Zebrafish (Danio rerio) are now firmly established as a powerful research model for many areas of biology and medicine. Here, we review some achievements of zebrafish - based assays for modeling human diseases and for drug discovery and development. For drug discovery, zebrafish are especially valuable in the earlier stages of research as they provide a model organism to demonstrate a new treatment's efficacy and toxicity before more costly mammalian models are used. This review provides examples of compounds known to be toxic to humans that have been demonstrated to functional similarly in zebrafish. Major advantages of zebrafish embryons are that they are readily permeable to small molecules added to their incubation medium and the transparent chorion enables the easy observation of development. Assay of acute toxicity (LC50 estimation) in embryos can also include the screening for developmental disorders as an indicator of teratogenic effects. We used zebrafish for toxicity testing of new drugs on the base of phospholipid nanoparticles. The organization of the genome and the pathways controlling signal transduction appear to be highly conserved between zebrafish and humans that allow using zebrafish for modeling of human diseases some examples of which are illustrated in this paper.
Keywords: zebrafish (Danio rerio), drug discovery, acute toxicity, teratogenesis, apoptosis, cancer
Belyaeva N.F. et al. Zebrafish as a model system for biomedical studies // Biomeditsinskaya khimiya. - 2010. - V. 56. -N 1. - P. 120-131.
Belyaeva N.F. et al., "Zebrafish as a model system for biomedical studies." Biomeditsinskaya khimiya 56.1 (2010): 120-131.
Belyaeva, N. F., Kashirtseva, V. N., Medvedeva, N. V., Khudoklinova, Yu. Yu., Ipatova, O. M., Archakov, A. I. (2010). Zebrafish as a model system for biomedical studies. Biomeditsinskaya khimiya, 56(1), 120-131.