A Multi-Site Assessment of Anesthetic Overdose, Hypothermic Shock, and Electrical Stunning as Methods of Euthanasia for Zebrafish (Danio rerio) Embryos and Larvae

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelfagfællebedømt


  • Jean Philippe Mocho
  • Florian Lang
  • Guillaume Valentin
  • Sébastien Bedu
  • Robin McKimm
  • Juan Ramos
  • Yolanda Saavedra Torres
  • Sarah E. Wheatley
  • Joseph Higgins
  • Mollie E. Millington
  • Lundegaard, Pia Rengtved
  • Rubén Chamorro Valverde
  • Vlasta Jenčič
  • Kristine von Krogh

Euthanasia in zebrafish (Danio rerio) younger than 5 days post fertilization (dpf) is poorly described in the literature, and standardized protocols are lacking, most likely because larvae not capable of independent feeding are often not protected under national legislations. We assessed the euthanasia efficacy in laboratories in different countries of a one hour anesthetic overdose immersion with buffered lidocaine hydrochloride (1 g/L, with or without 50 mL/L of ethanol), buffered tricaine (1 g/L), clove oil (0.1%), benzocaine (1 g/L), or 2-phenoxyethanol (3 mL/L), as well as the efficacy of hypothermic shock (one hour immersion) and electrical stunning (for one minute), on zebrafish at <12 h post fertilization (hpf), 24 hpf, and 4 dpf. Based on the survival/recovery rates 24 h after treatment, the most effective methods were clove oil, lidocaine with ethanol, and electrical stunning. For 4 dpf larvae, signs of aversion during treatment demonstrated that all anesthetics, except lidocaine, induced aversive behavior. Therefore, the most suited euthanasic treatment was lidocaine hydrochloride 1 g/L, buffered with 2 g/L of sodium bicarbonate and mixed with 50 mL/L of ethanol, which euthanized both embryos and larvae in an efficient and stress-free manner. Electrical stunning also euthanized embryos and larvae efficiently and without signs of aversion; this method needs further assessment in other laboratories to draw firm conclusions.

Udgave nummer4
Sider (fra-til)1-17
StatusUdgivet - apr. 2022

Bibliografisk note

Funding Information:
Funding: This research was funded by the Francis Crick Institute, which receives its core funding from Cancer Research U.K., the U.K. Medical Research Council, and the Wellcome Trust. P.R.L. is funded by a Hallas-Møller Emerging Investigator grant from the Novo Nordisk Foundation.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

ID: 316674048