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[Forum]

“ The developing utility of adult zebrafish in modelling neuropsychiatric disorders ”

BSI Private Event

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Date

June 11, 2010 17:00 - 18:00

Abstract

Although zebrafish (Danio rerio) has long been one of the most promising new model species for neuroscience research, the potential of the zebrafish as a model in behavioral research has emerged only recently. Adult zebrafish was chosen as a model for our lab's research because they offer robust neurophenotypes and an important evolutionary insight into the animal behavioral responses. Zebrafish are a relatively complex vertebrate species, physiologically homologous to other vertebrates, and possessing all of the ‘classical’ vertebrate neurotransmitters. Physiological endpoints, such as stress hormone levels, can be a valuable supplement to the behavior seen during observation. In zebrafish, the hypothalamus-pituitary-interrenal axis (HPI) is fundamental to stress response and involves a cascade of hormones from corticotropin releasing hormone (CRH) to adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) and cortisol. It is interesting to note that zebrafish, like humans, employ cortisol (rather than corticosterone, as do rodents) as a primary stress response hormone, which makes them a useful animal model relevant to human stress physiology and biopsychology. Recently, we have developed a simple and effective method of measuring zebrafish physiological stress responses (based on a human salivary cortisol assay), and showed that alterations in whole-body cortisol levels in zebrafish parallel behavioral indices of stress. By combining results from behavioral, physiological, and genomic measures, the researchers are able to develop a more complete model of the interactions among and between elements at each level of analysis. In summary, the neurobiology and patterns of zebrafish emotional behavior remain poorly understood. However, it is likely that zebrafish emotional behavior is driven by the same evolutionarily ancient ‘core’ neurobiological mechanisms and pathways that regulate emotional behavior in other vertebrate species, including humans. Here I will present our lab's research aiming to (1) Investigate how zebrafish express their emotionality into behavior; (2) Record and quantify these behaviors using data-dense video-tracking analyses and multi-dimensional modeling; (3) Examine physiological (neuroendocrine) correlates of zebrafish behavior; (4) Translate zebrafish behavior into human neuropsychiatric and neurological disorders, such as anxiety, drug abuse, epilepsy and drug neurotoxicity.

More Detail

Language
English
Admission
BSI Private Event
Host
Hitoshi Okamoto