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Title: Endothelin neurotransmitter signalling controls zebrafish social behaviour.
Authors: Carreño Gutiérrez, H
Colanesi, S
Cooper, B
Reichmann, F
Young, AMJ
Kelsh, RN
Norton, WHJ
First Published: 28-Feb-2019
Publisher: Nature Research (part of Springer Nature)
Citation: Scientific Reports, 2019, 9, Article number: 3040
Abstract: The formation of social groups is an adaptive behaviour that can provide protection from predators, improve foraging and facilitate social learning. However, the costs of proximity can include competition for resources, aggression and kleptoparasitism meaning that the decision whether to interact represents a trade-off. Here we show that zebrafish harbouring a mutation in endothelin receptor aa (ednraa) form less cohesive shoals than wild-types. ednraa-/- mutants exhibit heightened aggression and decreased whole-body cortisol levels suggesting that they are dominant. These behavioural changes correlate with a reduction of parvocellular arginine vasopressin (AVP)-positive neurons in the preoptic area, an increase in the size of magnocellular AVP neurons and a higher concentration of 5-HT and dopamine in the brain. Manipulation of AVP or 5-HT signalling can rescue the shoaling phenotype of ednraa-/- providing an insight into how the brain controls social interactions.
DOI Link: 10.1038/s41598-019-39907-7
eISSN: 2045-2322
Version: Publisher Version
Status: Peer-reviewed
Type: Journal Article
Rights: Copyright © the authors, 2019. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Description: Supplementary information accompanies this paper at
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, Dept. of Neuroscience, Psychology and Behaviour

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