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Automated Segmentation of Light-Sheet Fluorescent Imaging to Characterize Experimental Doxorubicin-Induced Cardiac Injury and Repair.


This study sought to develop an automated segmentation approach based on histogram analysis of raw axial images acquired by light-sheet fluorescent imaging (LSFI) to establish rapid reconstruction of the 3-D zebrafish cardiac architecture in response to doxorubicin-induced injury and repair. Input images underwent a 4-step automated image segmentation process consisting of stationary noise removal, histogram equalization, adaptive thresholding, and image fusion followed by 3-D reconstruction. We applied this method to 3-month old zebrafish injected intraperitoneally with doxorubicin followed by LSFI at 3, 30, and 60 days post-injection. We observed an initial decrease in myocardial and endocardial cavity volumes at day 3, followed by ventricular remodeling at day 30, and recovery at day 60 (P < 0.05, n = 7-19). Doxorubicin-injected fish developed ventricular diastolic dysfunction and worsening global cardiac function evidenced by elevated E/A ratios and myocardial performance indexes quantified by pulsed-wave Doppler ultrasound at day 30, followed by normalization at day 60 (P < 0.05, n = 9-20). Treatment with the γ-secretase inhibitor, DAPT, to inhibit cleavage and release of Notch Intracellular Domain (NICD) blocked cardiac architectural regeneration and restoration of ventricular function at day 60 (P < 0.05, n = 6-14). Our approach provides a high-throughput model with translational implications for drug discovery and genetic modifiers of chemotherapy-induced cardiomyopathy.

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