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    The use of zebrafish as a model organism is gaining evidence in the field of epilepsy as it may help to understand the mechanisms underlying epileptic seizures. As zebrafish assays became popular, the heterogeneity between protocols increased, making it hard to choose a standard protocol to conduct research while also impairing the comparison of results between studies. We conducted a systematic review to comprehensively profile the chemically-induced seizure models in zebrafish. Literature searches were performed in PubMed, Scopus, and Web of Science, followed by a two-step screening process based on inclusion/exclusion criteria. Qualitative data were extracted, and a sample of 100 studies was randomly selected for risk of bias assessment. Out of the 1058 studies identified after removing duplicates, 201 met the inclusion criteria. We found that the most common chemoconvulsants used in the reviewed studies were pentylenetetrazole (n = 180), kainic acid (n = 11), and pilocarpine (n = 10), which increase seizure severity in a dose-dependent manner. The main outcomes assessed were seizure scores and locomotion. Significant variability between the protocols was observed for administration route, duration of exposure, and dose/concentration. Of the studies subjected to risk of bias assessment, most were rated as low risk of bias for selective reporting (94%), baseline characteristics of the animals (67%), and blinded outcome assessment (54%). Randomization procedures and incomplete data were rated unclear in 81% and 68% of the studies, respectively. None of the studies reported the sample size calculation. Overall, these findings underscore the need for improved methodological and reporting practices to enhance the reproducibility and reliability of zebrafish models for studying epilepsy. Our study offers a comprehensive overview of the current state of chemically-induced seizure models in zebrafish, highlighting the common chemoconvulsants used and the variability in protocol parameters. This may be particularly valuable to researchers interested in understanding the underlying mechanisms of epileptic seizures and screening potential drug candidates in zebrafish models. Copyright © 2023 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


    Rafael Chitolina, Matheus Gallas-Lopes, Carlos G Reis, Radharani Benvenutti, Thailana Stahlhofer-Buss, Maria Elisa Calcagnotto, Ana P Herrmann, Angelo Piato. Chemically-induced epileptic seizures in zebrafish: A systematic review. Epilepsy research. 2023 Nov;197:107236

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    PMID: 37801749

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