ZFIN ID: ZDB-PUB-120110-15
Zebrafish: a model for the study of addiction genetics
Klee, E.W., Schneider, H., Clark, K.J., Cousin, M.A., Ebbert, J.O., Hooten, W.M., Karpyak, V.M., Warner, D.O., and Ekker, S.C.
Drug abuse and dependence are multifaceted disorders with complex genetic underpinnings. Identifying specific genetic correlates
is challenging and may be more readily accomplished by defining endophenotypes specific for addictive disorders. Symptoms
and syndromes, including acute drug response, consumption, preference, and withdrawal, are potential endophenotypes characterizing
addiction that have been investigated using model organisms. We present a review of major genes involved in serotonergic,
dopaminergic, GABAergic, and adrenoreceptor signaling that are considered to be directly involved in nicotine, opioid, cannabinoid,
and ethanol use and dependence. The zebrafish genome encodes likely homologs of the vast majority of these loci. We also review
the known expression patterns of these genes in zebrafish. The information presented in this review provides support for the
use of zebrafish as a viable model for studying genetic factors related to drug addiction. Expansion of investigations into
drug response using model organisms holds the potential to advance our understanding of drug response and addiction in humans.