The study of psychiatric disease genes and drugs in zebrafish

Curr Opin Neurobiol. 2015 Feb:30:122-30. doi: 10.1016/j.conb.2014.12.002. Epub 2014 Dec 16.


Mutations associated with psychiatric disease are being identified, but it remains unclear how the affected genes contribute to disease. Zebrafish is an emerging model to study psychiatric disease genes with a rich repertoire of phenotyping tools. Recent zebrafish research has uncovered potential developmental phenotypes for genes associated with psychiatric disorders, while drug screens have behaviorally characterized small molecules and identified new classes of drugs. Behavioral studies have led to promising models for endophenotypes of psychiatric diseases. While further research is needed to firmly link these models to psychiatric disorders, they are valuable tools for phenotyping genetic mutations and drugs. Recently developed tools in genome editing and in vivo imaging promise additional insights into the processes disrupted by mutations in psychiatric disease genes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antipsychotic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Drug Evaluation, Preclinical
  • Endophenotypes
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Mental Disorders / drug therapy*
  • Mental Disorders / genetics*
  • Mutation / genetics
  • Zebrafish


  • Antipsychotic Agents