ZFIN ID: ZDB-PUB-160512-19
The Zebrafish Xenograft Platform: Evolution of a Novel Cancer Model and Preclinical Screening Tool
Wertman, J., Veinotte, C.J., Dellaire, G., Berman, J.N.
Date: 2016
Source: Advances in experimental medicine and biology   916: 289-314 (Chapter)
Registered Authors: Berman, Jason, Veinotte, Chansey
Keywords: Cancer, Model organism, Xenograft, Xenotransplant, Zebrafish
MeSH Terms:
  • Animals
  • Disease Models, Animal*
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins/genetics
  • Heterografts*
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms/diagnosis*
  • Neoplasms/genetics
  • Neoplasms/pathology
  • Neoplasms/therapy
  • Zebrafish
PubMed: 27165359 Full text @ Adv. Exp. Med. Biol.
Animal xenografts of human cancers represent a key preclinical tool in the field of cancer research. While mouse xenografts have long been the gold standard, investigators have begun to use zebrafish (Danio rerio) xenotransplantation as a relatively rapid, robust and cost-effective in vivo model of human cancers. There are several important methodological considerations in the design of an informative and efficient zebrafish xenotransplantation experiment. Various transgenic fish strains have been created that facilitate microscopic observation, ranging from the completely transparent casper fish to the Tg(fli1:eGFP) fish that expresses fluorescent GFP protein in its vascular tissue. While human cancer cell lines have been used extensively in zebrafish xenotransplantation studies, several reports have also used primary patient samples as the donor material. The zebrafish is ideally suited for transplanting primary patient material by virtue of the relatively low number of cells required for each embryo (between 50 and 300 cells), the absence of an adaptive immune system in the early zebrafish embryo, and the short experimental timeframe (5-7 days). Following xenotransplantation into the fish, cells can be tracked using in vivo or ex vivo measures of cell proliferation and migration, facilitated by fluorescence or human-specific protein expression. Importantly, assays have been developed that allow for the reliable detection of in vivo human cancer cell growth or inhibition following administration of drugs of interest. The zebrafish xenotransplantation model is a unique and effective tool for the study of cancer cell biology.