The Antibody V(D)J Recombination Machinery in Normal and Altered Gravity (Amphibody) - 11.22.16

Overview | Description | Applications | Operations | Results | Publications | Imagery

ISS Science for Everyone

Science Objectives for Everyone
The Antibody V(D)J Recombination Machinery in Normal and Altered Gravity (Amphibody) experiment looks at how the immune system is affected by space flight. As plans for longterm missions continue to develop, alterations of immunity could seriously impair the ability of the host to deal with infections. Up to now, research has mainly focused on innate immunity and T cell responses, whereas B cell-mediated responses have been almost unexplored. During B cell development, the antibody repertoire is created by the assembly of many V genes, D (only for the heavy chains) and J segments. This process is mediated by the V(D)J recombination machinery.
Science Results for Everyone
This experiment with newt (amphibian) embryos in space revealed that changing gravity increased the production of Immunoglobulin M (IgM), a major antibody in the body and is the first type of antibodies made in response to an infection. The production of B-type white blood cells also changed when developing embryos experienced changes in gravity. Astronauts and people under chronic stress on earth often have depressed white blood cell responses, reactivation of latent viruses, and increases in the number of another white blood cell type - peripheral blood neutrophils.  This information may be used to help those with weakened immune systems on Earth.

The following content was provided by Jean-Pol Frippiat, and is maintained in a database by the ISS Program Science Office.
Information provided courtesy of the Erasmus Experiment Archive.
Experiment Details

OpNom:

Principal Investigator(s)
Jean-Pol Frippiat, University of Lorraine, Nancy, France

Co-Investigator(s)/Collaborator(s)
Eberhard R. Horn, University of Ulm, Ulm, Germany
Christian Dournon, Universite Henri Poincare, Nancy, France
H Membre, Universite Henri Poincare, Vandoeuvre-les-Nancy, France
B. Schaerlinger, France
G Sonnenfeld, Morehouse School of Medicine, Atlanta, GA, United States

Developer(s)
University of Nancy, Nancy, France

Sponsoring Space Agency
European Space Agency (ESA)

Sponsoring Organization
Information Pending

Research Benefits
Earth Benefits, Scientific Discovery

ISS Expedition Duration
April 2006 - September 2006

Expeditions Assigned
13

Previous Missions
Information Pending

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Experiment Description

Research Overview

Using the urodele amphibian Pleurodeles waltl as a model, the objectives of this experiment are:
  • To determine if exposure to microgravity during embryonic development affects the expression of antibody V(D)J recombination genes;
  • To clearly distinguish the effects of microgravity on V(D)J recombination processes during embryonic development by use of an in-flight 1g centrifuge control;
  • Post-flight measurement of vestibuloocular reflex (a normal reflex in which eye position compensates for movement of the head) of tadpoles which developed during spaceflight;
  • Morphological, chemical, and crystallographic studies of otoconia, small calcium carbonate crystals that reside in the part of the inner ear that help to maintain balance, from tadpoles which developed during spaceflight.

Description
The immune system is an important regulatory mechanism affected by space flight. As plans for longterm missions continue to develop, alterations of immunity could seriously impair the ability of the host to deal with infections. Up to now, research has mainly focused on innate immunity and T cell responses, whereas B cell-mediated responses have been almost unexplored. During B cell development, the antibody repertoire is created by the assembly of many V genes, D (only for the heavy chains) and J segments. This process is mediated by the V(D)J recombination machinery. Using the urodele amphibian Pleurodeles waltl as a model, the objectives of this experiment are: To determine if exposure to microgravity during embryonic development affects the expression of antibody V(D)J recombination genes; to clearly distinguish the effects of microgravity on V(D)J recombination processes during embryonic development by use of an in-flight 1g centrifuge control; post-flight measurement of vestibuloocular reflex of tadpoles which developed during spaceflight; morphological, chemical and crystallographic studies of otoconia from tadpoles which developed during spaceflight.

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Applications

Space Applications
Information Pending

Earth Applications
Information Pending

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Operations

Operational Requirements and Protocols
Determine if exposure to microgravity during embryonic development affects the expression of antibody V(D)J recombination genes.

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Decadal Survey Recommendations

Information Pending

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Results/More Information

Data from this experiment will allow to determine if exposure to microgravity during embryonic development affects the expression of antibody V(D)J recombination genes. The immune system is an important regulatory mechanism affected by space flight. As plan for long-term missions continue to develop, alterations of immunity could seriously impair the ability of the host to deal with infections. Up to now, research has mainly focused on innate immunity and T cell responses, whereas B cell-mediated responses have been almost unexplored. During B cell development, the antibody repertoire is created by the assembly of many V genes, D (only for the heavy chains) and J segments. This process is mediated by the V(D)J recombination machinery. The experiment will analyze the V(D)J recombination products obtained when P. waltl developed in space. Embryos will be allowed to develop during 10 days of spaceflight in EADS Mini-Aquaria, either in microgravity or on a 1g control centrifuge. Postflight animals will be sacrificed either immediately on recovery, 1 month or 6 months postlflight. The vestibulo ocular reflex of the tadpoles will also be measured, along with the properties of otoconia.

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Results Publications

    Gabriel M, Frippiat J, Frey H, Horn ER.  The Sensitivity of an Immature Vestibular System to Altered Gravity. Journal of Experimental Zoology Part A: Ecological Genetics and Physiology. 2012; 317(6): 333-346. DOI: 10.1002/jez.1727.

    Schenten V, Gu├ęguinou N, Baatout S, Frippiat J.  Modulation of Pleurodeles waltl DNA polymerase mu expression by extreme conditions encountered during spaceflight. PLOS ONE. 2013 July 31; 8(7): e69647. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0069647. PMID: 23936065.

    Frippiat J.  Contribution of the urodele amphibian Pleurodeles waltl to the analysis of spaceflight-associated immune system deregulation. Molecular Immunology. 2013 December; 56(4): 434-441. DOI: 10.1016/j.molimm.2013.06.011.

    Huin-Schohn C, Gu├ęguinou N, Schenten V, Bascove M, Gauquelin-Koch G, Baatout S, Tschirhart E, Frippiat J.  Gravity changes during animal development affect IgM heavy-chain transcription and probably lymphopoiesis. FASEB: Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology Journal. 2013 January; 27(1): 333-341. DOI: 10.1096/fj.12-217547. PMID: 22993194.

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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
ESA Erasmus Experiment Archive

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Imagery