Zebrafish as a model

Zebrafish (Danio rerio) is a small fish of the Cyprinidae family originating in the streams of India and Myanmar. Zebrafish widely used as an animal model in various fields of biomedical research as a disease model for cancer, metabolic and neurodegenerative diseases, and regenerative medicine. The transparency of the zebrafish embryo allows real-time visualization of the development and morphogenesis of practically all of its tissues and organs. Zebrafish are amenable to genetic manipulation, for which innovative genetic and molecular techniques are constantly being introduced. The zebrafish also exhibits measurable behavioral and hormonal responses already at the larval stages, providing a viable vertebrate animal model for high-throughput drug screening and chemical genetics. With the available tools of the genomic era and the abundance of disease-associated human genes yet to be explored, the zebrafish model is becoming the preferred choice in basic and applied life sciences.

Suggested Reading

  • Biran, J., Wircer, E., Blechman, J. and G. Levkowitz.  (2018) In: Development and function of the zebrafish neuroendocrine system. In Model animals in neuroendocrinology: From worm to mouse to man, M. Ludwig and G. Levkowitz, eds. (Wiley-Blackwell), pp101-131. https://doi.org/10.1002/9781119391128.ch5.

  • Blechman J., Levkowitz, G. and Y. Gothilf. (2017). The not-so-long history of zebrafish research in Israel. Int. J. Dev. Biol. 61:149-157. pubmed
    * Special Issue on "Developmental Biology in Israel"  

  • Biran J, and G. Levkowitz.  (2016). Zebrafish reel in phenotypic suppressors of autism. Neuron 89:673-675. pubmed