The impact of housing environment color on zebrafish anxiety-like behavioral and physiological (cortisol) responses

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Year of Publication:
Murilo S de Abreu, Ana CVV Giacomini, Rafael Genario, Bruna E dos Santos, Leticia Marcon, Konstantin A Demin, Allan V Kalueff
General Comparative Endocrinology
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Color of the environment is an important factor modulating human and animal behavior and physiology. Animal models are a valuable tool to understand how colors affect social, cognitive and affective responses. The zebrafish (Danio rerio) is rapidly emerging as an important organism in neuroscience and physiology. Here, we examine whether the color of housing environment influences zebrafish anxiety-like behavior and whole-body cortisol levels. Overall, housing for 15 days in transparent and white holding tanks increases, and in black or blue tanks decreases, baseline anxiety-like behavior in adult zebrafish. Housing in blue tanks (vs. white) also reduced their cortisol levels. Taken together, our data suggest that color of the housing environment is an important factor that affects neurobehavioral and endocrine responses in zebrafish. Our study also reinforces zebrafish as a promising model organism to study neurobiology of compex brain-environment interactions.


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