Modeling sleep and neuropsychiatric disorders in zebrafish.
Sleep is a universal phenomenon in vertebrates, and its loss affects various behaviors. Independent studies have reported that sleep loss increases anxiety; however, the detailed mechanism is unknown. Because sleep deprivation increases noradrenalin (NA), which modulates many behaviors and induces patho-physiological changes, this study utilized zebrafish as a model to investigate whether sleep loss-induced increased anxiety is modulated by NA. Continuous behavioral quiescence for at least 6s was considered to represent sleep in zebrafish; although some authors termed it as a sleep-like state, in this study we have termed it as sleep. The activity of fish that signified sleep-waking was recorded in light-dark, during continuous dark and light; the latter induced sleep loss in fish. The latency, number of entries, time spent and distance travelled in the light chamber were assessed in a light-dark box test to estimate the anxiety behavior of normal, sleep-deprived and prazosin (PRZ)-treated fish. Zebrafish showed increased waking during light and complete loss of sleep upon continuous exposure to light for 24h. PRZ significantly increased sleep in normal fish. Sleep-deprived fish showed an increased preference for dark (expression of increased anxiety), and this effect was prevented by PRZ, which increased sleep as well. Our findings suggest that sleep loss-induced anxiety-like behavior in zebrafish is likely to be mediated by NA's action on the α1-adrenoceptor.