ZFIN ID: ZDB-PUB-200906-3
Early-Life Social Experience Shapes Social Avoidance Reactions in Larval Zebrafish
Groneberg, A.H., Marques, J.C., Martins, A.L., Diez Del Corral, R., de Polavieja, G.G., Orger, M.B.
Date: 2020
Source: Current biology : CB   30(20): 4009-4021.e4 (Journal)
Registered Authors: Marques, João, Orger, Mike
Keywords: C-start, lateral line, social avoidance, social isolation, zebrafish larvae
MeSH Terms:
  • Animals
  • Avoidance Learning/physiology*
  • Behavior, Animal/physiology
  • Escape Reaction/physiology*
  • Larva/physiology*
  • Social Behavior
  • Social Environment
  • Social Isolation*
  • Zebrafish/growth & development
  • Zebrafish/physiology*
PubMed: 32888479 Full text @ Curr. Biol.
Social experiences greatly define subsequent social behavior. Lack of such experiences, especially during critical phases of development, can severely impede the ability to behave adequately in social contexts. To date, it is not well characterized how early-life social isolation leads to social deficits and impacts development. In many model species, it is challenging to fully control social experiences, because they depend on parental care. Moreover, complex social behaviors involve multiple sensory modalities, contexts, and actions. Hence, when studying social isolation effects, it is important to parse apart social deficits from general developmental effects, such as abnormal motor learning. Here, we characterized how social experiences during early development of zebrafish larvae modulate their social behavior at 1 week of age, when social avoidance reactions can be measured as discrete swim events. We show that raising larvae in social isolation leads to enhanced social avoidance, in terms of the distance at which larvae react to one another and the strength of swim movement they use. Specifically, larvae raised in isolation use a high-acceleration escape swim, the short latency C-start, more frequently during social interactions. These behavioral differences are absent in non-social contexts. By ablating the lateral line and presenting the fish with local water vibrations, we show that lateral line inputs are both necessary and sufficient to drive enhanced social avoidance reactions. Taken together, our results show that social experience during development is a critical factor in shaping mechanosensory avoidance reactions in larval zebrafish.