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Stress-induced analgesia in fish

Thomson, J.S. et al. J. Exp. Biol. 223, jeb224527 (2020)

In mammals, exposure to acute stress (AS) before a painful event can reduce responses to pain, whereas exposure to chronic stress (CS) results in stress-induced hyperalgesia.

Now, a team from the University of Liverpool describes the effects of stress on pain perception in zebrafish subjected to a painful procedure. In absence of stress, fin-clipped fish had a preference for the bottom of the tank, swam at slower speed and with less complex swimming patterns compared to sham fish, whereas fin-clipped fish that had been exposed to either AS or CS behaved like undisturbed fish. These findings indicate the presence of stress-induced analgesia, a phenomenon that could be a confounding factor in studies using zebrafish.

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Correspondence to Alexandra Le Bras.

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Le Bras, A. Stress-induced analgesia in fish. Lab Anim 49, 252 (2020).

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