Study on the Effect of Space Environment to Embryonic Stem Cells to Their Development (Stem Cells) - 07.15.14

Overview | Description | Applications | Operations | Results | Publications | Imagery
ISS Science for Everyone

Science Objectives for Everyone

Stem Cells is an investigation that uses embryonic mouse stem cells to study  the effects of the space environment on their DNAs,  chromosomes,  and  on their development into adult mice after return to Earth. Frozen stem cells are placed in the Kibo module for periods ranging from 6 to 36 months, and then returned to Earth where scientists will microinject them into 8-cell mouse embryos that will be implanted in female mice. Investigators will also look for double-strand DNA breaks and chromosome aberrations caused by space radiation. 

Science Results for Everyone
Information Pending



The following content was provided by Takashi Morita, 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 Stem Cells

Principal Investigator(s)

  • Takashi Morita, Osaka City University, Osaka, Japan

  • Co-Investigator(s)/Collaborator(s)
  • Kayo Yoshida, Osaka City University, Osaka, Japan
  • Shuhei Yoshida, Osaka City University, Japan
  • Francis A. Cucinotta, Ph.D., University of Nevada, Las Vegas, NV, United States
  • Megumi Hada, Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX, United States
  • Kiyomi Eguchi-Kasai, NIRS, Japan

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

    Sponsoring Space Agency
    Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)

    Sponsoring Organization
    Unknown

    Research Benefits
    Information Pending

    ISS Expedition Duration
    September 2012 - October 2015

    Expeditions Assigned
    33/34,35/36,37/38,39/40,41/42,43/44

    Previous ISS Missions
    Information Pending

    ^ back to top



    Experiment Description

    Research Overview

    • Space contains a higher level of cosmic radiation, including Galactic Cosmic Rays (GCR) and Solar Particle Events (SPE). Therefore, it is extremely important to estimate their effects to the organisms to predict and develop countermeasures for the human body to protect it from those influences. In the future, there is a great possibility of reproduction and development in space, these radiation events can pose serious problems  during a long duration stay in space.

    • The survival ratios of Embryonic Stem (ES) cells to space radiation will be analyzed using colony formation. At the same time we can also detect the DNA double-strand breaks and chromosome aberrations of ES cells will be assessed using antibodies against the phosphorylated histone H2AX and in situ hybridization techniques. From these experiments we can estimate the extent of space radiation onboard ISS. The ES cells will be microinjected and cultured in vitro, and their development can be followed by time-lapse microscopy. The surviving chimeric embryos will be implanted to pseudo-pregnant mouse uterus and their birth will be examined. From these experiments, we can detect influence of  space radiation through subsequent generations.

    • Our data obtained from mouse ES cells will be extrapolated to human cells and embryos, and will be used for studying the protection of human body staying for long duration in  space.

     

    Description

    The Japanese Experiment Module “Kibo” is completed, and long duration manned missions on board the International Space Station is now a reality. However, space contains a lot of ionizing radiation, including heavy ions. So, it is extremely important to estimate their effects to the organisms to predict and develop countermeasures for the human body from those influences, considering that these radiation events could also pose problems for future reproduction and development in organisms during long duration stays in space.


    Because, it is difficult to breed animals in the space to examine the influence of the space radiation and micro-gravity for long time, the embryonic stem cells are frozen and will be launched into space. Hardware is Stem Cells Sample Case containing frozen ES Cells and Bio Dosimeter for radiation measurement. After the ES cells are returned to the ground, survival rate of ES cells to space radiation will be analyzed using colony formation. At the same time we can also detect the DNA double-strand breaks and chromosome aberrations of ES cells will be also quantified after exposure to space radiation, using antibodies against the phosphorylated histone H2AX and in situ hybridization techniques. From these experiments we can estimate the extent of space radiation on board ISS. Then, the ES cells will be microinjected and cultured in vitro, and their development can be followed by time-lapse microscopy. The surviving chimeric embryos will be implanted into pseudo-pregnant mouse uterus and their birth will be examined. From these experiments, we can assess influence of the space radiation through subsequent generations.
     

    ^ back to top



    Applications

    Space Applications

    Space poses a severe radiation hazard from galactic cosmic rays, solar energetic particles, and other sources, including secondary neutrons from the body itself. Results from the Stem Cells investigation will help scientists understand the extent of influence to human body and development as well as mechanisms of DNA repair in humans and other animals against space radiation.

    Earth Applications

    Radiation also is a low-level hazard on Earth from natural and man-made sources. Results from the Stem Cells investigation will help scientists assess the safety of human body to such hazards and also that of long-term management and conservation of stem cells in regenerative medicine.

    ^ back to top



    Operations

    Operational Requirements

    Cold Stowage requirement:Stem Cells Sample Case and Bio Dosimeter stored at -95°C from launch to recovery. Please provide temperature data of Ascent, On-orbit (once a week) and Descent. 5min interval is preferable. Please stow Bio Dosimeter (not attached Stem Cells Sample Case) in Vial bag (3 X 5 mesh bag) on orbit.

    Operational Protocols

    5 Stem Cells Sample Cases containing Mouse embryonic stem cells will be launched at -95°C on SpaceX. Bio Dosimeters (PADLES packages) will be launched and returned regularly by SpaceX or any vehicle for long-term radiation measurement. Stem Cells Sample Cases and Bio Dosimeters should be stored at -95°C in MELFI until return from orbit (for about (1) 6 month, (2) 12 months, (3) 18 months, (4) 24 months, (5) 36 months). Stem Cells Sample Cases should be returned one by one at -95°C.
     

    ^ back to top



    Results/More Information

    ^ back to top



    Related Websites

    ^ back to top



    Imagery

    image Stem Cells Sample Case. Image courtesy of JAXA.
    + View Larger Image


    image A “Stem Cells Sample Case” in a mock up of MELFI 1/2 box module. Image courtesy of JAXA.
    + View Larger Image


    image Cryo tubes in the Case. Image courtesy of JAXA.
    + View Larger Image