Zebrafish behavior is influenced by the lateral line hair cells and muscles. Drug-induced behavioral changes can serve as indicators in the evaluation of drug toxicity. The aminoglycoside family of antibiotics comprise a number of agents, including neomycin (NM) and gentamicin (GM). We hypothesized that NM and GM exert different effects on zebrafish larvae through their action on the lateral line and muscle fibers, inducing different swimming behavioral patterns such as locomotor behavior and the startle response. In this study, 125 μM NM and 5, 10, 20 μM GM induced hair cell damage in the anterior and posterior lateral lines of zebrafish larvae. However, unlike GM, 125 μM NM also caused muscle damage. Locomotor behavior was decreased in the 125 μM NM-exposed group compared to the group exposed to GM. Furthermore, 125 μM NM exposure induced significantly different patterns of various indices of startle behavior compared with the GM exposure groups. Additionally, the larvae exhibited different startle responses depending on the concentration of GM. These results suggest that GM may be the drug-of-choice for analyzing behavioral changes in zebrafish caused by damage to the lateral line alone. Our study highlights the importance of confirming muscle damage in behavioral analyses using zebrafish.
- Lateral line
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