• Methods of temperature & metabolism reduction in rats and possible influence on human health

      Bailey, Isaac R.; Drew, Kelly L.; Kuhn, Thomas B.; Rasley, Brian T. (2017-10)
      Spaceflight poses unique and significant hazards; the maintenance of human health remains a large part of the National Aeronautic and Space Administration (NASA) strategic goals and work remains to be done if we wish to maintain a long-term presence in space. The effects of ionizing radiation and bone density loss are some of the primary health related problems which need to be addressed. One of the main purposes of this research is to translate aspects of thermoregulation and metabolism reduction in hibernating species to a non-hibernating species in- order to devise alternative methods of preventing DNA damage and loss of bone density in astronauts. A second purpose for this research applies the same approach in emergency medicine, having potential as conjunctive therapy for cardiac arrest victims. Targeted temperature management (TTM; formerly known as therapeutic hypothermia) is the standard of care for these patients and is applied to increase survival rates and reduces neurological deficit. Stimulating Central Nervous System (CNS) A1 adenosine receptors inhibits shivering and non-shivering thermogenesis, inducing a hibernation-like response in hibernating species. A similar phenomenon occurs when using this technique in non-hibernating species such as rats. The adenosine A1 agonist, N6-cyclohexyladenosine (CHA) was utilized in all 3 of the experiments to determine how dose, diet, ambient temperature, and finally surface temperature affects the thermoregulatory response in Sprague-dawley rats. In addition to CHA, the partial agonist capadenoson was also tested for thermolytic efficacy (that is, the efficacy to abolish thermogenesis). Surface temperature control using a temperature controlled cage designed and built by myself in combination with IV CHA was found to be most effective in maintaining a target temperature of 32°C without risk of over-cooling. Results from these experiments suggests that the new standard technique in studying TTM using small animals should be similar to what is currently used in clinics; surface temperature modulation.