Unconventional anxiety pharmacology in zebrafish: Drugs beyond traditional anxiogenic and anxiolytic spectra

M.S. de Abreu*, A.C.V.V. Giacomini, K.A. Demin, D.S. Galstyan, K.N. Zabegalov, T.O. Kolesnikova, T.G. Amstislavskaya, T. Strekalova, E.V. Petersen, A.V. Kalueff*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Citation (Web of Science)

Abstract

Anxiety is the most prevalent brain disorder and a common cause of human disability. Animal models are critical for understanding anxiety pathogenesis and its pharmacotherapy. The zebrafish (Danio rerio) is increasingly utilized as a powerful model organism in anxiety research and anxiolytic drug screening. High similarity between human, rodent and zebrafish molecular targets implies shared signaling pathways involved in anxiety pathogenesis. However, mounting evidence shows that zebrafish behavior can be modulated by drugs beyond conventional anxiolytics or anxiogenics. Furthermore, these effects may differ from human and/or rodent responses, as such 'unconventional' drugs may affect zebrafish behavior despite having no such profiles (or exerting opposite effects) in humans or rodents. Here, we discuss the effects of several putative unconventional anxiotropic drugs (aspirin, lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), nicotine, naloxone and naltrexone) and their potential mechanisms of action in zebrafish. Emphasizing the growing utility of zebrafish models in CNS drug discovery, such unconventional anxiety pharmacology may provide important, evolutionarily relevant insights into complex regulation of anxiety in biological systems. Albeit seemingly complicating direct translation from zebrafish into clinical phenotypes, this knowledge may instead foster the development of novel CNS drugs, eventually facilitating innovative treatment of patients based on novel 'unconventional' targets identified in fish models.
Original languageEnglish
Article number173205
Number of pages15
JournalPharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior
Volume207
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2021

Keywords

  • Atypical responses
  • Zebrafish
  • Anxiolytic
  • Anxiogenic
  • Pharmacotherapy
  • ELEVATED PLUS-MAZE
  • LYSERGIC-ACID DIETHYLAMIDE
  • NICOTINIC ACETYLCHOLINE-RECEPTORS
  • BRAIN-SEROTONIN TURNOVER
  • SOCIAL-INTERACTION TEST
  • MU-OPIOID RECEPTOR
  • ANIMAL-MODELS
  • BEHAVIORAL-RESPONSES
  • INDIVIDUAL-DIFFERENCES
  • NEUROSCIENCE RESEARCH

Cite this