1. Home
  2. For Corporate & Research Institute
  3. Experiment at Kibo
  4. JAXA’s Utilization Themes
  5. Multi-omics analysis of human-microbial metabolic cross-talk in the space ecosystem
  • post-flight analysis

Multi-omics analysis of human-microbial metabolic cross-talk in the space ecosystem

  • Human Research

ISS Science for Everyone


The Multi-Omics Analysis of Human Microbial-Metabolic Cross-talk in the Space Ecosystem (Multi-Omics-Mouse) investigation evaluates the impact of the space environment and prebiotics on mice immune function. This is accomplished by combining the data obtained from the measurements of changes in the gut microbiological composition, metabolites profiles, and the immune system in the subject mice.

Experiment Description


It has been suggested that living aboard the International Space Station (ISS) likely causes immune dysfunction in crew members, but the precise underlying mechanisms for this dysfunction is not well understood. Recent studies indicate that imbalance in gut microbiota composition, or dysbiosis, resulting from a variety of environmental stresses, could lead to various diseases including immune system dysfunction. Therefore, metagenomic analysis of the gut microbiota is important. Data from the observation of mice living on-orbit can complement astronauts’ data by presenting tissue samples that cannot be collected in human research. By combining mouse and human research results, candidates of bacterial and/or metabolic biomarkers for immune dysfunction can be identified, which could then be utilized for the development methods to amend observed microbial imbalances in humans during spaceflight.



Multi-Omics-Mouse supports space exploration by expanding understanding of immune system function in space. A better understanding of how digestive tract microbial communities affect immune organs can provide information in the development of strategies for supporting astronaut health during long-term space missions.


Multi-Omics-Mouse provides new information on the microbial ecology of the mammalian digestive tract under the unusual conditions of spaceflight. This information shows the growing field of microbiology, and can strengthen understanding of the links between overall health and digestive tract flora.



Twelve mice, consisting of 6 mice normal-food-fed and the others 5% fructo-oligosaccharide (FOS)-fed live in microgravity, or artificial gravity, aboard the International Space Station (ISS) for 4 weeks. Fecal samples are collected pre-flight, in-flight (L+2 weeks, L+4 weeks), and post-flight. After return to Earth, blood, and various tissues including thymus, spleen, small intestine, Peyer's patch, large intestine, blind gut content, inguinal lymph, adrenal gland, bone marrow, liver, and muscle are also collected. Ground control mice are treated as same as space-flown mice. These samples are subjected to metagenome, metabolome, gene expression profiling analysis in order to reveal the whole picture of changes in intestinal microbiota in response to space/ground environmental differences.



OHNO Hiroshi [RIKEN]

Unless specified otherwise, rights to all images belong to ©JAXA