Casting a wider fish net on animal models in neuropsychiatric research

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Neuropsychiatric disorders, such as schizophrenia, are associated with abnormal brain development. In this review, we discuss how studying dimensional components of these disorders, or endophenotypes, in a wider range of animal models will deepen our understanding of how interactions between biological and environmental factors alter the trajectory of neurodevelopment leading to aberrant behavior. In particular, we discuss some of the advantages of incorporating studies of brain and behavior using a range of teleost fish species into current neuropsychiatric research. From the perspective of comparative neurobiology, teleosts share a fundamental pattern of neurodevelopment and functional brain organization with other vertebrates, including humans. These shared features provide a basis for experimentally probing the mechanisms of disease-associated brain abnormalities. Moreover, incorporating information about how behaviors have been shaped by evolution will allow us to better understand the relevance of behavioral variation to determine their physiological underpinnings. We believe that exploiting the conservation in brain development across vertebrate species, and the rich diversity of fish behavior in lab and natural populations will lead to significant new insights and a holistic understanding of the neurobiological systems implicated in neuropsychiatric disorders.




Hall, Z. J., De Serrano, A. R., Rodd, F. H., & Tropepe, V. (2014, December 3). Casting a wider fish net on animal models in neuropsychiatric research. Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry. Elsevier Inc.

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