Behavioral and neurochemical changes in the zebrafish leopard strain

Authors

  • C. Maximino,

    Corresponding author
    1. Zebrafish Neuroscience Research Consortium, Belém, Brazil
    • Departamento de Morfologia e Ciências Fisiolígicas, Centro de Ciências Biológicas e da Saúde, Universidade Estadual do Pará, Av. Hiléia Agrópolis do INCRA s/n, 68503-120 Marabá, Brazil
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  • B. Puty,

    1. Laboratório de Neuroendocrinologia, Instituto de Ciências Biológicas, Universidade Federal do Pará, Belém, Brazil
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  • K. R. Matos Oliveira,

    1. Laboratório de Neuroendocrinologia, Instituto de Ciências Biológicas, Universidade Federal do Pará, Belém, Brazil
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  • A. M. Herculano

    Corresponding author
    1. Zebrafish Neuroscience Research Consortium, Belém, Brazil
    2. Laboratório de Neuroendocrinologia, Instituto de Ciências Biológicas, Universidade Federal do Pará, Belém, Brazil
    • Departamento de Morfologia e Ciências Fisiolígicas, Centro de Ciências Biológicas e da Saúde, Universidade Estadual do Pará, Av. Hiléia Agrópolis do INCRA s/n, 68503-120 Marabá, Brazil
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Corresponding authors: C. Maximino, Departamento de Morfologia e Ciências Fisiológicas, Centro de Ciências Biológicas e da Saúde, Universidade Estadual do Pará, Av. Hiléia Agrópolis do INCRA s/n, 68503-120 Marabá, Brazil. E-mail: caio.maximino@gmail.com; and A. M. Herculano, Laboratório de Neuroendocrinologia, Instituto de Ciências Biológicas, Universidade Federal do Pará, Av. Augusto Corrêa 01, 66075-110 Belém, PA, Brazil. E-mail: herculano@ufpa.br

Abstract

The zebrafish leopard phenotype (leo) displays abnormal pigmentation and shows increased anxiety-like behavior. The neurochemical changes associated with this anxious phenotype are not known. Here, we demonstrate that leo show increased anxiety-like behavior in the light/dark box and in the novel tank test. This anxious phenotype is rescued by acute treatment with a dose of a serotonin reuptake inhibitor, fluoxetine, that is inactive in wild-type animals. Moreover, leo show decreased tissue levels of serotonin, increased serotonin turnover and slightly increased monoamine oxidase activity. These results suggest that the anxious phenotype observed in leo zebrafish is caused by a decrease in serotonin uptake. This work could open an important avenue in defining the neurochemical underpinning of natural variation in anxiety disorders.

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