Early studies on astronauts found that anemia (decrease of red blood cells in the blood stream) of individuals returning from a space flight was due to selective hemolysis (destruction of red blood cells), neocytolysis. The Neocytolysis investigation, can lead to treatments of different types of anemia, especially those related to renal failure or acute infections.Principal Investigator(s)
Italian Space Agency (ASI), Rome, , Italy
European Space Agency (ESA)Sponsoring Organization
Information PendingResearch Benefits
Information PendingISS Expedition Duration:
September 2006 - April 2008Expeditions Assigned
14,15,16Previous ISS Missions
For decades, it has been reproducibly demonstrated that astronauts journeying in space for even a few days return to earth with a significant, symptomatic anemia. A previously unsuspected physiologic process that selectively hemolyzes the youngest circulating red blood cells under conditions of red cell excess, termed neocytolysis, is responsible for this change. This process is operative not only in space flight, but it is generalizable to other physiologic adaptive and pathophysiologic maladaptive situations. For example, neocytolysis occurs when polycythemic individuals acclimated to high altitude are transported to sea level and can be prevented by erythropoietin (EPO) injections. Renal failure represents a pathophysiologic situation in which EPO is depressed, and neocytolysis may be related to the anemia of renal failure. The recognition of neocytolysis is leading to a fresh look at the basis underlying a number of hematologic disorders.
Information PendingEarth Applications
Information PendingOperational Protocols
Blood samples drawn from astronauts before and after a short duration space flight to ISS will be analyzed by investigators to determine the factors which contribute to neocytolysis and determine a treatment.
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