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Zebrafish. 2010 Jun;7(2):205-13. doi: 10.1089/zeb.2009.0640.

Blood sugar measurement in zebrafish reveals dynamics of glucose homeostasis.

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  • 1Committee on Molecular Metabolism and Nutrition, The University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois 60637, USA.


The adult zebrafish has the potential to become an important model for diabetes-related research. To realize this potential, small-scale methods for analyzing pancreas function are required. The measurement of blood glucose level is a commonly used method for assessing beta-cell function, but the small size of the zebrafish presents challenges both for collecting blood samples and for measuring glucose. We have developed methods for collecting microsamples of whole blood and plasma for the measurement of hematocrit and blood glucose. We demonstrate that two hand-held glucose meters designed for use by human diabetics return valid results with zebrafish blood. Additionally, we present methods for fasting and for performing postprandial glucose and intraperitoneal glucose tolerance tests. We find that the dynamics of zebrafish blood glucose homeostasis are consistent with patterns reported for other omnivorous teleost fish.

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