Differential modulation of the central and peripheral monoaminergic neurochemicals by deprenyl in Zebrafish Larvae

Marina Bellot, Helena Bartolomé, Melissa Faria, Cristian Gómez-Canela, Demetrio Raldúa

Research output: Indexed journal article Articlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Zebrafish embryos and larvae are vertebrate models increasingly used in translational neuroscience research. Behavioral impairment induced by the exposure to neuroactive or neurotoxic compounds is commonly linked to changes in modulatory neurotransmitters in the brain. Although different analytical methods for determining monoaminergic neurochemicals in zebrafish larvae have been developed, these methods have been used only on whole larvae, as the dissection of the brain of hundreds of larvae is not feasible. This raises a key question: Are the changes in the monoaminergic profile of the whole larvae predictive of the changes in the brain? In this study, the levels of ten monoaminergic neurotransmitters were determined in the head, trunk, and the whole body of zebrafish larvae in a control group and in those treated for 24 h with 5 M deprenyl, a prototypic monoamine-oxidase B inhibitor, eight days post-fertilization. In control larvae, most of the monoaminergic neurochemicals were found at higher levels in the head than in the trunk. Significant changes were found in the distribution of some neurochemicals after deprenyl-treatment, with serotonin and norepinephrine increasing in both the head and the trunk, whereas dopamine, L-DOPA, and homovanillic acid levels were only modulated in the head. In fact, the highly significant increase in dopamine levels observed in the head after deprenyl-treatment was not detected in the whole-body analysis. These results indicate that the analysis of neurotransmitters in the zebrafish larvae whole-body should not be used as a general surrogate of the brain.

Original languageEnglish
Article number116
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Central nervous system
  • Monoaminergic neurochemicals
  • Peripheral nervous system
  • Zebrafish larvae


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