Void spot assay procedural optimization and software for rapid and objective quantification of rodent voiding function, including overlapping urine spots.
American journal of physiology. Renal physiology
Mouse urinary behavior is quantifiable and is used to pinpoint mechanisms of voiding dysfunction and evaluate potential human therapies. Approaches to evaluate mouse urinary function vary widely among laboratories, however, complicating cross-study comparisons. Here, we describe development and multi-institutional validation of a new tool for objective, consistent, and rapid analysis of mouse void spot assay (VSA) data. Void Whizzard is a freely available software plugin for FIJI (a distribution of ImageJ) that facilitates VSA image batch processing and data extraction. We describe its features, demonstrate them by evaluating how specific VSA method parameters influence voiding behavior, and establish Void Whizzard as an expedited method for VSA analysis. This study includes control and obese diabetic mice as models of urinary dysfunction to increase rigor and ensure relevance across distinct voiding patterns. In particular, we show that Void Whizzard is an effective tool for quantifying nonconcentric overlapping void spots, which commonly confound analyses. We also show that mouse genetics are consistently more influential than assay design parameters when it comes to VSA outcomes. None of the following procedural modifications to reduce overlapping spots masked these genetic-related differences: reduction of VSA testing duration, water access during the assay period, placement of a wire mesh cage bottom on top of or elevated over the filter paper, treatment of mesh with a hydrophobic spray, and size of wire mesh opening. The Void Whizzard software and rigorous validation of VSA methodological parameters described here advance the goal of standardizing mouse urinary phenotyping for comprehensive urinary phenome analyses.
Wegner KA, Abler LL, Oakes SR, Mehta GS, Ritter KE, Hill WG, Zwaans BM, Lamb LE, Wang Z, Bjorling DE, Ricke WA, Macoska J, Marker PC, Southard-Smith EM, Eliceiri KW, Vezina CM. Void spot assay procedural optimization and software for rapid and objective quantification of rodent voiding function, including overlapping urine spots. Am J Physiol Renal Physiol. 2018 Oct 1;315(4):F1067-F1080. doi: 10.1152/ajprenal.00245.2018. Epub 2018 Jul 4. PMID: 29972322; PMCID: PMC6230749.