Content in this Gap was merged from 6 other Gaps show content
Last Published:  04/20/22 11:43:20 AM (Central)
Responsible Element: Human Health Countermeasures (HHC)
Status: Open
Present state of knowledge: Epidemiological evidence from atomic bomb survivors, populations receiving radiation therapy, and occupationally exposed cohorts indicates an increased risk of cardiovascular disease with the rate of cardiovascular events increasing linearly as dose to the heart tissue increases. In general, cardiovascular effects in these populations appear to be related to dose as well as volume and technique of chest irradiation (for radiation therapy patients). To translate this evidence to an astronaut population it is important to consider the impact on radiation-associated disease from lifestyle factors common to astronauts such being healthy workers, generally non-smokers, and having a level of fitness beyond that of the general population. Results from animal models demonstrate cardiovascular effects of radiation, with ongoing work to examine the effects of mixed radiation sources more representative of deep space exposures. In these biological models, radiation exposure appears to change gene expression in a time-dependent manner that increases the activity of inflammatory, free-radical scavenging, and cardiovascular function pathways with effects evident long after the exposure.

Research approach
: By monitoring human radiotherapy patients, occupational cohorts, and using animal (rodent, rabbit, mini-swine, NHPs), cell culture-, organ-on-a-chip-, and humanized rodent models in ground laboratory studies (e. g. NSRL), effects of radiation exposure on cardiovascular health will be understood, and dose-response curves for various parts of the cardiovascular system related to relevant deep-space radiation levels (GCR) be established as well as effects of duration of exposure. Monitoring of astronauts and rodents in Gateway and on Lunar surface will also be conducted and data will be analyzed by translational and computational modeling.
Target for Closure
Results/deliverables: Understanding of the contribution of deep-space radiation (degree and duration) on cardiovascular structural and functional changes of relevance for development of disease, and whether OSaD and inflammation are underlying causes.
  • Identify and validate major adverse outcome pathways and surrogate endpoints for radiation-associated cardiovascular disease outcomes.
  • Quantify the effects of space radiation on identified pathways and surrogate endpoints including RBEs, dose responses and thresholds, and dose-rate effects
  • Quantify the impact of individual susceptibility and lifestyle factors relevant to astronauts on cardiovascular disease outcomes.
  • Determine the progression rates and latency periods for radiation-associated cardiovascular disease outcomes
Risk Risk of Cardiovascular Adaptations Contributing to Adverse Mission Performance and Health Outcomes
You are here! Gap CV-102: Determine whether space radiation induces cardiovascular structural and functional changes and/or oxidative stress & damage (OSaD)/inflammation, that can contribute to development of disease.

Multi-Disciplinary Research Plans

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