Developing 'integrative' zebrafish models of behavioral and metabolic disorders

Michael Nguyen, Ester Yang, Nikhil Neelkantan, Alina Mikhaylova, Raymond Arnold, Manoj K. Poudel, Adam Michael Stewart, Allan V. Kalueff*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

46 Citations (Scopus)


Recently, the pathophysiological overlap between metabolic and mental disorders has received increased recognition. Zebrafish (. Danio rerio) are rapidly becoming a popular model organism for translational biomedical research due to their genetic tractability, low cost, quick reproductive cycle, and ease of behavioral, pharmacological or genetic manipulation. High homology to mammalian physiology and the availability of well-developed assays also make the zebrafish an attractive organism for studying human disorders. Zebrafish neurobehavioral and endocrine phenotypes show promise for the use of zebrafish in studies of stress, obesity and related behavioral and metabolic disorders. Here, we discuss the parallels between zebrafish and other model species in stress and obesity physiology, as well as outline the available zebrafish models of weight gain, metabolic deficits, feeding, stress, anxiety and related behavioral disorders. Overall, zebrafish demonstrate a strong potential for modeling human behavioral and metabolic disorders, and their comorbidity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)172-187
Number of pages16
JournalBehavioural Brain Research
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Comorbidity
  • Metabolic disorders
  • Neurobehavioral disorders
  • Obesity
  • Stress
  • Zebrafish models


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