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Zebrafish show potential for assisting drug addiction research: NHRI

04/15/2024 09:08 PM
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Photo: Oregon State University / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 2.0
Photo: Oregon State University / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 2.0

Taipei, April 15 (CNA) Research by a National Health Research Institutes (NHRI) team has found that zebrafish could potentially be used to assist in drug addiction research, according to a Monday news release.

Humans may appear very different to zebrafish, but the two actually share 70 percent of the same genes, NHRI Center for Neuropsychiatric Research investigator Chen Hwei-hsien (陳慧諴) said.

In a study published in 'Addiction Biology' in December 2023, the 'zebrafish conditioned place preference (CPP) paradigm' was found to show predictive validity in drug reward, extinction and reinstatement experiments, said Chen, who participated in the research.

The CPP paradigm has been widely used to determine the reinforcing effect of naturally rewarding (for example, food) or addictive substances in rodents and was used in this instance with zebrafish.

Predictive validity refers to the ability of a test or other measurements to predict a future outcome.

She added that zebrafish paradigms had a similar predictive validity to that of mice, the current most common research animal. They are also much cheaper to breed, which makes them a strong potential for drug addiction research.

This low cost could help bring about a model for legally categorizing new drug types, particularly new addictive substances that are constantly evolving to evade regulation, she said.

(By Chen Chieh-ling and Wu Kuan-hsien)

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