Effect of microgravity on osteoclasts and the analysis of the gravity sensing system in medaka (Medaka Osteoclast 2) - 03.12.14

Overview | Description | Applications | Operations | Results | Publications | Imagery
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Crewmembers’ bone density decreases during space flight in part because of the influence of osteoclasts, which are bone-absorbing cells. The molecular mechanisms that develop osteoclasts are still being investigated. In the Medaka Osteoclast 2 investigation, scientists examine medaka fish living in microgravity; these fish have translucent bodies, and have been genetically modified with fluorescent proteins to allow clearer observation of their cellular and genetic changes during space flight.
 

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This content was provided by Akira Kudo, and is maintained in a database by the ISS Program Science Office.
Information provided courtesy of the Japan Aerospace and Exploration Agency (JAXA).

Experiment Details

OpNom

Principal Investigator(s)

  • Akira Kudo, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Japan

  • Co-Investigator(s)/Collaborator(s)
  • Masahiro Chatani, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Yokohama, Japan

  • Developer(s)
    Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, Space Environment Utilization Center, Tsukuba, , Japan

    Sponsoring Space Agency
    Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)

    Sponsoring Organization
    Information Pending

    Research Benefits
    Information Pending

    ISS Expedition Duration
    September 2013 - March 2014

    Expeditions Assigned
    37/38

    Previous ISS Missions
    Medaka Osteoclast in Inc 33/34. 

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    Experiment Description

    Research Overview

    • During space flight, bone mineral density is decreased by the influence of osteoclast activation, which molecular mechanism is expectantly investigated.

    • In the study of medaka bone development, we investigated the system of vertebra formation, and firstly identified the presence of osteoclasts in medaka. Moreover, osteoclast resorbing activity was affected by hypergravity, indicating the possibility that we can investigate the effect of microgravity on osteoclasts in space. To find this effect, we examine the alteration of osteoclast activity under microgravity with the histological analysis or the expression analysis by RNA in-situ hybridization. Furthermore, since we have succeeded the establishment of the medaka osteoclast-specific transgenic lines, we perform the in-vivo imaging analyses for gene expression and cell mobility. 

    • The results of this experiment will give information to elucidate the molecular mechanism of decrease of bone mineral density in the space flight.

    Description

    During space flight, bone mineral density is decreased by the influence of osteoclast activation, which molecular mechanism is expectantly investigated. In the study of medaka bone development, we investigated the system of vertebra formation, and firstly identified the presence of osteoclasts in medaka. Moreover, osteoclast rsorbing activity was affected by hypergravity, indicating the possibility that we can investigate the effect of microgravity on osteoclasts in space. To find this effect, we examine the alteration of osteoclast activity under microgravity with the histological analysis or the expression analysis by RNA in-situ hybridization. Furthermore, since we have succeeded the establishment of the medaka osteoclast-specific transgenic lines, we perform the in-vivo imaging analyses for gene expression and cell mobility. Finally, to examine the gravity sensing system, we employ tooth and bone as the high density organs, which are highly sensitive to gravity, and perform the histological analysis and the gene expression analysis of such gravity-sensitive tissues at surrounding pharyngeal teeth and supporting bone.

     

    The Microscope Observation System is consists of the Microscope, the Power/Control Unit, and the VGA/NTSC Converter. This system is a remotely controllable misroscope for various biological experiments, especially for aquatic experiments with medaka or zebrafish.

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    Applications

    Space Applications

    Results from Medaka Osteoclast 2 can provide insight into the molecular mechanisms underlying bone density loss during spaceflight. Using this information, scientists may be able to develop more effective countermeasures for bone density loss on future space missions.

    Earth Applications

    Patients on bed rest, those with limited mobility, and patients with age-related osteoporosis also suffer bone density loss. Results from Medaka Osteoclast 2 can provide data that may be used to develop new drugs and treatments for these patients.

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    Operations

    Operational Requirements

    1) The Microscope Observation System should be assembled in the MSPR Work Volume before fish arrival and final checkout should be performed.
    2) Setup of Sample Chamber to the Microscope and the observation experiment should be started within 12hrs after Soyuz docking.
    3) Microscope Image Data will downlink from Laptop PC after each observation.
    4) Temp Logger should be returned by SpaceX.

    Operational Protocols

    Assemble the Microscope Observation system in the MSPR WV and perform checkout. Unstow Sample Chamber from Sample Container and set the Chamber on the Microscope Stage. Stow Sample Containers in the CBEF. Unstow Sample Chamber from the CBEF and Change. Disassemble and Stow the Microscope Observation System.

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    Results/More Information

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    Related Websites

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    Imagery

    image JAXA Astronaut Akihiko Hoshide transferring fish to the Aquatic Habitat facility on-board the International Space Station during Increment 33/34.
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    image Sample Observation Kit. Image courtesy of JAXA.
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    image Fluorescence imaging of medaka osteoclast. Image courtesy of JAXA.
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    image Image courtesy of JAXA.Microscope Observation System. Image courtesy of JAXA.
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