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PloS one

Fingerprinting of psychoactive drugs in zebrafish anxiety-like behaviors.


PMID 25079766

Abstract

A major hindrance for the development of psychiatric drugs is the prediction of how treatments can alter complex behaviors in assays which have good throughput and physiological complexity. Here we report the development of a medium-throughput screen for drugs which alter anxiety-like behavior in adult zebrafish. The observed phenotypes were clustered according to shared behavioral effects. This barcoding procedure revealed conserved functions of anxiolytic, anxiogenic and psychomotor stimulating drugs and predicted effects of poorly characterized compounds on anxiety. Moreover, anxiolytic drugs all decreased, while anxiogenic drugs increased, serotonin turnover. These results underscore the power of behavioral profiling in adult zebrafish as an approach which combines throughput and physiological complexity in the pharmacological dissection of complex behaviors.