ZFIN ID: ZDB-PUB-181009-6
Automated morphological feature assessment for zebrafish embryo developmental toxicity screens
Teixidó, E., Kießling, T.R., Krupp, E., Quevedo, C., Muriana, A., Scholz, S.
Date: 2018
Source: Toxicological sciences : an official journal of the Society of Toxicology   167(2): 438-449 (Journal)
Registered Authors: Muriana, Arantza, Quevedo, Celia
Keywords: none
MeSH Terms:
  • Algorithms
  • Animals
  • Embryo, Nonmammalian/drug effects*
  • Embryonic Development/drug effects*
  • Heart Rate/drug effects
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted*
  • Motor Activity/drug effects
  • Phenotype
  • Teratogens/toxicity*
  • Toxicity Tests/methods
  • Zebrafish/physiology*
PubMed: 30295906 Full text @ Toxicol. Sci.
Detection of developmental phenotypes in zebrafish embryos typically involves a visual assessment and scoring of morphological features by an individual researcher. Subjective scoring could impact results and be of particular concern when phenotypic effect patterns are also used as a diagnostic tool to classify compounds. Here we introduce a quantitative morphometric approach based on image analysis of zebrafish embryos. A software called FishInspector was developed to detect morphological features from images collected using an automated system to position zebrafish embryos. The analysis was verified and compared with visual assessments of three participating laboratories using three known developmental toxicants (methotrexate, dexamethasone and topiramate) and two negative compounds (loratadine and glibenclamide). The quantitative approach exhibited higher sensitivity and made it possible to compare patterns of effects with the potential to establish a grouping and classification of developmental toxicants. Our approach improves the robustness of phenotype scoring and reliability of assay performance and, hence, is anticipated to improve the predictivity of developmental toxicity screening using the zebrafish embryo.