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Quadros V.A.,Federal University of Santa Maria | Silveira A.,Federal University of Santa Maria | Giuliani G.S.,Federal University of Santa Maria | Didonet F.,Federal University of Santa Maria | And 6 more authors.
Behavioural Processes | Year: 2016

We investigate the behavioural responses of wild type (WT) and leopard (leo) zebrafish elicited by alarm substances of conspecifics at three contexts: during the exposure period (Experiment 1); after exposure, in habituation to novelty (Experiment 2); or after exposure, in the light-dark preference test (Experiment 3), and analyse their influence on pigment response. During the exposure, leo showed decreased vertical drifts, increased number and duration of erratic movements, while WT had increased erratic movements and latency to enter the top. In the novel tank, we observed that angular velocity decreased in WT exposed to alarm substance, which also presented increased fear responses. Contrastingly, leo increased the number of entries and time in top, indicating differences in habituation profile. Alarm substance increased the number of erratic movements in the light-dark test, but elicited different responses between strains in scototaxis, latency to enter the dark compartment and risk assessment episodes. Moreover, the body colour of zebrafish did not change after alarm substance exposure. Principal component analyses suggest that burst swimming, anxiety-like behaviours, and locomotion/exploration were the components that most accounted for total variances of Experiments 1, 2, and 3, respectively. We conclude that chemical cue from conspecifics triggers strain- and context-dependent responses. © 2015. Source

Mezzomo N.J.,Federal University of Santa Maria | Silveira A.,Federal University of Santa Maria | Giuliani G.S.,Federal University of Santa Maria | Quadros V.A.,Federal University of Santa Maria | And 2 more authors.
Neuroscience Letters | Year: 2016

Taurine (TAU) is an amino sulfonic acid with several functions in central nervous system. Mounting evidence suggests that it acts in osmoregulation, neuromodulation and also as an inhibitory neurotransmitter. However, the effects of TAU on behavioral functions, especially on anxiety-related parameters, are limited. The adult zebrafish is a suitable model organism to examine anxiety-like behaviors since it presents neurotransmitter systems and behavioral functions evolutionary conserved. Anxiety in zebrafish can be measured by different tasks, analyzing the habituation to novelty, as well as the response to brightly lit environments. The aim of this study was to investigate whether acute TAU treatment alters anxiety-like behavior in zebrafish using the novel tank and the light-dark tests. Fish were individually treated with TAU (42, 150, and 400. mg/L) for 1. h and the behaviors were further analyzed for 6. min in the novel tank or in the light-dark test. Control fish were handled in a similar manner, but kept only in home tank water. Although TAU did not alter locomotor and vertical activities, all concentrations significantly increased shuttling and time spent in lit compartment. Moreover, TAU 150 group showed a significant decrease in the number of risk assessment episodes. Overall, these data suggest that TAU exerts an anxiolytic-like effect in zebrafish and the comparative analysis of behavior using different tasks is an interesting strategy for neuropsychiatric studies related to anxiety in this species. © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. Source

Stewart A.M.,ZENEREI Institute | Stewart A.M.,The International Zebrafish Neuroscience Research Consortium ZNRC | Grossman L.,ZENEREI Institute | Grossman L.,St. Georges University | And 11 more authors.
Aquatic Toxicology | Year: 2014

Fluoxetine is one of the most prescribed psychotropic medications, and is an agent of increasing interest for environmental toxicology. Fish and other aquatic organisms are excellent models to study neuroactive small molecules like fluoxetine. However, prone to variance due to experimental factors, data obtained in these models need to be interpreted with caution, using proper experimental protocols, study designs, validated endpoints as well as well-established models and tests. Choosing the treatment protocol and dose range for fluoxetine and other serotonergic drugs is critical for obtaining valid test results and correct data interpretation. Here we discuss the value of aquatic models to study fluoxetine effects, based on prior high-quality research, and outline the directions of future translational studies in the field. We review fluoxetine-evoked phenotypes in acute vs. chronic protocols, discussing them in the contact of complex role of serotonin in behavioral regulation. We conclude that zebrafish and other aquatic models represent a useful in-vivo tool for fluoxetine pharmacology and (eco)toxicology research. © 2014 Elsevier B.V. Source

Abreu M.S.,Federal University of Santa Maria | Giacomini A.C.V.V.,Federal University of Santa Maria | Giacomini A.C.V.V.,University Of Passo Fundo | Kalueff A.V.,Guangdong Ocean University | And 5 more authors.
Physiology and Behavior | Year: 2016

Olfaction is strongly involved in the regulation of fish behavior, including reproductive, defensive, social and migration behaviors. In fish, anosmia (the lack of olfaction) can be induced experimentally, impairing their ability to respond to various olfactory stimuli. Here, we examine the effects of experimental lidocaine-induced anosmia on anxiety-like behavior and whole-body cortisol levels in adult zebrafish (Danio rerio). We show that experimentally-induced anosmia reduces anxiolytic-like behavioral effects of fluoxetine and seems to interact with anxiogenic effect of stress also paralleling cortisol responses in zebrafish. These findings provide first experimental evidence that temporary anosmia modulates anxiety-like behaviors and physiology in adult zebrafish. © 2015 Elsevier Inc. Source

Stewart A.M.,ZENEREI Institute | Stewart A.M.,The International Zebrafish Neuroscience Research Consortium ZNRC | Grossman L.,ZENEREI Institute | Grossman L.,St. Georges University | And 6 more authors.
Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior | Year: 2015

Nicotine is one of the most widely used and abused legal drugs. Although its pharmacological profile has been extensively investigated in humans and rodents, nicotine CNS action remains poorly understood. The importance of finding evolutionarily conserved signaling pathways, and the need to apply high-throughput in vivo screens for CNS drug discovery, necessitate novel efficient experimental models for nicotine research. Zebrafish (Danio rerio) are rapidly emerging as an excellent organism for studying drug abuse, neuropharmacology and toxicology and have recently been applied to testing nicotine. Anxiolytic, rewarding and memory-modulating effects of acute nicotine treatment in zebrafish are consistently reported in the literature. However, while nicotine abuse is more relevant to long-term exposure models, little is known about chronic effects of nicotine on zebrafish behavior. In the present study, chronic 4-day exposure to 1-2 mg/L nicotine mildly increased adult zebrafish shoaling but did not alter baseline cortisol levels. We also found that chronic exposure to nicotine evokes robust anxiogenic behavioral responses in zebrafish tested in the novel tank test paradigm. Generally paralleling clinical and rodent data on anxiogenic effects of chronic nicotine, our study supports the developing utility of zebrafish for nicotine research. © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Source

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