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ZFIN ID: ZDB-PUB-140927-7
Model of voluntary ethanol intake in zebrafish: Effect on behavior and hypothalamic orexigenic peptides
Sterling, M.E., Karatayev, O., Chang, G.Q., Algava, D.B., Leibowitz, S.F.
Date: 2015
Source: Behavioural brain research   278: 29-39 (Journal)
Registered Authors:
Keywords: ethanol, galanin, orexin, zebrafish
MeSH Terms:
  • Alcohol Drinking*/metabolism
  • Alcohol Drinking*/pathology
  • Alcohol Drinking*/physiopathology
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Animals
  • Central Nervous System Depressants/administration & dosage*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Ethanol/administration & dosage*
  • Ethanol/blood
  • Exploratory Behavior/drug effects
  • Female
  • Galanin/genetics
  • Galanin/metabolism*
  • Gelatin/administration & dosage
  • Gene Expression Regulation/drug effects*
  • Hypothalamus/drug effects*
  • Hypothalamus/metabolism
  • Locomotion/drug effects
  • Male
  • Neuropeptides/genetics
  • Neuropeptides/metabolism
  • Orexins/genetics
  • Orexins/metabolism*
  • Reaction Time/genetics
  • Zebrafish
PubMed: 25257106 Full text @ Behav. Brain Res.
Recent studies in zebrafish have shown that exposure to ethanol in tank water affects various behaviors, including locomotion, anxiety and aggression, and produces changes in brain neurotransmitters, such as serotonin and dopamine. Building on these investigations, the present study had two goals: first, to develop a method for inducing voluntary ethanol intake in individual zebrafish, which can be used as a model in future studies to examine how this behavior is affected by various manipulations, and second, to characterize the effects of this ethanol intake on different behaviors and the expression of hypothalamic orexigenic peptides, galanin (GAL) and orexin (OX), which are known in rodents to stimulate consumption of ethanol and alter behaviors associated with alcohol abuse. Thus, we first developed a new model of voluntary intake of ethanol in fish by presenting this ethanol mixed with gelatin, which they readily consume. Using this model, we found that individual zebrafish can be trained in a short period of time to consume stable levels of 10% or 20% ethanol (v/v) mixed with gelatin and that their intake of this ethanol-gelatin mixture leads to pharmacologically-relevant blood ethanol concentrations which are strongly, positively correlated with the amount ingested. Intake of this ethanol-gelatin mixture increased locomotion, reduced anxiety, and stimulated aggressive behavior, while increasing expression of GAL and OX in specific hypothalamic areas. These findings, confirming results in rats, provide a method in zebrafish for investigating with forward genetics and pharmacological techniques the role of different brain mechanisms in controlling ethanol intake.