Task Ionizing Radiation and its Effects on Cardiovascular Function in the Context of Space Flight (Completed)
Last Published:  04/20/22 11:43:24 AM (Central)
Short Title: IR Cardio
Responsible HRP Element: Space Radiation
Collaborating Org(s):
Funding Status: Completed - Task completed and produced a deliverable
Procurement Mechanism(s):
Hypothesis 1: Charged particles (iron ions) will produce an acute oxidative stress event characterized by cellular and tissue injury expressed by endothelial and myocardial dysfunction.

Specific Aim 1: Time- and dose-responses for multiple indices of endothelial and myocardial function will be established in adult Wistar rats exposed to 600 MeV/n Fe (iron) beams at the NASA Space Radiation Laboratory, Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL). Animals will studied non-invasively and tissues will be collected for histological, functional and molecular analyses using methods established in our laboratory at different time points. Indices of normal tissue function and homeostasis to be investigated include:

a) Endothelium: 1) vascular stiffness by Doppler effect using pulse wave velocity; 2) endothelial function in isolated vascular ring tissue and microvessels; 3) markers of apoptosis in vascular tissue.

b) Heart: 1) myocardial contractile function and contractile reserve in vivo; 2) contractility and contractile reserve in vitro in isolated cardiac myocytes; 3) markers of apoptosis in cardiac tissue (as above).

Hypothesis 2: Iron irradiation-induced endothelial and myocardial contractile dysfunction results from the specific imbalance in NO signaling induced by increased ROS production.

Specific Aim 2: To determine the whether low-fluences of iron ions alter the balance in NO signaling as a function of increased ROS production thereby impairing endothelial and myocardial function. Radiation doses will be selected based on results of Aim 1 and animals will be sacrificed for detailed analyses at various time points as in Aim 1. Vascular and heart tissues from adult Wistar rats exposed to 600 MeV/n Fe ions will be collected and we will measure:

1) NO bioavailability in vascular rings and NOx in plasma , 2) NOS activity using fluorescent dye in heart and blood vessels, 3) ROS levels using chemiluminescence and fluorescence bioassays, 4) Nitroso-tyrosine expression in vascular and cardiac tissue using Western blot analysis.

Hypothesis 3: XO, NOS, and arginase pathways play a critical role in the cardiovascular response to HZE particle radiation.

Specific Aim 3: Rats will be exposed to 600 MeV/n iron ions to determine the specific roles of XO, NOS and arginase in modulating cellular and tissue response to charge particle-induced oxidative stress. Radiation doses will be selected based on results of Aims 1-2 and animals will be sacrificed for detailed analyses at various time points as in Aim 1 for the following endpoints:

1) expression and activity of NOS, Arginase and XO at an RNA and protein level using quatitative PCR, Western blot and immunohistochemistry in heart and blood vessels; 2) Enzyme activity using specific inhibitors of each of the enzymes both alone and in combination with our in vitro vascular ring bioassay and isolated cardiac myocytes; 3) The effect of specific inhibitors on bioassays of ROS and NO (as in Aim 2). Hypothesis 4: Enzyme inhibitors and ROS scavengers will modulate early and late cardiovascular toxicity of low-fluences of iron ions.
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