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J Am Soc Nephrol. 2005 Feb;16(2):299-304. Epub 2005 Jan 12.

Kidney development and disease in the zebrafish.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, Harvard Medical School and Renal Unit, Massachusetts General Hospital, 149 13th Street, Charlestown, MA 02129, USA.


Unraveling the molecular pathogenesis of human disease presents many experimental challenges, not the least of which is that experiments on humans are generally frowned upon. Model organisms, including the zebrafish, allow for experimental analysis of gene function and the detailed characterization of disease processes. Zebrafish have matured as a vertebrate model organism now that genetic tools for targeted "knockdowns" and unbiased mutagenesis approaches are in hand. The fish larval pronephros is a relevant kidney in which to pursue many aspects of human kidney development and disease. This short review outlines recent progress in applying the zebrafish pronephros to issues of human health and development.

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