Navigation Links
Experiment aboard shuttle Atlantis will test novel therapy to build bone during space travel
Date:7/6/2011

BOSTON Astronauts lose a significant amount of bone mass during space travel and with long duration flights there is concern that this bone loss could lead to an increased risk of fractures. When the final mission of NASA's 30-year Space Shuttle program is launched on July 8, an animal experiment to test a novel therapy to increase bone mass will be on board.

Led by a consortium of scientists from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC), Amgen, Inc., UCB, BioServe Space Technologies and the University of North Carolina, and funded by NASA's Ames Research Center, the research will not only address a serious problem that affects astronauts who spend weeks and months in a low-gravity environment, but may also yield novel insights into the prevention and treatment of skeletal fragility among patients on earth who are less active due to aging or illness.

"Mechanical loading is required to maintain musculoskeletal health," explains Co-Principal Investigator Mary Bouxsein, PhD, a scientist in BIDMC's Center for Advanced Orthopaedic Studies and Assistant Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at Harvard Medical School.

"On earth, our bones experience mechanical forces from being pushed and pulled by muscles that work against gravity to keep us upright and moving around, as well as from the impact of our body weight against the ground," she explains. "These forces are much lower in micro-gravity environments and, as a result, the rate of bone loss among astronauts is about 10 times greater than that seen in postmenopausal women. So, while this research is designed to better understand and prevent skeletal fragility among astronauts, it may also tell us a great deal about the future potential of this novel therapy to improve bone strength here on earth, in both older persons and in individuals with reduced physical activity due to various clinical conditions, such as stroke, spinal cord injury or cerebral palsy."

NASA's Commercial Biomedical Test Module (CBTM-3) experiment will examine whether the use of an antibody that blocks the action of the protein sclerostin can lead to gains in bone mass and thereby prevent skeletal deterioration. (The sclerostin molecule is a potent inhibitor of bone formation that is produced by osteocytes, bone cells which form a "nerve-like" network that enable the skeleton to "feel" and respond to mechanical strain.)

"This proof-of-principle study will enhance our understanding of the science behind the sclerostin antibody and arm us with important research to support potential future therapeutic applications in both astronauts and patients suffering from bone loss," notes Amgen Scientific Executive Director Chris Paszty, PhD.

Thirty mice will be flown in space, with half of the animals given a preflight injection of the sclerostin antibody and the remaining mice receiving a placebo. After the flight lands (following 12 days in space), various aspects of the structure, composition, strength and cell and molecular nature of the bones from the flight and ground-based control mice will be analyzed.

"When the mice come back from space, we hope to learn what the effects of microgravity are on the skeleton and on the muscle," explains Bouxsein. "We also want to find out if this new type of therapy will be able to counteract those profound effects and actually promote bone gain in a microgravity environment.

"One in two women and one in five men over age 50 will suffer a fracture resulting from osteoporosis [and bone loss] during their remaining lifetime," she adds. "These fractures have profound personal and societal consequences. With the increasing age of the population there is urgent need to develop bone-building therapies to prevent this type of potentially debilitating injury."


'/>"/>

Contact: Bonnie Prescott
bprescot@bidmc.harvard.edu
617-667-7306
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Experimental Drug Bests Chemo in Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Study
2. Experimental Vaccine Seems to Cure Prostate Cancer in Mice
3. ASCO: Experimental vaccine made from frozen immune cells shows promise for prostate cancer patients
4. Ex-Dallas Maverick survives rare form of leukemia thanks to experimental drug treatment
5. Experimental treatment offers relief from painful prostate condition
6. Christos Mantzoros honored by Federation of the American Societies for Experimental Biology
7. Experimental Test May Warn of Premature Births
8. Experts at Experimental Biology examine dietary cholesterol, egg intake and heart disease risk
9. Experimental Weight-Loss Drug Seems to Work: Study
10. Experimental drug achieves unprecedented weight loss
11. Science at a glance: Symposia, research and special events at Experimental Biology 2011
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/22/2017)... ... 22, 2017 , ... The Waismann Method® is providing a faster, ... recently fallen victim to America’s opioid epidemic. Now, opiate dependent individuals can be treated ... free from the shame, stigma, and harmful labeling believed to prevent many ...
(Date:2/22/2017)... ... February 22, 2017 , ... The National Academy of Certified ... the April 2017 testing period. NACCM, a nonprofit organization, has provided the premier ... exam is periodically re-calibrated to ensure that newly certified professionals are prepared to ...
(Date:2/22/2017)... ... February 22, 2017 , ... Giving ... fewer trips the emergency room, fewer hospital admissions, and better blood pressure and ... Care® (AJMC®) finds. The study can be found here . , The ...
(Date:2/22/2017)... ... 2017 , ... In a 2012 survey, over a quarter ... a prescription because they could not afford to pay for it. Among those ... At the same time, hospitals, pharmacies, manufacturers and nursing homes dispose ...
(Date:2/22/2017)... Los Angeles, CA (PRWEB) , ... February 22, 2017 , ... ... with the recent addition of esteemed ophthalmologist, Dr. Steven H. Rauchman, practicing at ... are common in auto accidents, product liability, premise liability and other personal injury cases. ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/23/2017)... , February 23, 2017 ... report on the global market for intraoperative imaging, ... presently valued at US$ 513.9 million. According to ... keep surging on the grounds of increasing adoption ... the field of diagnostic imaging for neurosurgeries. The ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... The top three players dominating ... Koninklijke Philips N.V., and Schiller. Collectively, these companies held ... in 2015. Strong product portfolio and a monumental geographical ... aiding these players remain leaders in the fragmented competitive ... the global market are likely to focus on mergers ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... On Wednesday, February 22, 2017, US markets saw ... sectors finished the trading sessions in green, four closed in ... indices were also mixed at the close of yesterday,s session. ... by 0.09%; the Dow Jones Industrial Average edged 0.16% higher, ... 2,362.82, down 0.11%. This Thursday morning, Stock-Callers.com looks at the ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: