Assessing the maximum predictive validity for neuropharmacological anxiety screening assays using zebrafish

Amanda Linker*, Adam Stewart, Siddharth Gaikwad, Jonathan M. Cachat, Marco F. Elegante, Allan V. Kalueff, Jason E. Warnick

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book or Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


The development of reliable pharmacological screening assays is an important task. However, it is based upon the ability of animal models, such as the zebrafish, to demonstrate predictive validity for a specific set of drug classes. A popular assay used for this purpose is the novel tank diving paradigm, where zebrafish behavior can easily be modulated by anxiolytic or anxiogenic drug exposure. However, predictive validity may fail to provide crucial information about the model, such as comparisons of drug efficacy and the effects of drugs on varying behavioral phenotypes. This deficit is accounted for by a novel measure termed the Maximum Predictive Value (MPV), which provides an estimate of how sensitive a particular model is when assessing its potential pharmacologically. Here we provide a protocol detailing how to employ this measure to validate behavioral endpoints in the novel tank test for use in pharmacological studies in zebrafish. Similar approaches can be used to examine drug efficacy in other zebrafish-based behavioral tests.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationZebrafish Neurobehavioral Protocols
EditorsAllan Kalueff, Jonathan Cachat
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

ISSN (Print)0893-2336
ISSN (Electronic)1940-6045


  • Maximum predictive value
  • model
  • novel tank
  • pharmacological screening
  • zebrafish


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