Research Summary: Automated In Vivo Platform for the Discovery of Functional Food Treatments of Hypercholesterolemia


The zebrafish is becoming an increasingly popular model system for both automated drug discovery and investigating hypercholesterolemia. Here we combine these aspects and for the first time develop an automated high-content confocal assay for treatments of hypercholesterolemia. We also create two algorithms for automated analysis of cardiodynamic data acquired by high-speed confocal microscopy. The first algorithm computes cardiac parameters solely from the frequency-domain representation of cardiodynamic data while the second uses both frequency- and time-domain data. The combined approach resulted in smaller differences relative to manual measurements. The methods are implemented to test the ability of a methanolic extract of the hawthorn plant (Crataegus laevigata) to treat hypercholesterolemia and its peripheral cardiovascular effects. Results demonstrate the utility of these methods and suggest the extract has both antihypercholesterolemic and postitively inotropic properties.


Publisher: Public Library of Science

Date Published: 21-January-2013

Author(s): Littleton R., Haworth K., Tang H., Setchell K., Nelson S., Hove J.


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