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Zebrafish. 2008 Dec;5(4):319-22. doi: 10.1089/zeb.2008.0550.

Functional evaluation of isolated zebrafish hearts.

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Artificial Heart Lab, Division of Cardiac Surgery, University of Michigan, 109 Zina Pitcher, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA.


Traditional working heart preparations, based on the original Langendorff setup, are widely used experimental models that have tremendously advanced the cardiovascular field. However, these systems can be deceivingly complex, requiring the maintenance of pH with CO(2), the delivery of oxygenated perfusate, and the need for extensive laboratory equipment. We have examined the feasibility of using isolated zebrafish (Danio rerio) hearts as an experimental model system, in which experimental procedures can be performed in the absence of the traditional requirements and sophisticated setup equipment. Isolated zebrafish hearts exhibited spontaneous contractile activity, could be electrically paced, and were responsive to pharmacologic stimulation with isoproterenol for 1.5 h after in vivo removal. Isolated zebrafish hearts offer a time- and cost-effective alternative to traditional Langendorff/working heart preparation models, and could be used to investigate cardiac function and repair.

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