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Three-Dimensional, Transgenic Cell Models to Quantify Space Genotoxic EffectsThe space environment contains radiation and chemical agents known to be mutagenic and carcinogenic to humans. Additionally, microgravity is a complicating factor that may modify or synergize induced genotoxic effects. Most in vitro models fail to use human cells (making risk extrapolation to humans more difficult), overlook the dynamic effect of tissue intercellular interactions on genotoxic damage, and lack the sensitivity required to measure low-dose effects. Currently a need exists for a model test system that simulates cellular interactions present in tissue, and can be used to quantify genotoxic damage induced by low levels of radiation and chemicals, and extrapolate assessed risk to humans. A state-of-the-art, three-dimensional, multicellular tissue equivalent cell culture model will be presented. It consists of mammalian cells genetically engineered to contain multiple copies of defined target genes for genotoxic assessment,. NASA-designed bioreactors were used to coculture mammalian cells into spheroids, The cells used were human mammary epithelial cells (H184135) and Stratagene's (Austin, Texas) Big Blue(TM) Rat 2 lambda fibroblasts. The fibroblasts were genetically engineered to contain -a high-density target gene for mutagenesis (60 copies of lacl/LacZ per cell). Tissue equivalent spheroids were routinely produced by inoculation of 2 to 7 X 10(exp 5) fibroblasts with Cytodex 3 beads (150 micrometers in diameter). at a 20:1 cell:bead ratio, into 50-ml HARV bioreactors (Synthecon, Inc.). Fibroblasts were cultured for 5 days, an equivalent number of epithelial cells added, and the fibroblast/epithelial cell coculture continued for 21 days. Three-dimensional spheroids with diameters ranging from 400 to 600 micrometers were obtained. Histological and immunohistochemical Characterization revealed i) both cell types present in the spheroids, with fibroblasts located primarily in the center, surrounded by epithelial cells; ii) synthesis of extracellular matrix; and iii,, mitotic cells located throughout the spheroids. Spheroidal integrity and cell viability were retained for the 30-day test period after removal of spheroids from the bioreactor. Potential utility of this three-dimensional, transgenic model for genotoxicity was initially assessed by exposure of spheroids to 0-2 Gy neon at dose rates of 0.3 to 1.5 Gy/min (National Institute of Radiological Sciences, Chiba, Japan). Quantification of mutation at the lacl gene revealed a linear dose response for mutation induction. Limited sequencing analysis of mutant clones revealed higher frequencies of deletions and multiple base sequence changes with increasing dose. These results suggest that our three-dimensional, transgenic model is applicable to a wide variety of studies involving the quantification, identification, and characterization of genotoxicity incurred in space and on Earth. This model uniquely allows investigation of the interaction of relevant factors, namely cell-to-cell interactions and the mechanistic interaction of microgravity with radiation insults and DNA repair. Using this three-dimensional model will allow us to obtain dual genotoxic information (i.e., mutation rate plus chromosome aberration data) from the same system so that one endpoint can be used to reference the other, thereby increasing the fidelity of the data set. Moreover, the tissue-equivalent nature of the three-dimensional model provides high confidence for relevance of risk assessment, i.e., the establishment of quality factors directly applicable to the microgravity environment.
Document ID
Document Type
Preprint (Draft being sent to journal)
Gonda, S. R. (NASA Johnson Space Center Houston, TX United States)
Sognier, M. A. (Universities Space Research Association Houston, TX United States)
Wu, H. (Kelsey Seybold Houston, TX United States)
Pingerelli, P. L. (Stratagene LaJolla, CA United States)
Glickman, B. W. (Victoria Univ. British Columbia Canada)
Dawson, David L.
Date Acquired
August 19, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 1999
Subject Category
Aerospace Medicine
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.