Computational Approach to Measuring Myocyte Disarray in Animal Models of Heart Disease

William Wan1, Leslie Leinwand1

1 Biofrontiers Institute, University of Colorado at Boulder, Boulder
Publication Name:  Current Protocols in Human Genetics
Unit Number:  Unit 15.11
DOI:  10.1002/cphg.35
Online Posting Date:  April, 2017
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In cardiovascular disease research, studies often include measuring cardiac function and performing histological examination of heart tissue. After measuring contractility, hearts from animals such as mice and rats are often frozen or fixed, sliced, and stained to quantify the morphology of various structures such as extracellular matrix proteins, cell nuclei, and F‐actin. Traditional scoring methods have largely consisted of assessing sections of images for the presence or absence of myocyte disarray. These approaches require unbiased manual assessment, which can require extra personnel, and are not scalable to the quantity of data that can be generated by modern automated experimental techniques. Here, we describe an automated image analysis approach for unbiased numerical measurement of myocyte disarray. We provide step‐by‐step instructions for image preparation as well as a basic Matlab script for measurements. © 2017 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Keywords: myocyte disarray; image analysis; Matlab

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Table of Contents

  • Commentary
  • Literature Cited
  • Figures
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Basic Protocol 1:

  • Masson's trichrome–stained sections of mouse hearts (see, e.g., Green et al., , for preparation of samples used in this protocol)
  • Computer with following software installed:
    • Matlab (The MathWorks, Inc.)
    • ImageJ (National Institutes of Health)
  • Matlab script files (see Supporting Materials):
    • myocyte_disarray_160903.m (main file executed to perform calculations; the remaining files are used by the main file and should not be run directly)
    • c_mean_weighted.m
    • plot_rect_shaded.m
    • ReadImageJROI.m
    • struct2csv.m
  • Microsoft Excel, R, or GraphPad Prism
NOTE: Navigation to items in software menus will use the notation [Menu name]→[Item] →[Submenu].
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Literature Cited

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Internet Resources
  Site where Matlab can be purchased if not provided by your institution.‐readimagejroi‐cstrfilenames
  Matlab script used to extract coordinates of ROIs saved in ImageJ.
  Web site to download ImageJ.
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