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Development of the Gecko (Pachydactylus turneri) Animal Model during Foton M-2 to Study Comparative Effects of Microgravity in Terrestrial and Aquatic OrganismsTerrestrial organisms exposed to microgravity during spaceflight experience degeneration in bone, muscle, and possibly other tissues that require gravity-mediated mechanical stimulation for normal regenerative growth. In the Gecko experiment aboard Foton M-2, we flew for the first time, five terrestrial Pachydactylus turneri specimens to develop a model of microgravity effects comparable to the newt Pleurodeles waltl, a well-established model organism for spaceflight. These lower vertebrate species have similar body plans and size, are poikilothermic, have tissue regenerative ability, and are adapted to moderate periods of fasting. Furthermore the gecko (Pachydactylus) can also survive prolonged periods without water. In pre-flight control experiments and after a 16-day Foton M-2 spaceflight without food or water, the geckos were recovered and showed no apparent negative health effects. However, detailed analysis of bone mass and architecture by micro Computed Tomography { pCT), showed that both synchronous control and spaceflight animals lost significant amounts of cancellous bone in the distal femur and humerus relative to basal controls. In addition, cell cycle analysis of 30h post-flight liver tissue reveals a shift of DNA content from G2 and S to G1, both in spaceflight and synchronous controls. Together, these results suggest that housing conditions alone induce rapid catabolism of cancellous bone and reduced normal tissue regeneration. Further use of the gecko Puchydactylus turneri as a spaceflight model requires modification of housing conditions, possibly by including water and food, or changing other factors such as eliminating housing stresses to obtain stable bone structure and tissue regeneration during spaceflight experiments.
Document ID
20070022709
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
Authors
Almeida, E. A. (NASA Johnson Space Center Houston, TX, United States)
Roden, C. (NASA Johnson Space Center Houston, TX, United States)
Phillips, J. A. (NASA Johnson Space Center Houston, TX, United States)
Globus, R. K. (NASA Johnson Space Center Houston, TX, United States)
Searby, N. (NASA Johnson Space Center Houston, TX, United States)
Vercoutere, W. (NASA Johnson Space Center Houston, TX, United States)
Morey-Holton, E. (NASA Johnson Space Center Houston, TX, United States)
Gulimova, V. (Academy of Sciences (Russia) Moscow, Russian Federation)
Saveliev, S. (Academy of Sciences (Russia) Moscow, Russian Federation)
Tairbekov, M. (Academy of Sciences (Russia) Moscow, Russian Federation)
Iwaniec, U. T. (Oregon State Univ. Corvallis, OR, United States)
McNamra, A. J. (Oregon State Univ. Corvallis, OR, United States)
Turner, R. T. (Oregon State Univ. Corvallis, OR, United States)
Date Acquired
August 23, 2013
Publication Date
July 1, 2006
Publication Information
Publication: Journal of Gravitational Physiology, Volume 13, No. 1
Subject Category
Aerospace Medicine
Funding Number(s)
CONTRACT_GRANT: NAG9-1458
Distribution Limits
Public
Copyright
Other

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IDRelationTitle20070022623Analytic PrimaryJournal of Gravitational Physiology, Volume 13, No. 1