Marchetto, L., Barcellos, L. J. G., Koakoski, G. et al. 2021. Auditory environmental enrichment prevents anxiety-like behavior, but not cortisol responses, evoked by 24-h social isolation in zebrafish. Behavioural Brain Research 404, 113169.

The zebrafish (Danio rerio) is widely used as a promising translational model organism for studying various brain disorders. Zebrafish are also commonly used in behavioral and drug screening assays utilizing individually tested (socially isolated) fish. Various sounds represent important exogenous factors that may affect fish behavior. Mounting evidence shows that musical/auditory environmental enrichment can improve welfare of laboratory animals, including fishes. Here, we show that auditory environmental enrichment mitigates anxiogenic-like effects caused by acute 24-h social isolation in adult zebrafish. Thus, auditory environmental enrichment may offer an inexpensive, feasible and simple tool to improve welfare of zebrafish stocks in laboratory facilities, reduce unwanted procedural stress, lower non-specific behavioral variance and, hence, collectively improve zebrafish data reliability and reproducibility.

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