JOURNAL ARTICLE

Zebrafish as a model for studying genetic aspects of epilepsy

Gabriela A Hortopan, Matthew T Dinday, Scott C Baraban
Disease Models & Mechanisms 2010, 3 (3-4): 144-8
20212082
Despite a long tradition of using rats and mice to model epilepsy, several aspects of rodent biology limit their use in large-scale genetic and therapeutic drug screening programs. Neuroscientists interested in vertebrate development and diseases have recently turned to zebrafish (Danio rerio) to overcome these limitations. Zebrafish can be studied at all stages of development and several methods are available for the manipulation of genes in zebrafish. In addition, developing zebrafish larvae can efficiently equilibrate drugs placed in the bathing medium. Taking advantage of these features and adapting electrophysiological recording methods to an agar-immobilized zebrafish preparation, we describe here our efforts to model seizure disorders in zebrafish. We also describe the initial results of a large-scale mutagenesis screen to identify gene mutation(s) that confer seizure resistance. Although the adaptation of zebrafish to epilepsy research is in its early stages, these studies highlight the rapid progress that can be made using this simple vertebrate species.

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