Assessment of locomotion in chlorine exposed mice by computer vision and neural networks

… These measurements were repeated with air breathing mice. Peripheral oxygen saturation was
assessed periodically with a MouseOx pulse oximeter equipped with a neck collar according
to manufacturer instructions (STARR Lifesciences.). Video capture and acquisition. …
Assessment of locomotion following exposure of animals to noxious or painful stimuli can offer significant insights into underlying mechanisms of injury and the effectiveness of various treatments. We developed a novel method to track the movement of mice in two dimensions using computer vision and neural network algorithms. By using this system we demonstrated that mice exposed to chlorine (Cl2) gas developed impaired locomotion and increased immobility for up to 9 h postexposure. Postexposure administration of buprenorphine, a common analgesic agent, increased locomotion and decreased immobility times in Cl2- but not air-exposed mice, most likely by decreasing Cl2-induced pain. This method can be adapted to assess the effectiveness of various therapies following exposure to a variety of chemical and behavioral noxious stimuli.