Modeling withdrawal syndrome in zebrafish

Jonathan Cachat, Peter Canavello, Marco Elegante, Brett Bartels, Peter Hart, Carisa Bergner, Rupert Egan, Ashley Duncan, David Tien, Amanda Chung, Keith Wong, Jason Goodspeed, Julia Tan, Chelsea Grimes, Salem Elkhayat, Christopher Suciu, Michael Rosenberg, Kyung Min Chung, Ferdous Kadri, Sudipta RoySiddharth Gaikwad, Adam Stewart, Ivan Zapolsky, Thomas Gilder, Sopan Mohnot, Esther Beeson, Hakima Amri, Zofia Zukowska, R. Denis Soignier, Allan V. Kalueff*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

154 Citations (Scopus)


The zebrafish (Danio rerio) is rapidly becoming a popular model species in behavioral neuroscience research. Zebrafish behavior is robustly affected by environmental and pharmacological manipulations, and can be examined using exploration-based paradigms, paralleled by analysis of endocrine (cortisol) stress responses. Discontinuation of various psychotropic drugs evokes withdrawal in both humans and rodents, characterized by increased anxiety. Sensitivity of zebrafish to drugs of abuse has been recently reported in the literature. Here we examine the effects of ethanol, diazepam, morphine and caffeine withdrawal on zebrafish behavior. Overall, discontinuation of ethanol, diazepam and morphine produced anxiogenic-like behavioral or endocrine responses, demonstrating the utility of zebrafish in translational research of withdrawal syndrome.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)371-376
Number of pages6
JournalBehavioural Brain Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2 Apr 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Anxiety
  • Cortisol
  • Novel tank test
  • Stress
  • Withdrawal
  • Zebrafish


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