Fontana, B.D., Alnassar, N., & Parker, M.O. (2021). The zebrafish (Danio rerio) anxiety test battery: comparison of behavioral responses in the novel tank diving and light–dark tasks following exposure to anxiogenic and anxiolytic compounds. Psychopharmacology. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00213-021-05990-w
Rationale Triangulation of approaches (i.e., using several tests of the same construct) can be extremely useful for increasing the robustness of the fndings being widely used when working with behavioral testing, especially when using rodents as a translational model. Although zebrafsh are widely used in neuropharmacology research due to their high-throughput screening potential for new therapeutic drugs, behavioral test battery efects following pharmacological manipulations are still unknown.
Methods Here, we tested the efects of an anxiety test battery and test time following pharmacological manipulations in zebrafsh by using two behavioral tasks: the novel tank diving task (NTT) and the light–dark test (LDT). Fluoxetine and conspecifc alarm substance (CAS) were chosen to induce anxiolytic and anxiogenic-like behavior, respectively.
Results For non-drug-treated animals, no diferences were observed for testing order (NTT → LDT or LDT → NTT) and there was a strong correlation between performances on the two behavioral tasks. However, we found that during drug treatment, NTT/LDT responses are afected by the tested order depending on the test time being fuoxetine efects higher at the second behavioral task (6 min later) and CAS efects lower across time.
Conclusions Overall, our data supports the use of baseline behavior assessment using this anxiety test battery. However, when working with drug exposure, data analysis must carefully consider time-drug-response and data variability across behavioral tasks.
behavioral test battery; conspecifc alarm substance; zebrafsh; Fluoxetine