Zebrafish Larvae as a Behavioral Model in Neuropharmacology

Biomedicines. 2019 Mar 26;7(1):23. doi: 10.3390/biomedicines7010023.


Zebrafish larvae show a clear and distinct pattern of swimming in response to light and dark conditions, following the development of a swim bladder at 4 days post fertilization. This swimming behavior is increasingly employed in the screening of neuroactive drugs. The recent emergence of high-throughput techniques for the automatic tracking of zebrafish larvae has further allowed an objective and efficient way of finding subtle behavioral changes that could go unnoticed during manual observations. This review highlights the use of zebrafish larvae as a high-throughput behavioral model for the screening of neuroactive compounds. We describe, in brief, the behavior repertoire of zebrafish larvae. Then, we focus on the utilization of light-dark locomotion test in identifying and screening of neuroactive compounds.

Keywords: behavior; high-throughput screening; light-dark test; neuroactive drugs; neuropharmacology; zebrafish larvae.

Publication types

  • Review