Data_Sheet_1_A Neural Network Reveals Motoric Effects of Maternal Preconception Exposure to Nicotine on Rat Pup Behavior: A New Approach for Movement .docx (1.29 MB)
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Data_Sheet_1_A Neural Network Reveals Motoric Effects of Maternal Preconception Exposure to Nicotine on Rat Pup Behavior: A New Approach for Movement Disorders Diagnosis.docx

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posted on 20.07.2021, 05:41 by Reza Torabi, Serena Jenkins, Allonna Harker, Ian Q. Whishaw, Robbin Gibb, Artur Luczak

Neurodevelopmental disorders can stem from pharmacological, genetic, or environmental causes and early diagnosis is often a key to successful treatment. To improve early detection of neurological motor impairments, we developed a deep neural network for data-driven analyses. The network was applied to study the effect of maternal nicotine exposure prior to conception on 10-day-old rat pup motor behavior in an open field task. Female Long-Evans rats were administered nicotine (15 mg/L) in sweetened drinking water (1% sucralose) for seven consecutive weeks immediately prior to mating. The neural network outperformed human expert designed animal locomotion measures in distinguishing rat pups born to nicotine exposed dams vs. control dams (87 vs. 64% classification accuracy). Notably, the network discovered novel movement alterations in posture, movement initiation and a stereotypy in “warm-up” behavior (repeated movements along specific body dimensions) that were predictive of nicotine exposure. The results suggest novel findings that maternal preconception nicotine exposure delays and alters offspring motor development. Similar behavioral symptoms are associated with drug-related causes of disorders such as autism spectrum disorder and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder in human children. Thus, the identification of motor impairments in at-risk offspring here shows how neuronal networks can guide the development of more accurate behavioral tests to earlier diagnose symptoms of neurodevelopmental disorders in infants and children.

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