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Space omics and tissue response in astronaut skeletal muscle after short and long duration missions

Blottner, D. and Moriggi, M. and Trautmann, G. and Hastermann, M. and Capitanio, D. and Torretta, E. and Block, K. and Rittweger, J. and Limper, U. and Gelfi, C. and Salanova, M. (2023) Space omics and tissue response in astronaut skeletal muscle after short and long duration missions. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 24 (4), p. 4095. Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute (MDPI). doi: 10.3390/ijms24044095. ISSN 1661-6596.

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms24044095


The molecular mechanisms of skeletal muscle adaptation to spaceflight are as yet not fully investigated and well understood. The MUSCLE BIOPSY study analyzed pre and postflight deep calf muscle biopsies (m. soleus) obtained from five male International Space Station (ISS) astronauts. Moderate rates of myofiber atrophy were found in long-duration mission (LDM) astronauts (~180 days in space) performing routine inflight exercise as countermeasure (CM) compared to a short-duration mission (SDM) astronaut (11 days in space, little or no inflight CM) for reference control. Conventional H&E scout histology showed enlarged intramuscular connective tissue gaps between myofiber groups in LDM post vs. preflight. Immunoexpression signals of extracellular matrix (ECM) molecules, collagen 4 and 6, COL4 and 6, and perlecan were reduced while matrix-metalloproteinase, MMP2, biomarker remained unchanged in LDM post vs. preflight suggesting connective tissue remodeling. Large scale proteomics (space omics) identified two canonical protein pathways associated to muscle weakness (necroptosis, GP6 signaling/COL6) in SDM and four key pathways (Fatty acid β-oxidation, integrin-linked kinase ILK, Rho A GTPase RHO, dilated cardiomyopathy signaling) explicitly in LDM. The levels of structural ECM organization proteins COL6A1/A3, fibrillin 1, FBN1, and lumican, LUM, increased in postflight SDM vs. LDM. Proteins from tricarboxylic acid, TCA cycle, mitochondrial respiratory chain, and lipid metabolism mostly recovered in LDM vs. SDM. High levels of calcium signaling proteins, ryanodine receptor 1, RyR1, calsequestrin 1/2, CASQ1/2, annexin A2, ANXA2, and sarco(endo)plasmic reticulum Ca(2+)-ATPase (SERCA1) pump, ATP2A, were signatures of SDM, and decreased levels of oxidative stress peroxiredoxin 1, PRDX1, thioredoxin-dependent peroxide reductase, PRDX3, or superoxide dismutase [Mn] 2, SOD2, signatures of LDM postflight. Results help to better understand the spatiotemporal molecular adaptation of skeletal muscle and provide a large scale database of skeletal muscle from human spaceflight for the better design of effective CM protocols in future human deep space exploration.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/194178/
Document Type:Article
Additional Information:(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel Molecular Approaches to Skeletal Muscle Disease and Disuse 2.0)
Title:Space omics and tissue response in astronaut skeletal muscle after short and long duration missions
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iDORCID Put Code
Blottner, D.Charité - University Medicine BerlinUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Moriggi, M.University of MilanUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Trautmann, G.Charité - University Medicine BerlinUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Hastermann, M.Charite - University Medicine BerlinUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Capitanio, D.University of MilanUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Torretta, E.IRCCS Orthopedic Institute Galeazzi, 20161 Milan, ItalyUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Block, K.Charité - University Medicine BerlinUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Rittweger, J.UNSPECIFIEDhttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-2223-8963UNSPECIFIED
Limper, U.UNSPECIFIEDhttps://orcid.org/0000-0001-9927-4180UNSPECIFIED
Salanova, M.Charité - University Medicine BerlinUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Date:17 February 2023
Journal or Publication Title:International Journal of Molecular Sciences
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:Yes
Gold Open Access:Yes
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
Page Range:p. 4095
Publisher:Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute (MDPI)
Keywords:keletal muscle; proteomics; spaceflight; structural proteins; protein signaling pathways
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Space
HGF - Program Themes:Research under Space Conditions
DLR - Research area:Raumfahrt
DLR - Program:R FR - Research under Space Conditions
DLR - Research theme (Project):R - Muscle Mechanics and Metabolism
Location: Köln-Porz
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Aerospace Medicine > Muscle and Bone Metabolism
Deposited By: Kaiser-Stolz, Claudia
Deposited On:09 Mar 2023 10:43
Last Modified:24 Jul 2023 09:35

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