XyZfish

Ronkonkoma, NY, United States
Ronkonkoma, NY, United States

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Kalueff A.V.,Tulane University | Kalueff A.V.,ZENEREI Institute and ZNRC | Gebhardt M.,Tulane University | Gebhardt M.,ZENEREI Institute and ZNRC | And 31 more authors.
Zebrafish | Year: 2013

Zebrafish (Danio rerio) are rapidly gaining popularity in translational neuroscience and behavioral research. Physiological similarity to mammals, ease of genetic manipulations, sensitivity to pharmacological and genetic factors, robust behavior, low cost, and potential for high-throughput screening contribute to the growing utility of zebrafish models in this field. Understanding zebrafish behavioral phenotypes provides important insights into neural pathways, physiological biomarkers, and genetic underpinnings of normal and pathological brain function. Novel zebrafish paradigms continue to appear with an encouraging pace, thus necessitating a consistent terminology and improved understanding of the behavioral repertoire. What can zebrafish 'do', and how does their altered brain function translate into behavioral actions? To help address these questions, we have developed a detailed catalog of zebrafish behaviors (Zebrafish Behavior Catalog, ZBC) that covers both larval and adult models. Representing a beginning of creating a more comprehensive ethogram of zebrafish behavior, this effort will improve interpretation of published findings, foster cross-species behavioral modeling, and encourage new groups to apply zebrafish neurobehavioral paradigms in their research. In addition, this glossary creates a framework for developing a zebrafish neurobehavioral ontology, ultimately to become part of a unified animal neurobehavioral ontology, which collectively will contribute to better integration of biological data within and across species. © Copyright 2013, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. 2013.


Maaswinkel H.,XyZfish | Le X.,XyZfish | Le X.,Hofstra University | He L.,XyZfish | And 3 more authors.
Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior | Year: 2013

Understanding the different patterns of anxiety-like behavioral responses is of great interest for pharmacological and genetic research. Here we report the effects of 3.5-hr habituation, buspirone and ethanol on those responses in shoaling zebrafish (Danio rerio). Since in these experiments we used a container with white walls, the effects of black-vs.-white walls were tested in a separate experiment. An important objective was to determine whether factors unrelated to anxiety played a role in modulating the responses. The anxiety-like behavioral responses studied here are social cohesion, distance from bottom and bottom-dwell time, radial distribution (to study thigmotaxis), transparent-wall preference (to study escape responses), locomotion and freezing. The experimental conditions yielded distinctly different response patterns. Thigmotaxis was the most obvious response to white walls and it was significantly reduced after 3.5-hr habituation. It was not affected by any of the drugs. The reduction of social cohesion after 3.5-hr habituation and in the 0.5% ethanol group was probably the most interesting effect seen in this study. A role of anxiety herein was suggested but could not be established with certainty. Other hypotheses were also discussed. The large increase of distance-from-bottom resulting in swimming close to the water surface, which occurred in both buspirone groups and in the 0.5%-ethanol group, is most likely not an anxiolytic response, because of the discrepancy with the in the literature well-established time-course and the absence of any effect of 3.5-hr habituation or black walls on vertical measures. Finally, locomotion and duration freezing could not be specifically taken as indicators for the state of anxiety and the results concerning transparent-wall preference were not sufficient clear. We conclude that the neuronal and ethological mechanisms underlying the effects of habituation, white-aversion, buspirone and ethanol on anxiety-like behavioral responses are complex and need further exploration. © 2013 The Authors.


Moravec C.E.,State University of New York at Stony Brook | Moravec C.E.,Genetics Gradate Program Stony Brook University | Li E.,State University of New York at Stony Brook | Maaswinkel H.,XyZfish | And 4 more authors.
Behavioural Brain Research | Year: 2015

The Rest/Nrsf transcriptional repressor modulates expression of a large set of neural specific genes. Many of these target genes have well characterized roles in nervous system processes including development, plasticity and synaptogenesis. However, the impact of Rest-mediated transcriptional regulation on behavior has been understudied due in part to the embryonic lethality of the mouse knockout. To investigate the requirement for Rest in behavior, we employed the zebrafish rest mutant to explore a range of behaviors in adults and larva. Adult rest mutants of both sexes showed abnormal behaviors in a novel environment including increased vertical swimming, erratic swimming patterns and a proclivity for the tank walls. Adult males also had diminished reproductive success. At 6 days post fertilization (dpf), rest mutant larva were hypoactive, but displayed normal evoked responses to light and sound stimuli. Overall, these results provide evidence that rest dysfunction produces atypical swimming patterns and preferences in adults, and reduced locomotor activity in larvae. This study provides the first behavioral analysis of rest mutants and reveals specific behaviors that are modulated by Rest. © 2015 Elsevier B.V.


Moravec C.E.,State University of New York at Stony Brook | Samuel J.,Seneca College | Weng W.,XyZfish | Wood I.C.,University of Leeds | Sirotkin H.I.,State University of New York at Stony Brook
Journal of Neuroscience | Year: 2016

During embryonic development, regulation of gene expression is key to creating the many subtypes of cells that an organism needs throughout its lifetime. Recent work has shown that maternal genetics and environmental factors have lifelong consequences on diverse processes ranging from immune function to stress responses. The RE1-silencing transcription factor (Rest) is a transcriptional repressor that interacts with chromatin-modifying complexes to repress transcription of neural-specific genes during early development. Here we show that in zebrafish, maternally supplied rest regulates expression of target genes during larval development and has lifelong impacts on behavior. Larvae deprived of maternal rest are hyperactive and show atypical spatial preferences. Adult male fish deprived of maternal rest present with atypical spatial preferences in a novel environment assay. Transcriptome sequencing revealed 158 genes that are repressed by maternal rest in blastula stage embryos. Furthermore,wefound that maternal rest is required for target gene repression until at least 6 dpf. Importantly, disruption of the RE1 sites in either snap25a or snap25b resulted in behaviors that recapitulate the hyperactivity phenotype caused by absence of maternal rest. Both maternal rest mutants and snap25a RE1 site mutants have altered primary motor neuron architecture that may account for the enhanced locomotor activity. These results demonstrate that maternal rest represses snap25a/b to modulate larval behavior and that early Rest activity has lifelong behavioral impacts. © 2016 the authors.


PubMed | State University of New York at Stony Brook and xyZfish
Type: | Journal: Behavioural brain research | Year: 2015

The Rest/Nrsf transcriptional repressor modulates expression of a large set of neural specific genes. Many of these target genes have well characterized roles in nervous system processes including development, plasticity and synaptogenesis. However, the impact of Rest-mediated transcriptional regulation on behavior has been understudied due in part to the embryonic lethality of the mouse knockout. To investigate the requirement for Rest in behavior, we employed the zebrafish rest mutant to explore a range of behaviors in adults and larva. Adult rest mutants of both sexes showed abnormal behaviors in a novel environment including increased vertical swimming, erratic swimming patterns and a proclivity for the tank walls. Adult males also had diminished reproductive success. At 6 days post fertilization (dpf), rest mutant larva were hypoactive, but displayed normal evoked responses to light and sound stimuli. Overall, these results provide evidence that rest dysfunction produces atypical swimming patterns and preferences in adults, and reduced locomotor activity in larvae. This study provides the first behavioral analysis of rest mutants and reveals specific behaviors that are modulated by Rest.


Understanding the different patterns of anxiety-like behavioral responses is of great interest for pharmacological and genetic research. Here we report the effects of 3.5-hr habituation, buspirone and ethanol on those responses in shoaling zebrafish (Danio rerio). Since in these experiments we used a container with white walls, the effects of black-vs.-white walls were tested in a separate experiment. An important objective was to determine whether factors unrelated to anxiety played a role in modulating the responses. The anxiety-like behavioral responses studied here are social cohesion, distance from bottom and bottom-dwell time, radial distribution (to study thigmotaxis), transparent-wall preference (to study escape responses), locomotion and freezing. The experimental conditions yielded distinctly different response patterns. Thigmotaxis was the most obvious response to white walls and it was significantly reduced after 3.5-hr habituation. It was not affected by any of the drugs. The reduction of social cohesion after 3.5-hr habituation and in the 0.5% ethanol group was probably the most interesting effect seen in this study. A role of anxiety herein was suggested but could not be established with certainty. Other hypotheses were also discussed. The large increase of distance-from-bottom resulting in swimming close to the water surface, which occurred in both buspirone groups and in the 0.5%-ethanol group, is most likely not an anxiolytic response, because of the discrepancy with the in the literature well-established time-course and the absence of any effect of 3.5-hr habituation or black walls on vertical measures. Finally, locomotion and duration freezing could not be specifically taken as indicators for the state of anxiety and the results concerning transparent-wall preference were not sufficient clear. We conclude that the neuronal and ethological mechanisms underlying the effects of habituation, white-aversion, buspirone and ethanol on anxiety-like behavioral responses are complex and need further exploration.

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