JAXA Mouse Habitat Unit (JAXA Mouse Habitat Unit) - 05.11.16

Summary | Overview | Operations | Results | Publications | Imagery

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Science Objectives for Everyone
Mouse Habitat Unit (MHU) is an unique investigation hardware of Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) for rodent research. This facility consists of 12 mouse cages with life support system, environment controlling system and observation system. MHU is attached to the Cell Biology Experiment Facility (CBEF), which is already onboard Kibo and has a centrifuge that enables to perform experiments on microgravity and artificial gravity simultaneously.
Science Results for Everyone
Information Pending

The following content was provided by Masaki Shirakawa, and is maintained in a database by the ISS Program Science Office.
Facility Details

OpNom: JAXA Mouse Habitat Unit

Facility Manager(s)
Masaki Shirakawa, JAXA, Ibaraki, Japan

Facility Representative(s)
Hiroyasu Mizuno, Ph.D., Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, Japan

Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), Tsukuba, Japan

Sponsoring Space Agency
Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)

Sponsoring Organization
Information Pending

ISS Expedition Duration
March 2015 - March 2016

Expeditions Assigned

Previous ISS Missions
Information Pending


  • Onboard
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    Facility Description

    Facility Overview

    Mouse Habitat Unit (MHU) is capable of accommodating mouse, which is commonly used as laboratory animal. The importance of using mice as a model animal in life science is widely recognized. Using a variety of gene-modification technologies of mice, a huge number of significant biological discoveries have been achieved.
    MHU has 3 features:  individual breeding, artificial gravity and live return. It supports to evaluate more precise effects of the long-term microgravity exposure, which results can be applied to human being.
    MHU consists of four main components: mouse cage, life support system, environment controlling system and observation system. The life support system includes feeder, watering unit and waste collecting to maintain a comfortable rearing environment. The environment control system contains biological filter for odor elimination and monitors temperature, humidity, carbon dioxide and ammonia. The observation system consists of video cameras and illumination. Light Emitting Diode (LED) lights provide Light/Dark cycles for mice and provide necessary lighting for observation. Data is transmitted to the ground for monitoring and analysis.

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    Facility Operations

    • Mouse Habitat Unit (MHU) is launched by a USOS launch vehicle and transferred to ISS/Kibo for stowage.
    • The experiment begins after mice arrival during a subsequent increment in Cage Unit for Transportation with Support Unit for ECLSS (Environmental Control Life Support System).
    • Just before mice arrival, Mouse Habitat Cage Unit is installed in Cell Biology Experiment Facility (CBEF) located in the Japanese Experiment Module (JEM).
    • Following the initial checkout of the installed hardware, mice are transferred from Mouse Transportation Cage Unit into the Mouse Habitat Cages.
    • The data collection period of investigations may last more than 30 days.
    • Images and environmental data are sent to the ground for monitoring and analysis.
    • After experiment on orbit, living mice installed Cage Unit for transportation is returned to the earth.

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    Decadal Survey Recommendations

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    Results/More Information

    Information Pending

    Results Publications

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    Ground Based Results Publications

      Shimbo M, Kudo T, Hamada M, Jeon H, Imamura Y, Asano K, Okada R, Tsunakawa Y, Mizuno S, Yagami K, Ishikawa C, Li H, Shiga T, Ishida J, Hamada J, Murata K, Ishimura T, Hashimoto M, Fukamizu A, Yamane M, Ikawa M, Morita H, Shinohara M, Asahara H, Akiyama T, Akiyama N, Sasanuma H, Yoshida N, Zhou R, Wang Y, Ito T, Kokubu Y, Noguchi TK, Ishimine H, Kurisaki A, Shiba D, Mizuno H, Shirakawa M, Ito N, Takeda S, Takahashi S.  Ground-based assessment of JAXA mouse habitat cage unit by mouse phenotypic studies. Experimental Animals. 2016 January 28; epub: 45 pp. DOI: 10.1538/expanim.15-0077. PMID: 26822934.

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    ISS Patents

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    Related Publications

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    Related Websites

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