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J Neurosci Methods. 2002 Aug 30;118(2):177-87.

High-throughput behavioral screening method for detecting auditory response defects in zebrafish.

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1
Department of Otolaryngology, Harvard Medical School and The Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, 243 Charles Street, Boston, MA 02114, USA.

Abstract

We have developed an automated, high-throughput behavioral screening method for detecting hearing defects in zebrafish. Our assay monitors a rapid escape reflex in response to a loud sound. With this approach, 36 adult zebrafish, restrained in visually isolated compartments, can be simultaneously assessed for responsiveness to near-field 400 Hz sinusoidal tone bursts. Automated, objective determinations of responses are achieved with a computer program that obtains images at precise times relative to the acoustic stimulus. Images taken with a CCD video camera before and after stimulus presentation are subtracted to reveal a response to the sound. Up to 108 fish can be screened per hour. Over 6500 fish were tested to validate the reliability of the assay. We found that 1% of these animals displayed hearing deficits. The phenotypes of non-responders were further assessed with radiological analysis for defects in the gross morphology of the auditory system. Nearly all of those showed abnormalities in conductive elements of the auditory system: the swim bladder or Weberian ossicles.

PMID:
12204308
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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