OBJECTIVE: Phenotypic screening is one of the most practical approaches to the identification of mediators of behaviour, since it is difficult to model brain function in vitro, at a cellular level. We used a zebrafish (Danio rerio) behavioural assay to discover novel, natural, neuroactive compounds.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: A zebrafish behavioural assay was performed for seven natural compounds, obtained from plants. The behavioural profiles were compared to those of known psychoactive drugs. We characterised a natural compound exhibiting a behaviour profile similar to that of suvorexant, using in silico, in vitro and microarray expression analysis.
RESULTS: The behavioural analysis performed in this study classified central nervous system drugs according to their mechanism. Zebrafish treated with a natural compound, 8b-(4′-Hydroxytigloyloxy) costunolide (8b), showed behaviour profiles similar to those of zebrafish treated with suvorexant, a known orexin antagonist. This behavioural assay was validated using in silico and in vitro assays, which revealed that the new compound was a dual orexin receptor antagonist. In addition, transcriptome analysis suggested that 8b might regulate the nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) related pathway.
CONCLUSIONS: We conclude that zebrafish phenotypic screening, combined with in silico assays and gene expression profiling, is a useful strategy to discover and characterize novel therapeutic compounds, including natural products.Free PDF Download
To cite this article
M. Yamanaka, H. Iwata, K. Masuda, M. Araki, Y. Okuno, M. Okamura, J. Koiwa, T. Tanaka
A novel orexin antagonist from a natural plant was discovered using zebrafish behavioural analysis
Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci
Vol. 24 - N. 9