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Light-cardiogram, a simple technique for heart rate determination in adult zebrafish, Danio rerio


Mousavi, SE and Patil, JG, Light-cardiogram, a simple technique for heart rate determination in adult zebrafish, Danio rerio, Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology. Part A, 246 Article 110705. ISSN 1095-6433 (2020) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2020 Crown Copyright

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.cbpa.2020.110705


Current techniques for heart rate determination in adult zebrafish require specialist expertise and are often invasive, technically challenging and not readily transferable to other laboratories for routine assessment. Here, we present a simple, noninvasive and inexpensive light-cardiogram technique to assess heart rate and frequency in adult zebrafish. Brightfield microscope paired with a high-resolution camera and ImageJ (an open source software) were employed as core recording and processing platforms respectively. The heart was visualised ventrally and located by juxtaposing an isosceles triangle between the opercula as reference to analyse pixel intensity fluctuations generated by each cardiac cycle to derive heart rate and frequency. Compared to transparent embryos, the cardiograms generated reverse light signal oscillations, with contraction and relaxation of the heart (ventricle) corresponding to reduced and increased pixel intensities respectively. The heart rates (♂ 122.582.15 and ♀ 121.372.63 beat/min) and mean dominant frequency (♂ 2.040.035 and ♀ 2.050.048Hz) between the sexes were not significantly (P>.05) different at 28C. However, the FD amplitudes between males (0.260.03) and females (0.450.05) were significantly different (P<.05) suggesting sex specific diastolic cardiac outputs. Collectively, the technique can be used to measure heartbeats as well as readily adaptable to record relative cardiac outputs and compare differences between physiological states (e.g. sexes). Moreover, the approach could be amenable to automation and applicable to other fish species, enabling researchers the flexibility to measure these and other critical heart health endpoint with relative ease.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:zebrafish, light cardiogram, sex differentiation, videograph, digital motion analysis, pixel intensity, diastolic, heartbeat, heart frequency
Research Division:Agricultural, Veterinary and Food Sciences
Research Group:Fisheries sciences
Research Field:Fish physiology and genetics
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Fresh, ground and surface water systems and management
Objective Field:Control of pests, diseases and exotic species in fresh, ground and surface water
UTAS Author:Mousavi, SE (Mr Seyed Ehsan Mousavi)
UTAS Author:Patil, JG (Dr Jawahar Patil)
ID Code:138911
Year Published:2020
Funding Support:Australian Research Council (LP140100428)
Web of Science® Times Cited:3
Deposited By:Fisheries and Aquaculture
Deposited On:2020-05-11
Last Modified:2020-12-08

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