Morphofunctional Characteristic of Blood Cells and the Intensity of Erythropoiesis in Humans by the Influence of Factors of Space Flight (Gematologia (Haematology)) - 10.25.17

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Erythropoiesis is the production of new red blood cells and removal of old ones. This investigation examined that process to determine the ideal level of red blood cells astronauts need to readapt to terrestrial gravity. Results confirmed that the anemia astronauts often experience in space is caused by many factors in addition to decreased red blood cell production. Those factors may include ineffective erythropoiesis, cell metabolism changes, and premature removal of red blood cells from the bloodstream. The data will support future diagnosis and treatment of space anemia and related conditions in spaceflight and blood system conditions on Earth.

The following content was provided by S M. Ivanova, and is maintained in a database by the ISS Program Science Office.
Experiment Details


Principal Investigator(s)
S M. Ivanova, Institute of Medical and Biological Problems of Russian Academy of Sciences (IMBP RAS), Russia

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Sponsoring Space Agency
Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos)

Sponsoring Organization
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Research Benefits
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ISS Expedition Duration
April 2004 - September 2006

Expeditions Assigned

Previous Missions
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Experiment Description

Research Overview
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Deriving new data on the space flight factors impact on the human blood system to extend diagnostic and prognostic capabilities of detecting mechanisms of arising shifts in hematologic indices ("space anemia", lymphocytosis).

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Space Applications
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Earth Applications
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Operational Requirements and Protocols
Samples of venous blood in KV-03 container; Eritrotsit' kit with fingertip blood samples; Data on hemoglobin content transmitted via radio links; The logbook sheets with crew members' records.
Collecting samples of venous and capillary blood with the aim: to study erythrocyte forms; to investigate metabolism of erythrocytes, cell membrane conditions, indices of ferrum metabolism and erythropoetin content in blood.

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Decadal Survey Recommendations

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Results/More Information

Stimulation of erythropoiesis (increased erythropoietin, reduced level of iron in the blood, removal of poor-quality and old erythrocytes) during the re-adaptation period was aimed at supporting the optimal level of red blood cells necessary for the increased oxygen demand in tissues subjected to terrestrial gravity and increased muscular loads. Thus, the results obtained from the Gematologiya experiment indicated that the observed effect of spaceflight factors corresponded with the expected effect. The assumption that the cause of space anemia has many factors in addition to the decrease in RBC production was confirmed. The reduction in the number of erythrocytes may also be linked to the activation of ineffective erythropoiesis, the disruption of iron exchange, a shift in the metabolic status of the cells, and destabilization of the cell membrane, which may lead to premature removal of erythrocytes from the bloodstream.

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Results Publications

    Ivanova SM, Maksimov GV, Morukov BV, Yarlikova YV, Labetskaya OI, Luneva OG, Maksimova NV, Brazhe NA, Bryzgalova NY, Parshina EY.  Role of the Elasticity and Permeability of the Plasma Membrane of Erythrocytes in Regulating the Effectiveness of Hemoglobin Oxygen Transport in Humans after Completion of a Spaceflight. Aviakosmicheskaia i Ekologicheskaia Meditsina (Aerospace and Environmental Medicine). 2007; 41(2): 41-44.

    Ivanova SM, Morukov BV, Labetskaya OI, Yarlikova YV, Levina AA, Shishkanova ZG.  Red Blood of Cosmonauts During Missions Aboard the International Space Station (ISS). Human Physiology. 2010 December 24; 36(7): 877-881. DOI: 10.1134/S0362119710070236. [Original Russian Text © S.M. Ivanova, B.V. Morukov, O.I. Labetskaya, Yu.V. Yarlikova, A.A. Levina, Z.G. Shishkanova, 2007, published in Aviakosmicheskaya i Ekologicheskaya Meditsina, 2007, Vol. 41, No. 6, pp. 28–33.]

    Ivanova SM, Brazhe NA, Luneva OG, Yarlikova YV, Labetskaya OI, Parshina EY, Baizhumanov AA, Maksimov GV, Morukov BV.  Physical-chemical Properties of Plasma Membrane and Function of Erythrocytes of Cosmonauts After Long-term Space Flight. Acta Astronautica. 2011; 68: 1517-1522. DOI: 10.1016/j.actaastro.2010.06.046.

    Ivanova SM, Morukov BV, Labetskaya OI, Yarlikova YV, Levina AA, Kozinets GI.  Morphobiochemical research on the red blood cell system in primary crewmembers on the International Space Station. Aviakosmicheskaia i Ekologicheskaia Meditsina (Aerospace and Environmental Medicine). 2006; 40(3): 9-16.

    Grigoriev AI, Ivanova SM, Morukov BV, Maksimov GV.  Development of Cell Hypoxia Induced by Factors of Long-term Spaceflight. Doklady Biochemistry and Biophysics. 2008; 422: 308-311. DOI: 10.1134/S1607672908050141. PMID: 19024564.

    Morukov BV, Ivanova SM, Maksimov GV, Yarlikova YV, Labetskaya OI, Luneva OG, Maksimova NV, Brazhe NA, Bryzgalova NY, Parshina EY, Nemirovskaya TL.  Investigation of the fluidity and permeability of human erythrocyte plasma membrane and the efficacy of oxygen transfer by hemoglobin during rehabilitation period after space flight. Journal of Gravitational Physiology. 2006; 13(1): 139-141.

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Ground Based Results Publications

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ISS Patents

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Related Publications

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Related Websites
Energia - Science Research on the ISS Russian Segment

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image Plasma-03 centrifuge for blood separation into serum and plasma. Image courtesy of Russian Space Agency (Energia Website).
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