1.) Assessment of the consequences of stress due to life in Space at μG with increased radiation including sleep alterations, back pain, moderate sleep hypoxia, mood and psychic stress on immunity and the autonomic nervous system (ANS), glucocorticoids (GC), the endocannabinoid (ECS) and the purinergic (PS) stress-response systems.Justification for Need of Space Experiment
2.) Association of alterations in immunity and change in the ANS, GC, ECS and PC stress-response systems and due to stress in space with alterations in cognitive and emotional functions, (epi)genetic influence and brain morphology.
1.) Stressful living conditions in space due to confinement, workload and microgravity are significantly potentiated by experienced sleep alterations, back pain and moderate (sleep-) hypoxia, altogether affecting immunity as been triggered through the autonomic nervous system (ANS), immunotropic glucocorticoids (GC), the endocannabinoid (ECS), and the purinergic (PS) stress-response systems.
2.) Changes in ANS, GC, ECS and PC stress-response systems and alterations in immunity due to stress in space are associated with alterations in cognitive and emotional functions and may also be related to affective problems.
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J.I. Buchheim, S. Matzel, M. Rykova, G. Vassilieva, S. Ponomarev, I. Nichiporuk, M. Hörl, D. Moser, K. Biere, M. Feuerecker, G. Schelling, D. Thieme, I. Kaufmann, M. Thiel, A. Choukèr, (2019), "Stress Related Shift Toward Inflammaging in Cosmonauts After Long-Duration Space Flight", Frontiers in Physiology, 10, DOI: 10.3389/fphys.2019.00085 ISSN=1664-042X, pp. 85.
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Immuno 2: Examining the stress-related weakening of the immune system. Credit: DLR (CC-BY 3.0)
Figure 1: Hypotheses: All stress response systems contribute to the immune-modulating effects of stress. Stress seems to have dichotomy effects on immune function, either immune enhancing or immunosuppressive. In space, cosmonauts/astronauts are subject to multiple different stressors likely affecting all distinct stress response systems.
Figure 2: The study includes standard tests as well as newly evolved methodological and technical means to monitor (patho-) physiological, stress-responses and stress-dependent immune changes. A set of ex vivo experiments will help to estimate pre- and post-flight radiation assessment (e.g. a higher susceptibility of immune dysfunction). Non-invasive stress monitoring from pre-, in-and post-flight will be achieved (e.g. hair samples or expiratory breath samples). DTI brain imaging will be assessed pre- and post-flight. All parameters are subject to multidisciplinary analyses. All of the effectors regulating the immune response to stress that are described in this research can be achieved by Co-I ´s and the STMs together with the cosmonauts/astronauts and equipment on the ISS.
Figure 3: Protocol draft including a pre-(2x) and a post-flight assessment with up to four (4x) points. In-flight sampling is requested to be every ~ 30 to 45 days that is between 3 and maximally 5 times during a long duration mission of 12 months (indicated by arrows), total blood volumes are indicated.
Figure 4: Comparison between Immuno 1 and Immuno 2. - also see section "Procedure".
Reference Document  J.I. Buchheim, S. Matzel, M. Rykova, G. Vassilieva, S. Ponomarev, I. Nichiporuk, M. Hörl, D. Moser, K. Biere, M. Feuerecker, G. Schelling, D. Thieme, I. Kaufmann, M. Thiel, A. Choukèr, (2019), "Stress Related Shift Toward Inflammaging in Cosmonauts After Long-Duration Space Flight", Frontiers in Physiology, 10, DOI: 10.3389/fphys.2019.00085 ISSN=1664-042X, pp. 85.