Integrating Metabolic Phenotyping with Behavioral Neuroscience

Integrating Metabolic Phenotyping with Behavioral Neuroscience

Scientists discuss how to integrate metabolic phenotyping with behavioral paradigms, the importance of temporal resolution, and how to avoid common pitfalls when executing behavioral and metabolic tests.

Alterations in behavior may be precipitated by metabolic disease, neural injury, epigenetic causes, antibiotic history or exposure to toxins or treatments. Persistence and scientific rigor are prerequisites in this field where relevant patterns must be discerned from small signals. Metabolic assays such as respirometry and behavioral profiling are key methods utilized when a high-definition, in-vivo record is required to evaluate pharmaceutical safety, neurological and physiological permutations.

However, while such assays in principal are standardized, in practice, proper system setup, synchronization of metabolic and behavioral data, ease of animal handling and anticipatory study design can be a challenge.

In this webinar, sponsored by Sable Systems International, Dr. John Lighton Ph.D. author of “Measuring Metabolic Rates: A Manual for Scientists” (Oxford University Press, 2008) shows how to properly plan and execute combination studies integrating high-resolution metabolic measurement and behavioral data. Important physiological-behavioral linkages can be uncovered and quantified using the rich data stream from Sable Systems’ Promethion synchronized metabolic and behavioral system in conjunction with its Ethoscan behavioral analysis utility. Topics include behavior and energy expenditure lists, anxiety assays, time and locomotion budgets, behavior transition probability matrices, Markov chains, hierarchical object clustering and automated grouping by similarity – all invaluable tools for discovery.

Following, Daniel Lark PhD, a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Vanderbilt University working in collaboration with Dr. David Wasserman, presents findings on compensatory metabolic and behavioral responses to voluntary exercise in mice.  He has extensive experience using behavioral analysis together with conventional metabolic phenotyping.

Key topics covered during this webinar include…

  • The importance of high temporal resolution data in metabolic and behavioral research.
  • Common mistakes and misperceptions in metabolic and behavioral phenotyping – and how to avoid them.
  • How to approach experimental design for successful combination metabolic-behavioral studies.

NEW PUBLICATION:  Reduced Nonexercise Activity Attenuates Negative Energy Balance in Mice Engaged in Voluntary Exercise

Daniel S. LarkJamie R. KwanP. Mason McClatcheyMerrygay N. JamesFreyja D.JamesJohn R.B. LightonLouise LantierDavid H. Wasserman. 

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John Lighton, PhD

President and Chief Scientist,
Sable Systems International

With a background in comparative and metabolic physiology and over 5,500 citations, John Lighton, is a self-proclaimed ‘recovering academic’, still affiliated with the University of Las Vegas. He juggles ongoing research with the development of advanced, blazing-fast metabolic and behavioral phenotyping systems designed from the perspective of a scientist rather than an engineer, emphasizing consummate analytical flexibility.

Daniel Lark, PhD

Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Department of Molecular Physiology & Biophysics
Vanderbilt University

Dr. Daniel Lark is interested in understanding how molecular metabolism, particularly at the mitochondrion, impacts health and disease. Dr. Lark’s work has been supported by fellowships from NIH-NIDDK and the American Heart Association. As a postdoctoral fellow in the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, he has utilized dietary and genetic interventions to better understand how exercise and overnutrition alter glucose and lipid metabolism in obesity. Most recently, Dr. Lark has used voluntary wheel running and indirect calorimetry to better understand the regulation of whole body energy balance in mice.