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J Invest Dermatol. 2011 Mar;131(3):565-71. doi: 10.1038/jid.2010.388. Epub 2010 Dec 30.

Zebrafish: a model system to study heritable skin diseases.

Author information

1
Department of Dermatology and Cutaneous Biology, Jefferson Medical College, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.

Abstract

Heritable skin diseases represent a broad spectrum of clinical manifestations due to mutations in ∼500 different genes. A number of model systems have been developed to advance our understanding of the pathomechanisms of genodermatoses. Zebrafish (Danio rerio), a freshwater vertebrate, has a well-characterized genome, the expression of which can be easily manipulated. The larvae develop rapidly, with all major organs having developed by 5-6 days post-fertilization, including the skin, consisting of the epidermis comprising two cell layers and separated from the dermal collagenous matrix by a basement membrane. This perspective highlights the morphological and ultrastructural features of zebrafish skin, in the context of cutaneous gene expression. These observations suggest that zebrafish provide a useful model system to study the molecular aspects of skin development, as well as the pathogenesis and treatment of select heritable skin diseases.

PMID:
21191402
PMCID:
PMC3342776
DOI:
10.1038/jid.2010.388
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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