Emergence of consistent intra-individual locomotor patterns during zebrafish development
Fitzgerald, Jennifer A.
Kirla, Krishna T.
Zinner, Carl P.
Vom Berg, Colette M.
- Journal Article
Rights / licenseCreative Commons Attribution 4.0 International
The analysis of larval zebrafish locomotor behavior has emerged as a powerful indicator of perturbations in the nervous system and is used in many fields of research, including neuroscience, toxicology and drug discovery. The behavior of larval zebrafish however, is highly variable, resulting in the use of large numbers of animals and the inability to detect small effects. In this study, we analyzed whether individual locomotor behavior is stable over development and whether behavioral parameters correlate with physiological and morphological features, with the aim of better understanding the variability and predictability of larval locomotor behavior. Our results reveal that locomotor activity of an individual larva remains consistent throughout a given day and is predictable throughout larval development, especially during dark phases, under which larvae demonstrate light-searching behaviors and increased activity. The larvae’s response to startle-stimuli was found to be unpredictable, with no correlation found between response strength and locomotor activity. Furthermore, locomotor activity was not associated with physiological or morphological features of a larva (resting heart rate, body length, size of the swim bladder). Overall, our findings highlight the areas of intra-individual consistency, which could be used to improve the sensitivity of assays using zebrafish locomotor activity as an endpoint. Show more
Journal / seriesScientific Reports
Pages / Article No.
PublisherNature Publishing Group
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