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Repeated ethanol exposure increases anxiety-like behaviour in zebrafish during withdrawal

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ethanol, ethanol withdrawal, zebrafish, novel object approach test

Abstract (summary)

Zebrafish (Danio rerio) are quickly becoming an important model organism in behavioural neuroscience and drug addiction research. Conditioned place preference studies show that drugs of abuse produce responses in zebrafish that are similar to mammalian animal models. Repeated administration of ethanol in zebrafish results in withdrawal-induced behavioural responses that vary with dose and exposure duration, requiring additional investigation. Here, we examine the effects of ethanol withdrawal on anxiety-like behaviours in adult zebrafish after a 21-day ethanol dosing schedule at either 0.4% or 0.8%. Anxiety-like behaviour was measured with the novel object approach test; this test involves placing a fish in a circular arena with a novel object in the centre and observing the amount of exploration of the object. We found increased anxiety-like behaviour during ethanol withdrawal. This study adds to the growing body of literature that validates the zebrafish as a model organism in the field of behavioural neuroscience and addiction.

Publication Information

Krook, J., Duperreault, E., Newton, D., Ross, M.S., Hamilton, T.J. (2019). Repeated ethanol exposure increases anxiety-like behaviour in zebrafish during withdrawal. PeerJ. e6551. doi:


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Attribution (CC BY)