Behavioral barcoding in the cloud: embracing data-intensive digital phenotyping in neuropharmacology.
ABSTRACT For decades, studying the behavioral effects of individual drugs and genetic mutations has been at the heart of efforts to understand and treat nervous system disorders. High-throughput technologies adapted from other disciplines (e.g., high-throughput chemical screening, genomics) are changing the scale of data acquisition in behavioral neuroscience. Massive behavioral datasets are beginning to emerge, particularly from zebrafish labs, where behavioral assays can be performed rapidly and reproducibly in 96-well, high-throughput format. Mining these datasets and making comparisons across different assays are major challenges for the field. Here, we review behavioral barcoding, a process by which complex behavioral assays are reduced to a string of numeric features, facilitating analysis and comparison within and across datasets.
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ABSTRACT: The high prevalence of brain disorders and the lack of their efficient treatments necessitate improved invivo pre-clinical models and tests. The zebrafish (Danio rerio), a vertebrate species with high genetic and physiological homology to humans, is an excellent organism for innovative CNS drug discovery and small molecule screening. Here, we outline new strategies for developing higher-throughput zebrafish screens to test neuroactive drugs and predict their pharmacological mechanisms. With the growing application of automated 3D phenotyping, machine learning algorithms, movement pattern- and behavior recognition, and multi-animal video-tracking, zebrafish screens are expected to markedly improve CNS drug discovery.Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience 01/2015; 9. DOI:10.3389/fnbeh.2015.00014 · 4.16 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Nicotine is one of the most widely used and abused legal drugs. Although its pharmacological profile has been extensively investigated in humans and rodents, nicotine CNS action remains poorly understood. The importance of finding evolutionarily conserved signaling pathways, and the need to apply high-throughput in-vivo screens for CNS drug discovery, necessitate novel efficient experimental models for nicotine research. Zebrafish (Danio rerio) are rapidly emerging as an excellent organism for studying drug abuse, neuropharmacology and toxicology, and have recently been applied to testing nicotine. Anxiolytic, rewarding and memory-modulating effects of acute nicotine treatment in zebrafish are consistently reported in the literature. However, while nicotine abuse is more relevant to long-term exposure models, little is known about chronic effects of nicotine on zebrafish behavior. In the present study, chronic 4-day exposure to 1-2 mg/L nicotine mildly increased adult zebrafish shoaling but did not alter baseline cortisol levels. We also found that chronic exposure to nicotine evokes robust anxiogenic behavioral responses in zebrafish tested in the novel tank test paradigm. Generally paralleling clinical and rodent data on anxiogenic effects of chronic nicotine, our study supports the developing utility of zebrafish for nicotine research.Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior 01/2015; DOI:10.1016/j.pbb.2015.01.016 · 2.82 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: FutureTox II, a Society of Toxicology Contemporary Concepts in Toxicology workshop, was held in January, 2014. The meeting goals were to review and discuss the state of the science in toxicology in the context of implementing the NRC 21st century vision of predicting in vivo responses from in vitro and in silico data, and to define the goals for the future. Presentations and discussions were held on priority concerns such as predicting and modeling of metabolism, cell growth and differentiation, effects on sensitive subpopulations, and integrating data into risk assessment. Emerging trends in technologies such as stem cell-derived human cells, 3D organotypic culture models, mathematical modeling of cellular processes and morphogenesis, adverse outcome pathway development, and high-content imaging of in vivo systems were discussed. Although advances in moving towards an in vitro/in silico based risk assessment paradigm were apparent, knowledge gaps in these areas and limitations of technologies were identified. Specific recommendations were made for future directions and research needs in the areas of hepatotoxicity, cancer prediction, developmental toxicity, and regulatory toxicology. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society of Toxicology. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: email@example.com.