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Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2000 Dec;67(4):773-82.

Drinks like a fish: zebra fish (Danio rerio) as a behavior genetic model to study alcohol effects.

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Neuroscience Department, Genentech Inc., 1 DNA Way, South San Francisco, CA 94080, USA.


Zebra fish may be an ideal vertebrate model system for numerous human diseases with which the genetics and biological mechanisms of the disease may be studied. Zebra fish has been successfully used in developmental genetics, and recently, neurobiologists have also started to study this species. A potentially interesting target disease amenable for analysis with zebra fish is drug addiction, e.g. alcoholism. Although genetic tools to manipulate the genome of zebra fish are available, appropriate phenotypical testing methods are often lacking. In this paper, we describe basic behavioral tests to investigate the acute effects of alcohol on zebra fish. These behavioral paradigms will be useful for the genetic and biological analysis of acute and chronic drug effects as well as addiction. In addition to presenting findings for the acute effects of alcohol, we briefly describe our strategy for generating and screening mutants. We hope that our pilot work will facilitate the future development of behavioral tests and the use of zebra fish in the genetic analysis of the biological effects of drugs of abuse.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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