It is almost time for the 9th European Zebrafish Meeting in Oslo, Norway! So here are a couple of recent publications on zebrafish research to get you in the mood.
Zebrafish. This small little fish is a vertebrate, and a relatively complex one at that. Looking at all the major neurotransmitters and hormones that are investigated in neuroscience, they are as good of a model as many mammalian species. Indeed, recent studies have shown how they are ideal for testing in behavioral domains such as anxiety, sociality, sleep, reward, and cognition.
Often in animal research, animals with a certain genetic alteration are compared to a “wild-type” (this being the ‘normal’ rat, mouse, or zebrafish). One might assume that there is no difference between one wild-type animal and the next, but in fact, many different strains of wild-type animals are used.
Many wild-type zebrafish strains
The same is true for zebrafish. Many studies talk of wild-type animals, but the strain is not always mentioned. Furthermore, wild-type fish can be acquired at the pet shop, from a commercial scientific supplier, or simply caught in the wild. Vignet et al. noticed that there have been reports of differences in behavior between wild-type strains, and therefore they stress the importance of matching the most appropriate strain to the behavioral test.
Topics: EthoVision XT, Video tracking, fish, zebrafish, exploratory behavior, learning and memory, anxiety research, circadian rhytmicity, T-maze, color discrimination, novel tank test, light/dark challenge, bottom dwelling
Behavioral endpoints of zebrafish in the novel tank test, the open field test, and the shoaling behavior test
Hallucinogenic drugs (psychedelics) have a growing significance in biopsychiatric research. Zebrafish are a popular animal model and seem highly sensitive to various drugs of abuse. The Kalueff lab established these two facts and in a study described in Effects of hallucinogenic agents mescaline and phencyclidine on zebrafish behavior and physiology (Kyzar et al., 2012).