Aquatic organisms in pharmacology and toxicology research are often exposed to compounds in isolation prior to physiological or behavioural testing. Recent evidence suggests that the presence of conspecifics during a stressful event can modulate behavioural outcomes (called ‘social buffering’) when testing occurs within the same context. It is unknown, however, whether the social environment during exposure interacts with the efficacy of anxiety-altering substances when subsequently tested in the absence of conspecifics. In this study, zebrafish were individually exposed to habitat water or ethanol (1.0% vol/vol) while untreated conspecifics were visually present or absent during dosing.
Using the novel object approach test, a validated test of boldness and anxiety-like behaviour, we observed significantly greater effects of ethanol in isolated fish, compared to fish with a view of conspecifics during dosing. These results were not explained by altered locomotion during exposure, which might otherwise increase drug uptake. This highlights the need to consider the social environment during exposure when conducting and interpreting behavioural research involving drug or toxicant exposure.
Moreover, Zebrafish is having numerous advantages over other rodent models like ease in maintenance due to their small size; breeding power is more, transparency of embryos, overall reduced cost of experimentation and many more. Nowadays, it is considered as an ideal model to study the neurobehavioral aspects with relevance to humans. It is also used in varieties of scientific studies like genetics, neuroscience, pharmacology, and toxicology. In this manuscript, we have described the feasibility and importance of Zebrafish as a model for the screening of novel drugs for different neurological disorders.
Antiangiogenic molecules from marine actinomycetes and the importance of using zebrafish model in cancer research
Blood vessel sprouting from pre-existing vessels or angiogenesis plays a significant role in tumour progression. Development of novel biomolecules from marine natural sources has a promising role in drug discovery specifically in the area of antiangiogenic chemotherapeutics. Symbiotic actinomycetes from marine origin proved to be potent and valuable sources of antiangiogenic compounds. Zebrafish represent a well-established model for small molecular screening and employed to study tumour angiogenesis over the last decade.
Use of zebrafish has increased in the laboratory due to its various advantages like rapid embryo development, optically transparent embryos, large clutch size of embryos and most importantly high genetic conservation comparable to humans. Zebrafish also shares similar physiopathology of tumour angiogenesis with humans and with these advantages, zebrafish has become a popular model in the past decade to study on angiogenesis related disorders like diabetic retinopathy and cancer. This review focuses on the importance of antiangiogenic compounds from marine actinomycetes and utility of zebrafish in cancer angiogenesis research.
There has been rapid growth in the use of larval zebrafish as a complementary vertebrate model for drug discovery, abuse liability and pharmacological toxicology, resulting in a huge increase in zebrafish facilities worldwide. However, many research groups working with zebrafish do not typically report the pH of husbandry conditions in methodologies, nor are the pH of drug treatments reported in many research articles. This unknown factor can be a major contributor in the differential effects of drug treatments. Therefore, as a case study, we tested the impact of altering pH of several drugs of abuse and assessed locomotor changes associated with a single drug concentration delivered at different pHs.
Embryonic exposure to prothioconazole induces oxidative stress and apoptosis in zebrafish (Danio rerio) early life stage
Triazole fungicides are extensively applied in general agriculture for fungal control and have negative impacts on aquatic organisms. Prothioconazole, a widely used triazole fungicide, is toxic to zebrafish, but systematic research on the negative effects caused by prothioconazole in zebrafish embryos is limited. In this study, we studied the developmental toxicology, oxidative stress and apoptosis caused by prothioconazole in zebrafish embryos. Exposure to 0.850 mg/L prothioconazole impacts embryo survival and hatching.
Prothioconazole exposure caused embryo malformation, especially yolk-sac and pericardial edemas, and prothioconazole-induced apoptosis was observed. Additionally, exposure to a high prothioconazole concentration up-regulated the expression levels of oxidative stress defense-related genes and p53. The bax to bcl2 ratio increased along with exposure time and prothioconazole concentration. Prothioconazole induced apoptosis during the early life stages of zebrafish and may trigger oxidative-stress and p53-dependent pathway responses. Our findings increase our understanding of the molecular mechanisms of oxidative stress and cell death caused by prothioconazole.
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In the previous years of research, the use of animal model becomes very common for the screening of novel drugs. Animal model represents the complex problems of humans into simplest forms which can be extended further to include the experimental procedure. The most successful models in neuroscience, rats and mice, undoubtedly considered as one of the best models to understand the psychology of mammalian brain and its associated functions involved in various behavioral repertoire.
Moreover, recently researchers in behavioral neuroscience are focusing more on the use of aquatic animals especially fish as model species due to their simplicity, and cost effectiveness. Zebrafish (Danio rerio) is a tropical fish from minnow family a genetic structure surprisingly 84 % similar to humans. It is gaining popularity as a model to study the mechanism in behavioral neuropharmacology.