Analysis of neurobehavioural data by chemometric methods in ecotoxicological studies


Incorporation of chemometric tools in behavioural data management workflows allows for the early identification of most relevant endpoints complementarily to statistical confirmatory approaches. In this work, the effects of two model neurotoxicants, chlorpyrifos (CPF) and nicotine, exposures on behavioural profiles of adult zebrafish at three different times (2, 6 and 24 h) were evaluated using open field test (OFT) paradigm experiments. Two chemometric methods like Principal Component Analysis (PCA) and Analysis of Variance-Simultaneous Component Analysis (ASCA) have been used to interpret the changes observed in the obtained behavioural data. A decreased of the locomotor activity, an anxiolytic effect and an altered exploratory behaviour were the most affected behavioural endpoints in the CPF exposures. However, an increase of the locomotor activity and an anxiogenic effect were observed in the nicotine exposures. Finally, an excellent correlation between the ASCA results and the results obtained using traditional statistical procedures for both compounds were encountered.