Zebrafish models of impulsivity and impulse control disorders

Murilo S. de Abreu*, Ana C. V. V. Giacomini, Rafael Genario, Barbara D. Fontana, Matthew O. Parker, Leticia Marcon, Naiara Scolari, Barbara Bueno, Konstantin A. Demin, David Galstyan, Tatyana O. Kolesnikova, Tamara G. Amstislavskaya, Konstantin N. Zabegalov, Tatyana Strekalova, Allan V. Kalueff

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Impulse control disorders (ICDs) are characterized by generalized difficulty controlling emotions and behaviors. ICDs are a broad group of the central nervous system (CNS) disorders including conduct disorder, intermittent explosive, oppositional-defiant disorder, antisocial personality disorder, kleptomania, pyromania and other illnesses. Although they all share a common feature (aberrant impulsivity), their pathobiology is complex and poorly understood. There are also currently no ICD-specific therapies to treat these illnesses. Animal models are a valuable tool for studying ICD pathobiology and potential therapies. The zebrafish (Danio rerio) has become a useful model organism to study CNS disorders due to high genetic and physiological homology to mammals, and sensitivity to various pharmacological and genetic manipulations. Here, we summarize experimental models of impulsivity and ICD in zebrafish and highlight their growing translational significance. We also emphasize the need for further development of zebrafish ICD models to improve our understanding of their pathogenesis and to search for novel therapeutic treatments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4233-4248
Number of pages16
JournalEuropean Journal of Neuroscience
Issue number10
Early online date5 Aug 2020
Publication statusPublished - 6 Nov 2020


  • aggressiveness
  • animal models
  • behavior
  • central nervous system
  • genetic models


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