Understanding zebrafish aggressive behavior

Konstantin N. Zabegalov, Tatiana O. Kolesnikova, Sergey L. Khatsko, Andrey D. Volgin, Oleg A. Yakovlev, Tamara G. Amstislavskaya, Ashton J. Friend, Wandong Bao, Polina A. Alekseeva, Anton M. Lakstygal, Darya A. Meshalkina, Konstantin A. Demin, Murilo S. de Abreu, Denis B. Rosemberg, Allan V. Kalueff

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


Aggression is a common agonistic behavior affecting social life and well-being of humans and animals. However, the underlying mechanisms of aggression remain poorly understood. For decades, studies of aggression have mostly focused on laboratory rodents. The growing importance of evolutionarily relevant, cross-species disease modeling necessitates novel model organisms to study aggression and its pathobiology. The zebrafish (Danio rerio) is rapidly becoming a new experimental model organism in neurobehavioral research. Zebrafish demonstrate high genetic and physiological homology with mammals, fully sequenced genome, ease of husbandry and testing, as well as rich, robust behavioral repertoire. As zebrafish present overt aggressive behaviors, here we focus on their behavioral models and discuss their utility in probing aggression neurobiology and its genetic, pharmacological and environmental modulation. We argue that zebrafish-based models represent an excellent translational tool to understand aggressive behaviors and related pathobiological brain mechanisms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)200-210
Number of pages11
JournalBehavioural Processes
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019


  • Aggression
  • Environmental modulation
  • Experimental models
  • Pharmacology of aggression
  • Zebrafish


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