will be quantified using luminol as a detector for reactive oxygen species produced during the ingestion of zymosan by macrophages during the TripleLux-A investigation.

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    Space Applications

    Conducting studies of the immune system during space flight will provide knowledge and understanding of the effects of space habitation on the immune system. The data from these studies will be used in assessing the cellular mechanisms underlying the aggravation of radiation responses and impairment of immune functions during space flight. Understanding such risks is essential in maintaining the health and performance of crewmembers during long-duration missions.

    Earth Applications

    With greater understanding of the immune system in space, we can determine new countermeasures for people suffering from weakened immune systems.

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    Operational Requirements

    Triplelux-A will require utilization of the MELFI and BioLab facilities onboard the ISS. To complete TripleLux-A operations one session of approximately 12 hours must be completed. Video containing the data of the TripleLux-A activites on orbit will be downloaded to Earth following investigation completion.

    Operational Protocols

    Prior to TripleLux-A activation the following steps must be completed by ISS crewmembers, removal of the specimen from MELFI for thawing, injection of stock culture into the culture medium, reconstitution of the stock culture in fresh medium and measurement of the specimen viability. Crewmembers will then place the specimens in two (2) BioLab Advanced Experiment Containers (AECs) for processing of approximately 12-hours. Following completion of the experiment video data collect by BioLab will be returned to Earth for analysis.

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    Results/More Information

    Information Pending

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    Results Publications

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    Ground Based Results Publications

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    ISS Patents

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    Related Publications

      Rabbow E, Rettberg P, Baumstark-Khan C, Horneck G.  The SOS-LUX-LAC-FLUORO-Toxicity-test on the International Space Station (ISS). Advances in Space Research. 2003; 31(6): 1513-1524. DOI: 10.1016/S0273-1177(03)00086-3.

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    Related Websites

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    image The Advanced Experimental Containment (AEC) hardware for the TripleLux experiments. Image courtesy of ESA.
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    Information provided by the investigation team to the ISS Program Scientist's Office.
    If updates are needed to the summary please contact JSC-ISS-Program-Science-Group. For other general questions regarding space station research and technology, please feel free to call our help line at 281-244-6187 or e-mail at JSC-ISS-Research-Helpline.