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The use of mature zebrafish (Danio rerio) as a model for human aging and disease.

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  • 1Department of Urology, University of Michigan School of Medicine, 1500 E. Medical Ctr. Dr., Ann Arbor, MI 48109-0940, USA.


Zebrafish (Danio rerio) have been extensively utilized for understanding mechanisms of development. These studies have led to a wealth of resources including genetic tools, informational databases, and husbandry methods. In spite of all these resources, zebrafish have been underutilized for exploring pathophysiology of disease and the aging process. Zebrafish offer several advantages over mammalian models for these studies, including the ability to perform saturation mutagenesis and the capability to contain thousands of animals in a small space. In this review, we will discuss the use of mature zebrafish as an animal model and provide specific examples to support this novel use of zebrafish. Examples include demonstrating that clinical pathology can be performed in mature zebrafish and that age-associated changes in heat shock response can be observed in zebrafish. These highlights demonstrate the utility of zebrafish as a model for disease and aging.

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