Zebrafish larvae readily absorb compounds from the surrounding water, which is a great advantage when it comes to determining the effects of certain drugs or other substances. For example, they are an ideal subject when testing novel anticonvulsants or proconvulsants in epilepsy research.
Zebrafish larvae have the great advantage of being small enough to test in multi-well plates, making them suitable for high-throughput screening. A controlled testing environment allows for effective and efficient protocols.
An observation chamber offers just that. The DanioVision Observation Chamber provides a complete testing environment: it contains all necessary hardware on the inside, keeping everything else out so you are in control over the experimental conditions. Its innovative design guarantees a reliable image for tracking each individual larva.
Compound screening in 96-well plates
Screening compounds benefits greatly from 96-well plate setups, as this allows for high-throughput testing. DanioVision is a great tool for accommodating such research.
Toxicity of quantum dots
To better test the effects on locomotor activity in response to certain compounds, zebrafish larvae can be loaded into multi-well plates. For example, Duan et al. (2013) investigated the developmental toxicity of quantum dots in larvae using 24-well plates in a DanioVision system.
Quantum dots are nanoparticles made of a semiconductor material, that have unique optical properties: the wavelength (and thus color) of their light emission depends on their size rather than the material they are made of. As a result, they are of great interest for fields such as biological imaging, medical diagnostics, drug delivery, and gene therapy.
Certain quantum dots may be toxic, limiting their usefulness. Duan investigated a specific type of quantum dots called Cadmium Telluride (CdTe) in a zebrafish study. The researchers looked at activity levels of 6 dpf larvae swimming in visible light in a DanioVision Observation Chamber. Using EthoVision XT, they found that the total swimming distance was suppressed in treated larvae in a dose-dependent manner.
In a light-dark experiment (10-minute bouts of alternating light conditions), the control group showed the typical increased activity levels during dark phases. In comparison, the treated larvae showed significant hypo-activity.
Chemical spill toxicology
In January 2014, a chemical spill contaminated the drinking water in nine counties surrounding Charleston, West Virginia, in the United States. At the lab of Dr. Jennifer Freeman, Katharine Horzmann and her colleagues investigated the toxicology of the spill using zebrafish larvae as a biomedical model. To investigate the compounds, the researchers did an acute toxicity assay, morphological assessment, and visual motor response test.
DanioVision locomotor response
The visual motor response test was conducted using DanioVision, during a white light routine in 96-well plates. At 28°C, larvae were exposed to alternating 10 minute periods of light and darkness, for 50 minutes in total. Several movement parameters were collected with EthoVision XT tracking software.
Zebrafish research with DanioVision
Larvae activity and movement patterns are basic measurements used in many studies. They can reveal information on stereotypic and epileptic behaviors, circadian rhythmicity, motor control, movement disorders, neural development, and more.
DanioVision is a complete system designed for exactly these types of experiments with zebrafish larvae, and is often used in studies related to drug development, safety pharmacology, behavioral genetics, toxicology, and circadian rhythmicity.
Read more about Richard Baines' research in this blog post. Other publications you might be interested in:
- Baraban, S.C.; Dinday, M.T.; Hortopan, G.A. (2013). Drug screening in Scn1a zebrafish mutant identifies clemizole as a potential Dravet syndrome treatment. Nature Communications, 4, 2410.
- Baxendale, S.; Holdsworth, C.J.; Meza Santoscoy, P.L.; Harrison, M.R.; Fox, J.; Parkin, C.A.; Ingham, P.W.; Cunliffe, V.T. (2012). Identification of compounds with anti-convulsant properties in a zebrafish model of epileptic seizures. Disease Models & Mechanisms, 5(6), 773-84.
- Duan, J.; Yu, Y.; Li, Y.; Yu, Y.; Li, Y.; Huang, P.; Zhou, X.; Peng, S.; Sun, Z. (2013). Developmental toxicity of CdTe QDs in zebrafish embryos and larvae. Journal of Nanoparticle Research, 15, 1700.
- Horzmann, K.A.; Perre, C. de; Lee, L.S.; Whelton, A.J.; Freeman, J.L. (2017). Comparative analytical and toxicological assessment of methylcyclohexanemethanol (MCHM) mixtures associated with the Elk River chemical spill. Chemosphere, 188, 599-607.
- Stewart, A.M.; Braubach, O.; Spitsbergen, J.; Gerlai, R.; Kalueff, A.V. (2014). Zebrafish models for translational neuroscience research: from tank to bedside. Trends in Neurosciences, 37(5), 264-78.