Comparative behavior. Anxiety-like behavior in crayfish is controlled by serotonin.

P. Fossat, J. Bacque-Cazenave, P. De Deurwaerdere, J.-P. Delbecque, D. Cattaert
Science. 2014-06-12; 344(6189): 1293-1297
DOI: 10.1126/science.1248811

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Anxiety, a behavioral consequence of stress, has been characterized in humans and
some vertebrates, but not invertebrates. Here, we demonstrate that after exposure
to stress, crayfish sustainably avoided the aversive illuminated arms of an
aquatic plus-maze. This behavior was correlated with an increase in brain
serotonin and was abolished by the injection of the benzodiazepine anxiolytic
chlordiazepoxide. Serotonin injection into unstressed crayfish induced avoidance;
again, this effect was reversed by injection with chlordiazepoxide. Our results
demonstrate that crayfish exhibit a form of anxiety similar to that described in
vertebrates, suggesting the conservation of several underlying mechanisms during
evolution. Analyses of this ancestral behavior in a simple model reveal a new
route to understanding anxiety and may alter our conceptions of the emotional
status of invertebrates.

Copyright © 2014, American Association for the Advancement of Science.


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