[Application of zebrafish models in drug screening]

Sheng-Chang Xin, Yan-Qiu Zhao, Song Li, Shuo Lin, Han-Bing Zhong
Yi Chuan, Hereditas 2012, 34 (9): 1144-52
Due to its small size, fast external development, transparent embryos, and amenability to genetic analysis, zebrafish has become an ideal vertebrate animal model. In addition to studies in genetics and developmental biology, zebrafish has also been widely used in human disease modeling and drug screening. As a small whole-organism model, zebrafish can be used to comprehensively test and evaluate the activity and side effect of a compound at the same time, fulfilling high content screening. Recently, new zebrafish disease models and screening technologies have been developed. A number of active compounds were identified and most of them have similar functions in mammal models. One compound prostaglandin E2 has been subjected to clinical trial to test if it can promote the growth of umbilical cord blood units after transplantation. Another compound leflunomide has also been approved in clinical trial to cure melanoma in combination with vemurafenib. These findings demonstrate that zebrafish model is appropriate for drug screening. This review summarizes the unique features of zebrafish model and the recent progresses of zebrafish based drug screening.

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