The Effect of Chronic Lysergic Acid Diethylamide Exposure and Withdrawal in Zebrafish
Zebrafish (Danio rerio) are an excellent model for neuroscience research due to the similarities in neurochemistry they share with humans. Zebrafish are a good model for anxiety research as they are highly anxious prey species. In addition, cortisol is the primary stress hormone in both humans and zebrafish. This enables researchers to study the relationship between neurotransmitter systems and hallucinogenic drugs. There has been little research into hallucinogens due to their reputation as drugs of abuse and focusing on their benefits is a recent development. The few studies conducted on acute lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) exposure in zebrafish has shown a significant anxiolytic effects. The current study involves chronic exposure of zebrafish to LSD. Subjects will be randomly assigned to a low or high dose of either 100 μg/L or 250 μg/L for 11 days and behaviour in the open field test will be assessed on the 11th and 18th day. Based on past research, since fish have experienced a decrease in anxiety when exposed to LSD, the withdrawal will elicit a rebound effect. This research will increase understanding of hallucinogens and their potential therapeutic application in disorders such as anxiety. Future research should address the nature of chronic exposure of lower doses as well as the effect hallucinogens have on treating addiction disorders.
Presented in absentia on April 27, 2020 at "Student Research Day" at MacEwan University in Edmonton, Alberta. (Conference cancelled)
Faculty Mentor: Melike Schalomon
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