Fontana, B. D., Cleal. M., Gibbon. A. J., McBride. S. D., & Parker. M. O. (2021). The effects of two stressors in working memory and cognitive flexibility in zebrafish (Danio rerio): The protective role of D1/D5 agonist in stress response, Neuropharmacology, 196, 108681.
Acute stressors are recurrent in multiple species life and can facilitate or impair cognition in different ways. The use of zebrafish (Danio rerio) as a translational species to understand the mechanisms in which stress induces different behavioral phenotypes has been widely studied. Two main acute stressors are recognized when using this species: (1) conspecific alarm substance (CAS) and (2) net chasing. Here, we tested if CAS or net chasing would affect animals working memory and cognitive flexibility by testing the animal's performance after stress in the FMP Y-maze. We observed that CAS altered fish behavioral phenotype by increasing repetitive behavior, meanwhile animals showed different patterns of repetitive behavior when exposed to net chasing, depending on the chasing direction. Because D1 receptors were previously studied as a potential mechanism underlying stress response in different species, here we pretreated fish with a D1/D5 agonist (SKF-38393) to assess whether this system plays a role in abnormal repetitive behavior (ARBs). The pretreatment with D1/D5 agonist significantly decreased ARB of CAS exposed animals and cortisol levels for both stressed groups suggesting that the dopaminergic system plays an important role in zebrafish stress-related responses.
alarm pheromone, dopaminergic system, FMP Y-Maze, stereotypical behavior, stress-reactivity