Social Behavior in Zebrafish

A special issue of Biology (ISSN 2079-7737). This special issue belongs to the section "Behavioural Biology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 July 2024 | Viewed by 2591

Special Issue Editors

Department of Pharmacology, Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology at the Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, P.O. Box 431, 405 30 Gothenburg, Sweden
Interests: social behavior; oxytocin; hormones; monoamines; autism; genetics; imaging; pharmacology; drug screening; zebrafish
Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN 55902, USA
Interests: zebrafish; isolation; early-life-stress; autism; depression; anxiety; mutants; genetics

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Social interactions with conspecifics are adaptive and come with biological benefits and costs. In addition to mating, parenting, and aggression, studying the neurobiology of other forms of dyadic and group social behaviours also has translational value. Besides increasing basic knowledge, such understanding may also contribute towards the development of treatment options for atypical social behaviours that exist in various human disorders such as autism, anxiety and mood disorders, and stress-related disorders.

Zebrafish is a highly social species that provides many advantages for studying the neuroscience of social behaviours. In contrast to rodent models, zebrafish are precocial, diurnal, and mainly rely on their vision (rather than olfaction). Zebrafish also offer ease of genetic modifiability, high fecundity, short generation time, the capacity for high-throughput studies, and a high level of conservation with the mammalian brain. The transparency and size of the larval brain also make pre-clinical studies feasible for interventions such as drug treatments and genetic modifications that influence neuronal activity on a whole-brain level.

The aim of this Special Issue is to present recent findings about the ontogeny and expression of social behaviours in zebrafish, systematic characterization of shoaling, schooling, aggression and mating behaviours, as well as the underlying neuronal and molecular mechanisms of these various social behaviours. Furthermore, we aim to provide an overview of the various methodological possibilities provided by the zebrafish model. Descriptions of social behaviours in zebrafish mutants, generated by chemical mutagenesis, Crispr-Cas9 and other reverse genetic tools, lacking genes known to cause or contribute to autism or other disorders characterized by deficits in social communication, would be intriguing contributions for this Special Issue. Furthermore, contributions from the long-standing field of research into the effects of toxins, stress, and other environmental factors on zebrafish social behaviour are also highly prioritized. To enhance knowledge regarding neural and molecular mechanisms relevant for social behaviours, we encourage pharmacological studies using drugs with known targets or explorative drug screens. Investigations of relevant neuronal activity and neurotransmitter function would also be valuable complements to this Special Issue.

Prof. Dr. Lars Westberg
Dr. Soaleha Shams
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • zebrafish
  • social behavior
  • mutant
  • transgenic
  • central nervous system
  • autism
  • pharmacology
  • imaging
  • genetics
  • environmental factor

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

15 pages, 2330 KiB  
Article
Effects of Noise Exposure and Ageing on Anxiety and Social Behaviour in Zebrafish
Biology 2023, 12(9), 1165; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology12091165 - 24 Aug 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1028
Abstract
Noise pollution is creating a wide range of health problems related to physiological stress and anxiety that impact the social life of vertebrates, including humans. Ageing is known to be associated with changes in susceptibility to acoustic stimuli; however, the interaction between noise [...] Read more.
Noise pollution is creating a wide range of health problems related to physiological stress and anxiety that impact the social life of vertebrates, including humans. Ageing is known to be associated with changes in susceptibility to acoustic stimuli; however, the interaction between noise effects and senescence is not well understood. We tested the effects of 24 h continuous white noise (150 dB re 1 Pa) on both young adults and old zebrafish in terms of anxiety (novel tank diving test), social interactions (with mirror/conspecific attraction), and shoaling behaviour. Both noise and ageing induced higher anxiety responses in a novel environment. Since the old zebrafish showed longer bottom dwelling, acoustic treatment induced the opposite pattern with an initial increase in vertical exploration in the aged individuals. Both noise- and age-related anxiety responses were lowered when individuals were tested within a group. Regarding social interactions, both noise and ageing seemed to cause an increase in their proximity to a mirror. Although the results were not statistically significant, noise exposure seemed to further enhance conspecific attraction. Moreover, the interindividual distance within a shoal decreased with noise treatment in the aged individuals. This study is a first attempt to investigate the effects of both noise and ageing on zebrafish behaviour, suggesting the age-dependent physiological coping mechanisms associated with environmental stress. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social Behavior in Zebrafish)
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15 pages, 2631 KiB  
Article
Agouti-Signalling Protein Overexpression Reduces Aggressiveness in Zebrafish
Biology 2023, 12(5), 712; https://doi.org/10.3390/biology12050712 - 13 May 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1227
Abstract
Feeding motivation plays a crucial role in food intake and growth. It closely depends on hunger and satiation, which are controlled by the melanocortin system. Overexpression of the inverse agonist agouti-signalling protein (ASIP) and agouti-related protein (AGRP) leads to enhanced food intake, linear [...] Read more.
Feeding motivation plays a crucial role in food intake and growth. It closely depends on hunger and satiation, which are controlled by the melanocortin system. Overexpression of the inverse agonist agouti-signalling protein (ASIP) and agouti-related protein (AGRP) leads to enhanced food intake, linear growth, and weight. In zebrafish, overexpression of Agrp leads to the development of obesity, in contrast to the phenotype observed in transgenic zebrafish that overexpress asip1 under the control of a constitutive promoter (asip1-Tg). Previous studies have demonstrated that asip1-Tg zebrafish exhibit larger sizes but do not become obese. These fish display increased feeding motivation, resulting in a higher feeding rate, yet a higher food ration is not essential in order to grow larger than wild-type (WT) fish. This is most likely attributed to their improved intestinal permeability to amino acids and enhanced locomotor activity. A relationship between high feeding motivation and aggression has been previously reported in some other transgenic species showing enhanced growth. This study aims to elucidate whether the hunger observed in asip1-Tg is linked to aggressive behaviour. Dominance and aggressiveness were quantified using dyadic fights and mirror-stimulus tests, in addition to the analysis of basal cortisol levels. The results indicate that asip1-Tg are less aggressive than WT zebrafish in both dyadic fights and mirror-stimulus tests. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social Behavior in Zebrafish)
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