Many genes are highly conserved between humans and zebrafish, making them a useful system to study the basic mechanisms of organ-specific diseases, such as heart, liver or neurological disorders.
Zebrafish develop rapidly; all of their major organ systems become fully formed during the early larval stages, making it a recognized standard model to assess organ toxicity.
Even at an early stage, zebrafish show concordance at a metabolic pathway level, confirming its utility as a model to screen the toxic potential of compounds on major organs*.
For instance, zebrafish are comparable with a mammalian model: 94% of chemicals that were toxic in rat embroys could have also been shown to be toxic in zfish embroys (link from below).
What: Acute developmental toxicity studies in zebrafish can predict mammalian exposure levels associated with embryotoxicity and teratogenicity.
Goal/Result: By testing a range of concentrations, we define concentrations such as the LD50, NOEL, and MNLD.
How: Our team tests the teratogenicity of compounds on a battery of morphological development endpoints, as well as two behavioral outcomes, for zebrafish embryos between 24 and 120 hours post fertilization (hpf). This protocol is more comprehensive than the set of 4 endpoints prescribed by the OECD FET 236.
Data Collection: All toxicity screening data is collected in an automated, high-throughput workflow that combines experimental endpoints collected into a developmental hazard profile report, while retaining individual animal-level details and providing raw data files for user analysis.
What: Provide mechanistic insight into toxicity responses in developing zebrafish at a whole transcriptome level to deliver a high depth, high resolution analysis of the underlying biology of your compound of interest.
Goal/Result: We will perform gene expression studies to characterize mechanisms of action.
How: Perform single embryo RNA-seq analysis on a range of conditions, beginning at exposure and RNA isolation to sequencing and bioinformatic analysis, in a high throughput, automated workflow.
Determine whether a compound or formulation induces liver damage. Measurements using early life-stage zebrafish include gross tissue health, necrosis, liver function and cell death.
Assess whether a compound or formulation induces nervous system damage. Early life-stage zebrafish will be used to measure neural gene expression via qPCR.
Assess whether a compound or formulation induces heart damage in zebrafish. Early life-stage zebrafish will be used to assess cardiac function.
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