Navigation Links
Do anaesthetics trigger stress?

New research could improve the welfare standards of millions of fish used by scientists around the world. The study, published in PLOS ONE, is one of the first to formally assess the welfare implications of anaesthetics on fish. Researchers use fish to study the developmental origins of health and disease.

The work, carried out in collaboration between the University of Bristol's School of Veterinary Sciences and AstraZeneca Brixham Environmental Laboratory, investigated whether scientists are using the right anaesthetics and if current best practice for fish could be improved.

The research team's behavioural study evaluated nine of the most commonly used anaesthetics and performed preference tests using adult mixed sex zebrafish (Danio rerio), the most commonly held laboratory fish, to record their responses. Video tracking software measured swimming behaviour related to dislike for each anaesthetic at 50 per cent of its standard recommended dose compared with clean water in a flow-through chemotaxic choice chamber.

The aim of the research was to find out if anaesthetic compounds cause changes in the swimming behaviour of the zebrafish and whether the potential stress induced in these animals is inhumane.

Zebrafish embryos are transparent and develop outside the body, allowing simple study of the developing embryo. Zebrafish research provides a unique visual approach to understanding the developmental defects in adult diseases and age-related abnormalities, such as cardiovascular diseases.

Dr Jo Murrell, Senior Lecturer in Veterinary Anaesthesia at the Vet School and co-author on the study with Gareth Readman, Bristol PhD student and fish biologist at AstraZeneca, said: "Zebrafish are the most commonly used fish in universities and research organisations. There is a need to use anaesthetics to help handle them, collect samples, or humanely euthanise them.

"With tens of millions of fish used in science around the world, it is very important that the anaesthetics used to do this are the most humane available and do not themselves cause a stress response. "

The team found that several commonly used anaesthetics were aversive, including two of the most commonly recommended and used: MS222 (ethyl 3-aminobenzoate methanesulphate) and benzocaine. For ethical best practice, it is recommended that compounds that are aversive, even at low concentration, should no longer be used routinely for anaesthesia or for the first step of humane euthanasia of adult zebrafish.

Two agents were found not to induce aversive behavioural responses: etomidate and 2,2,2 tribromoethanol.

For the millions of adult zebrafish used in laboratories and breeding worldwide, the research team found the anaesthetic etomidate appears best suited for future routine humane use.

There have been advancements in general veterinary anaesthesia for mammals, but fish have been left behind and the research team hope this work will begin to re-address that balance.


Contact: Joanne Fryer
University of Bristol

Related biology news :

1. A single stem cell mutation triggers fibroid tumors
2. NIH-led study finds genetic test results do not trigger increased use of health services
3. Scientists discover new trigger for immense North Atlantic plankton bloom
4. Deadly liver cancer may be triggered by cells changing identity, UCSF study shows
5. Common parasite may trigger suicide attempts
6. Finding triggers of birth defects in an embryo heart
7. NIH-funded researchers show possible trigger for MS nerve damage
8. Rice uses light to remotely trigger biochemical reactions
9. Newly discovered scarecrow gene might trigger big boost in food production
10. Popular energy drinks trigger caffeine jitters
11. Key protein revealed as trigger for stem cell development
Post Your Comments:
(Date:4/15/2016)...  A new partnership announced today will help ... in a fraction of the time it takes ... life insurance policies to consumers without requiring inconvenient ... Diagnostics, rapid testing (A1C, Cotinine and HIV) and ... weight, pulse, BMI, and activity data) available at ...
(Date:4/14/2016)... Israel , April 14, 2016 ... Authentication and Malware Detection, today announced the appointment of ... assumed the new role. Goldwerger,s leadership appointment ... on the heels of the deployment of its platform ... BioCatch,s behavioral biometric technology, which discerns unique cognitive and ...
(Date:3/31/2016)... 2016   LegacyXChange, ... "Company") LegacyXChange is excited to release its ... to be launched online site for trading 100% guaranteed ... will also provide potential shareholders a sense of the ... an industry that is notorious for fraud. The video ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... CAMBRIDGE, Mass. , June 23, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... the development of novel compounds designed to target ... compound, napabucasin, has been granted Orphan Drug Designation ... in the treatment of gastric cancer, including gastroesophageal ... cancer stemness inhibitor designed to inhibit cancer stemness ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) is pleased to announce 24 new Young ... cancer. Members of the Class of 2016 were selected from a pool of ... More About the Class of 2016 PCF Young Investigators ... ... ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... Durham, NC (PRWEB) , ... June 23, 2016 , ... ... Odense University Hospital in Denmark detail how a patient who developed lymphedema after being ... (fat) tissue. The results could change the paradigm for dealing with this debilitating, frequent ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... ClinCapture, the only free validated ... will showcase its product’s latest features from June 26 to June 30, 2016 ... on Disrupting Clinical Trials in The Cloud during the conference. DIA (Drug ...
Breaking Biology Technology: