Universiteit Leiden

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Research project

The role of zebrafish (Danio rerio) larvae in developing new drug candidates for treating anxiety, from natural sources

Can zebrafish larvae be used as a behavioural model for screening natural products as potential neurotropic drugs?

2014 - 2018
Michael Richardson
Human Life Advancement Foundation (HLAF), Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Human Life Advancement Foundation (HLAF), Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

We will use the zebrafish embryo/larva model for screening plant extracts and animal venoms for anxiolytic activity.

Anxiety is among the most common of psychiatric disorders. Nature may offer opportunities for the identification of new drug candidates that can be useful in treating anxiety. Traditional herbal medicines are often overlooked in this regard, although there has recently been a surge in the use of traditional herbal medicines to treat psychiatric disorders. Besides plant-based medicine, animal venoms from arachnids and gastropods may also have potential to be exploited to treat such disorders. For screening of natural products, zebrafish larvae have many advantages as a model organism in neurobehavioural research. The main objective of this project is to use zebrafish larvae in a behavioural screening setup, in combination with the fractionation of natural products, to find new drug candidates from plants and venom for anxiety.

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