The purpose was to assess Danio rerio behavioral effects for dose-dependent effects of phenazepam, a benzodiazepine anxiolytic. Previously, Danio rerio showed the effects of other anxiolytics, diazepam and chlordiazepoxide. The analysis of the anxiolytic effect of phenazepam in Danio rerio was carried out for the first time. Methods. A stress test on novelty situation was used: a fish was placed first in a beaker with a dissolved pharmacological substance (or water) and then into a novel tank for 6 min, where the trajectory, the path length, the number of movements to the upper part of the novel tank, the number and time of the pattern of «freezing» for each min of the experiment were measured. Results. In response to the novelty of tank, the fish was shown to react by submerging to the bottom, increasing the freezing, and reducing the number of movements to the upper half of the novel tank. After phenazepam exposure (administration), the fish was not only in the lower, but also in the upper part of the novel tank. The average path length did not change significantly in the range of the doses used. The number and time of the freezing, as well as the time spent in the lower part of the novel tank, 2-fold decreased compared to the control group of animals and showed a dose-dependent effect. The number of movements to the upper part of the novel tank for the experiment increased significantly from 1 in the control to 57 after phenazepam in a dose of 1 mg/l. When analyzing the dynamics of the parameters for each min, it was shown that the time of the fish in the lower part of the novel tank decreased from 3th min of the experiment with the use of phenazepam in a dose of 0.5 mg/l. At the same time, the number of movements of fish to the upper part of the novel tank significantly increased more than 2 times from 3th min of the experiment with the use of phenazepam in a dose of 1 mg/l. Conclusion. The described method to study behavioral responses of Danio rerio on novelty stress is high sensitive in comparison with traditional behavioral methods of studing tranquilizers. The prospect of using Danio rerio as animal model in behavioral pharmacology is significant and does not concede research on rodents.
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