Neuroscience 2012 Satellite symposium

Society for Neuroscience (SFN) Satellite Symposium, New Orleans, October 2012

Title: One stripe ahead: Using zebrafish to model neurobehavioral disorders
Chairs: AV Kalueff (US), R Gerlai (Canada)

The goal of this symposium is to demonstrate to the scientific community the growing utility of zebrafish-based models of brain disorders. In addition to the use of zebrafish in neurogenetics and neurodevelopmental research, both larval and adult zebrafish are gaining popularity in high-throughput drug screening, as well as mimicking complex brain disorders (including anxiety, psychoses and substance abuse). Speakers at this symposium, representing four well-established zebrafish laboratories, will outline the recent developments in the field of biological psychiatry utilizing zebrafish-based paradigms.

Scroll down for the video's of the presentations. You can also view the slide shows, we have included the pdf's at the bottom of this page!

Welcome and introduction

Ruud Tegelenbosch (Noldus Information Technology) and the chairs Robert Gerlai and Allan Kalueff kicked off the meeting with a welcome and introduction. 

Dr. Barrie Robison (University of Idaho)


Dr. Robison focussed on the neurogenomic basis of behavioral adaptations in zebrafish, using behaviorally anxious and non-anxious lines of zebrafish, integrating transcriptome analyses of discrete brain regions, and applying high-throughput SNP genotyping to identify candidate genes that are associated with anxiety-related behaviors in zebrafish.

Dr. Allan V. Kalueff (Tulane University)

Dr. Kalueff demonstrated the utility of zebrafish to study psychotropic drugs of abuse (including psychedelic hallucinogens) such as LSD, mescaline, psilocybin, salvinorin A, MDMA, ketamine, ibogaine and phencyclidine. He will also discuss the relevance of these manipulations to anxiety, depression, psychoses, drug abuse and neurotoxic syndromes, and will focus on the advantages of modern video-tracking technologies in neurophenotyping of adult zebrafish.

Dr. Holly Richendrfer (Browns University) 

Dr. Richendrfer talked about the environmental factor Chlorpyrifos (an organophosphate pesticide that is widely used in agriculture, and one of the many environmental factors that has raised concerns). She tested the effects of sub-chronic chlorpyrifos exposure on anxiety-related behavior during development in zebrafish larvae, and found significant changes in behavior.

Christine Buske (University of Toronto at Mississauga)


Ms. Buske focussed on the analysis of social behavior in freely moving zebrafish groups. She has investigated how embryonic alcohol exposure affects the ontogenesis of shoaling. In her research she explored how high resolution positional data for each member can be used to gather more information on group dynamics in zebrafish social behavior, throughout development.  She also analyzed the levels of dopamine and serotonin and found them to be significantly reduced in whole brain samples.

Dr. Robert Gerlai (University of Toronto, Mississauga)


Dr. Gerlai summarized his most recent research findings on behavioral, neurochemical and gene expression-related effects of alcohol in zebrafish. Alcoholism and alcohol abuse represent a major unmet medical need, and the zebrafish is becoming increasingly well utilized in the analysis of potential mechanisms associated with these diseases. Based on his findings, Dr. Gerlai argues that the zebrafish models have good face, construct and predictive validity, and will significantly advance our understanding of the biological and genetic mechanisms of alcohol related disorders.

Questions and discussion

In addition to discussing recent data from their laboratories, the symposium speakers also summarized recent challenges and unsolved problems in zebrafish neurobehavioral research. They also outlined future promising directions in this field. The symposium presentations was followed by an informal 'ask the expert' Q&A session.

(Some of the image on this page are courtesy of  Prof. Robert Gerlai, University of Toronto at Mississauga, Mississauga, Canada and of Lies-Anne Severijnen, Dept of Clinical Genetics, ErasmusMC Rotterdam, The Netherlands).



: 6:30 - 8:30pm


: 383-385

Tuesday, 16 October, 2012
Ernest N. Morial Convention Center