Anxiolytic-like effects of noribogaine in zebrafish

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Abstract

Noribogaine is the main psychoactive metabolite of the hallucinogenic drug ibogaine, and is a particularly interesting compound potentially useful to treat dependence and various psychiatric disorders. Here, we report the effects of noribogaine on anxiety and locomotion in zebrafish (Danio rerio), a new promising model organism in neurobehavioral and psychopharmacological research. Adult zebrafish were subjected to the 5 min novel tank test (NTT) following an acute, 20-min drug immersion in 1, 5 and 10 mg/L noribogaine. Overall, noribogaine produced robust anxiolytic-like behavior in zebrafish (increasing the time spent and transitions to the top half compartment and reducing freezing bouts) without overt effects on fish locomotion. Taken together, these results indicate that noribogaine modulates the components of the acute stress response related to emotionality and anxiety behaviors, implicating this drug as a potentially useful non-sedative anxiolytic agent.

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