In this study, we evaluated the goldfish model of hemilabyrinthectomy for investigating potential recovery-promoting drugs. In this lesion model, the unilateral removal of the labyrinth induces a postural imbalance in response to light (Dorsal Light Reflex), from which the animals can recover over time. The behavioral effects of two neuropeptides were tested-namely, of substance P and ACTH4-10, both of which are known to promote functional recovery in several other lesion models. Furthermore, the effect of MK-801, an antagonist of the glutamatergic NMDA-receptor subtype, was tested because this substance has also been shown to exert a neuroprotective effect. After lesion of the right labyrinth, the animals (n=12) were treated intraperitoneally daily either with vehicle (n=12), substance P (n=11), ACTH4-10 (n=12), or MK-801 (n=12). Another group (n=11), which served as a non-lesion control, did not receive hemilabyrinthectomy or systemic injections. The lesion group, treated post-operatively with vehicle, did not recover from the postural deviation over the 24-d testing period. In contrast, all three test substances accelerated the functional recovery after unilateral labyrinthectomy. The decrease of the dorsal light reflex persisted even after cessation of drug treatment after 20 d. The results indicate that using the dorsal light reflex in the model of hemilabyrinthectomy in goldfish provides a useful approach to studying the ability of potential new neurotrophic or neuroprotective drugs to promote functional recovery.
Mattioli, R., Huston, J. P., & Spieler, R. E. (2000). ACTH4-10, substance P, and dizolcipine (MK-801) accelerate functional recovery after hemilabyrinthectomy in goldfish. Neural Plasticity, 7(4), 291–301. https://doi.org/10.1155/NP.2000.291