The causes of osteoporosis in microgravity may be manifold. Most of the research has been dedicated to studying bone weight loading, muscle atrophy, osteoblastic biocellular changes and paratharmone effects. These studies are focused on bone formation while little research has been performed on bone resorption. ISMC has focused on the the resorption mechanism of the osteoclast at 1-G, hyper-G during transport and in micro-gravity.
We have applied mathematical modeling to confirm our understanding of the effects of osteoblast/osteoclast changes on the balance of bone formation. Multivariable analysis helps understand how the molecular biological changes of the osteoclast in micro-gravity, with and without radiation, effects osteoporosis.
Space radiation ((gamma, proton, carbon and ion) increases the bone loss risks of microgravity exposure. This leads to premature onset of osteoporosis, fractures, arterial calcification, mineral leaching and decreased bone quality. Literature has shown that serum markers for bone formation and resorption from the ion radiation exposed rats have indicated that the bone loss is caused by increased osteoclastic bone resorption. During space flight, osteoclast activation through skeletal unloading has also been noted to cause bone loss. ISMC plans to add studies of the mechanisms associated with increased osteoclastogenesis under exposure to space radiation. We understand that osteoporosis after radiation therapy is also a problem.
This will enable not only the development of suitable anti-resorptive countermeasures requiring minimal intervention, but also in ascertaining optimal dosage for therapy. Our modeling with our University partners will help us predict the threshold RANKL concentration likely to induce increased osteoclast genesis in microgravity.
Our studies and research interest of the osteoclast can lead to new pharmaceuticals that can interfere with bone resorption in MicroG; however, the findings can also be used to prevent osteoporosis at 1G.
ISMC welcomes collaboration with experts, universities, government agencies and corporations
Osteoporosis after radiation therapy is a problem.