ROle of Apoptosis in Lymphocyte Depression (ROALD) - 07.14.16
ROle of Apoptosis in Lymphocyte Depression (ROALD) will determine the role of programmed apoptosis (cell death) in loss of T-lymphocyte (white blood cells originating in the thymus) activity in microgravity. Science Results for Everyone
Who killed T-cell? Microgravity, in the space station, with apoptosis. This investigation looked at how spaceflight influences immune cell function, including the role of programmed cell death (apoptosis) in loss of T-lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell. Results of this investigation demonstrate that 48 hours of microgravity on-board the space station increased signs of programmed cell death such as DNA fragmentation. The findings provide a molecular background for immune dysfunction observed in astronauts and reveal potential new markers for monitoring crew health. Data seem to support the hypothesis of a regulatory mechanism that could be valid under microgravity conditions and involved in depression of the immune system. Experiment Details
Mauro Maccarrone, University of Teramo, Teramo, Italy
Monica Bari, University of Rome Tor Vergata, Rome, Italy
Alessandro Finazzi-Agro, University of Rome Tor Vergata, Rome, Italy
Maria Antonia Meloni, University of Sassari, Sassari, Italy
Marco Ranalli, University of Rome Tor Vergata, Rome, Italy
Proto Pippia, Universiy of Sassari, Sassari, Italy
Augusto Cogoli, Ph.D., Zero-g Tec GmbH, Zurich, Switzerland
Marianne Cogoli-Greuter, Ph.D., Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich, Switzerland
Isabelle Walther, Ph.D., Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Space Biology, Zurich, Switzerland
Sponsoring Space Agency
European Space Agency (ESA)
ISS Expedition Duration
October 2008 - April 2009
- ROle of Apoptosis in Lymphocyte Depression (ROALD) will to determine the role of programmed cell death (apoptosis) in loss of T-lymphocyte activity in microgravity.
- Various aspects of the apoptotic process will be assessed, using human T-lymphocytes, by analyzing gene expressions of metabolites of reactive oxygen species and membrane properties.
- Altered distribution and downregulation of protein kinase C
- Reduced expression of interleukin-2 and its receptor
- Microtubule anomalies and growth retardation
- Altered cytoskeletal gene expression.
Operational Requirements and Protocols
Decadal Survey Recommendations
Information Pending^ back to top
The information on this page is provided courtesy of the ESA Erasmus Experiment Archive.^ back to top
Battista N, Meloni MA, Bari M, Mastrangelo N, Galleri G, Rapino C, Dainese E, Finazzi-Agro A, Pippia P, Maccarrone M. 5-Lipoxygenase-dependent apoptosis of human lyphocytes in the International Space Station: data from the ROALD experiment. FASEB: Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology Journal. 2012; 26(5): 1791-1798. DOI: 10.1096/fj.11-199406. PMID: 22253478.
Ground Based Results Publications
Battista N, Rapino C, Gasperi V, Finazzi-Agro A, Maccarrone M. Effect of RNAlater on lipoxygenase activity and expression, and immune cell apoptosis: opening the gate to the "ROALD" experiment aboard the space shuttle. Journal of Gravitational Physiology. 2007 July; 14(1): P131-132. PMID: 18372734.
Maccarrone M, Battista N, Meloni MA, Bari M, Galleri G, Pippia P, Cogoli A, Finazzi-Agro A. Creating conditions similar to those that occur during exposure of cells to microgravity induces apoptosis in human lymphocytes by 5-lipoxygenase-mediated mitochondrial uncoupling and cytochrome c release. Journal of Leukocyte Biology. 2003; 73: 472-481.
Model of microgravity-induced apoptosis in human lymphocytes. Image courtesy of ESA.
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