The Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) as Countermeasure for Retinal Damage Onboard the International Space Station: the CORM Project
Matteo Lulli ; Francesca Cialdai ; Leonardo Vignali ; et al. ; - ASI Sponsor
Sep - 2018
DOI: 10.1007/s12217-018-9652-3

journal : Microgravity Science and Technology
type: Article Journal

Cells, tissues and organs of astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS) are exposed to the damaging effects of microgravity and cosmic radiation. Space Agencies are forced to find effective therapeutic countermeasures to safeguard astronauts’ health. Since retina is one of the most vulnerable target, we undertook a project entitled The Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) as countermeasure for retinal damage onboard the International Space Station: the CORM project, funded by the Italian Space Agency (ASI) and launched in the summer 2017. We selected CoQ10 as promising candidate drug, having previously first demonstrated its direct antiapoptotic property due to its ability to inhibit mitochondrial depolarization. Beside apoptosis prevention, the parameters we are measuring to evaluate the therapeutic effectiveness of CoQ10 are attenuation of cytoskeleton modifications, lowering of telomeric DNA damages, and exome and whole transcriptome alterations. Here, we present preliminary on-ground experiments that have been carried out in human retinal pigment epithelial ARPE-19 cells and the experimental design of the CORM experiment aboard the ISS. The results obtained by the CORM project will pave the way to countermeasures for astronauts who will face long-term missions.

keywords : International Space Station Retina Coenzyme Q10 Apoptosis Microgravity Radiation

Notes : Research funded by Agenzia Spaziale Italiana (2016-6-U0)