Complexify cell models to improve relevance of the phenotyic assay in order to find new drugs more efficient is that’s what everyone strives to do. To go further, Zebrafish is a whole organism more and more known and used during the process of drug discovery. As reported by MacRae & Peterson in “Zebrafish as tool for drug discovery” published in Nature Review Drus Discovery.

“It has become a prominent vertebrate model for disease and has already contributed to several examples of successful phenotype-based drug discovery.”

But to be usefool, the similarities and differences between human and zebrafish biology need to be understand to  know the limitation of this tool. In this review, an overview of those is made!


HCA/HCS assays are now realised on cell models which are more and more complex as 3D and/or co-culture. And to be more relevant, imaging assay in low/medium troughput can also be performed on whole organism as zebrafish. Here is an interesting video from Department of Biological Sciences, University of Notre Dame, explaining how to do imaging on zebrafish embryos.

The zebrafish is an excellent experimental organism to study vertebrate developmental processes and model human disease. Here, we describe a protocol on how to perform a manual high-throughput chemical screen in zebrafish embryos with a whole-mount hybridization (WISH) read-out.

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NIH Grant has been awarded to Hudson Robotics and Johns Hopkins University for in vivo Studies. Cell imaging on in vivo studies on whole organism as zebrafish is a powerfull tool during drug discovery. Nevertheless, the throughput is really low to be used during preliminary drug discovery. Working on implementation of automated system for which a suitable in vivo assay can be developed in high throughput will save time and money while helping to streamline and speed up the drug discovery research process.

In vivo studies are done using a whole living organism. The HTS system being developed is termed the Automated Reporter Quantification in vivo (ARQiv) system. It is being created to bring high-throughput screening technology into the world of in vivo studies.

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Before the discovery and development of molecular biology, screening assays to find new drugs was performed on animals. Since the last decade with , assays on whole organisms come back in primary screening.

In this article, the author have identified 20 potential stimulators of beta-cell replication on transgenic line.

This study establishes a proof of principle for a high-throughput small molecule-screen for beta-cell proliferation in vivo, and identified compounds that stimulate beta-cell proliferation and regeneration.

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Zebrafish brain firing

Ever wanted to see the activity of the neurons from a almost entire brain ? 10 days ago, Vladimirov et al. described how they have used light-sheet microscopy to record the activity of nearly every neuron in the larval zebrafish brain as the animal responded to sensory stimuli.

You can see it by looking at this wonderfull video.

Light-sheet fluorescence microscopy allow to illuminate a thin slice of the sample, perpendicularly to the direction of the observation.

From Vladimirov, N. et al. Light-sheet functional imaging in behaving zebrafish. Nature Methods doi:10.1038/nmeth.3040 (27 July 2014)



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