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The Interaction Between Social Conditions and Ethanol on Zebrafish Behavior

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Zebrafish (Danio rerio) are studied in behavioral pharmacology research because they are model organisms for animals of higher complexity. Therefore, studying how they respond to drugs of abuse, such as ethanol, may help researchers understand how these same drugs affect humans. This current study demonstrates that alcohol and social conditions influence behaviors related to anxiety in zebrafish. In humans and rodents, the effects of alcohol are modulated by social variables. Although zebrafish are a social species, potential interactions between social conditions and alcohol must be further explored. The goal of this experiment was to determine whether social conditions interact with alcohol to affect anxiety-related behaviors in zebrafish. In this experiment, zebrafish were housed individually, in pairs, or in groups of four. After at least one week, they were individually dosed with either 0%, 0.5%, or 1% ethanol. Using Ethovision tracking software and manual tracking, it was determined how much time the fish spent in the shallow side of a test tank (suggesting that the fish were less anxious). Preliminary results indicated that ethanol influences the duration in the shallow side of a test tank. Fish housed in pairs also spent more time in the shallow side than those housed alone or in groups of four. Finally, single-housed fish showed the largest change in behavior in response to ethanol. These results suggest that social conditions do affect how zebrafish respond to ethanol and build on the evidence that zebrafish are relevant model organisms for studying anxiolytic medications.

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The Interaction Between Social Conditions and Ethanol on Zebrafish Behavior

Zebrafish (Danio rerio) are studied in behavioral pharmacology research because they are model organisms for animals of higher complexity. Therefore, studying how they respond to drugs of abuse, such as ethanol, may help researchers understand how these same drugs affect humans. This current study demonstrates that alcohol and social conditions influence behaviors related to anxiety in zebrafish. In humans and rodents, the effects of alcohol are modulated by social variables. Although zebrafish are a social species, potential interactions between social conditions and alcohol must be further explored. The goal of this experiment was to determine whether social conditions interact with alcohol to affect anxiety-related behaviors in zebrafish. In this experiment, zebrafish were housed individually, in pairs, or in groups of four. After at least one week, they were individually dosed with either 0%, 0.5%, or 1% ethanol. Using Ethovision tracking software and manual tracking, it was determined how much time the fish spent in the shallow side of a test tank (suggesting that the fish were less anxious). Preliminary results indicated that ethanol influences the duration in the shallow side of a test tank. Fish housed in pairs also spent more time in the shallow side than those housed alone or in groups of four. Finally, single-housed fish showed the largest change in behavior in response to ethanol. These results suggest that social conditions do affect how zebrafish respond to ethanol and build on the evidence that zebrafish are relevant model organisms for studying anxiolytic medications.