Sex differences influence human and animal behavioral and pharmacological responses. The zebrafish (Danio rerio) is a powerful, popular model system in neuroscience and drug screening. However, the impact of zebrafish sex differences on their behavior and drug responses remains poorly understood. Here, we evaluate baseline anxiety-like behavior in adult male and female zebrafish, and its changes following an acute 30-min exposure to 800-µM scopolamine, a common psychoactive anticholinergic drug. Overall, we report high baseline anxiety-like behavior and more individual variability in locomotion in female zebrafish, as well as distinct, sex-specific (anxiolytic-like in females and anxiogenic-like in males) effects of scopolamine. Collectively, these findings reinforce the growing importance of zebrafish models for studying both individual and sex differences in behavioral and pharmacological responses.
- Sex differences
- anxiety-like behavior