Behavioral Profiling of Zebrafish (Danio rerio) Larvae Following Teratogen Exposure


Apart from morphological, biochemical, and genetic alterations induced by teratogen compounds, there is an increase interest in characterizing behavioral alterations. Behavior is a sensitive parameter that can provide information regarding developmental disruptions noninvasively, as it is the result of brain processes. Behavioral disturbances interfere with animals’ capacity to cope with the environment, having an impact on the organism’s life. Hereby, it is proposed behavioral assays consisting on recording larvae in multiwell plates and video analysis with a proper software, allowing for teratogen screening of behavior. How to evaluate locomotor, anxiety-like and avoidance-like behaviors, and the integrity of sensory-motor functions and learning are discussed in this chapter.


Teratogen - Zebrafish larvae - Behavior - Activity - Thigmotaxis - Avoidance behavior - Dark–light challenge - Startle response