The emergence of behavioral testing of fishes to measure toxicological effects

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Historically, research in toxicology has utilized non-human mammalian species, particularly rats and mice, to study in vivo the effects of toxic exposure on physiology and behavior. However, ethical considerations and the overwhelming increase in the number of chemicals to be screened has led to a shift away from in vivo work. The decline in in vivo experimentation has been accompanied by an increase in alternative methods for detecting and predicting detrimental effects: in vitro experimentation and in silico modeling. Yet, these new methodologies can not replace the need for in vivo work on animal physiology and behavior. The development of new, non-mammalian model systems shows great promise in restoring our ability to use behavioral endpoints in toxicological testing. Of these systems, the zebrafish, Danio rerio, is the model organism for which we are accumulating enough knowledge in vivo, in vitro, and in silico to enable us to develop a comprehensive, highthroughput toxicology screening system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9-15
Number of pages7
JournalToxicological Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Toxicology
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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