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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Noxious Stimuli-Induced Sensitization of Thigmotaxis in Larval Zebrafish

  • Author(s): Ly, Duy Truong
  • Advisor(s): Glanzman, David L
  • et al.

Chronic pain and anxiety disorders are known to be intimately connected in humans. Occasionally, the sensation of pain and the associated emotional affects like anxiety linger past the end of the triggering stimulus or even in the absence of a trigger. Central sensitization has been posited as a simple form of memory that may underlie the persistence of idiopathic disorders like fibromyalgia. In the present study, we examined the effect of a known chemical irritant, allyl isothiocyanate (mustard oil), and electric shock on freely swimming zebrafish larvae (5 and 12 DPF). We found that mustard oil (MO, concentration = 10�M) and electric shock induced thigmotaxis, an anxiety-related behavior. Future work should determine the specific changes induced by MO or shock in the behavioral circuits that mediate swimming in the zebrafish. The results of this future work may contribute to our understanding of the neural basis of pain and anxiety disorders.

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