Zebrafish Toxicity Assay as an in vivo model

Toxicity assay carry out in zebrafish

The controversy surrounding the use of mammals in testing, associated with the problems and limitations inherent in its implementation, promotes the development of new methods. Zebrafish is a useful tool of vertebrate model to determinate and investigate the toxicity (safety) of targeted compounds on different stages. These are some of the advantages we must take in to account when choosing this in vivo model for carrying out zebrafish toxicity assays:

    • Zebrafish generate large numbers of progeny (100-200 eggs per mating), offering high confidence in statistical analysis.
    • They can also absorb compounds solubilized in water, making drug administration simple and feasible.
    • Embryos are small and transparent, enabling an easy assessment of drug effects on internal organs using fluorescent labels: visual assessment of effects on organs and quantitative  assays.

The swimming behavior of these fish allows a simple and easy scalable toxicological reading in automated experiments. For this reason, they have great potential in early screening and in environmental toxicity studies, reducing the time and money required to evaluate new compounds and identify the leading ones.

Experimental model

The toxicity studies can be carried out both in embryo and adult stage, depending on the aim of the study of the compound to be tested. The via of administration of the target compound to be tested can be injection, oral, immersion, etc.

Zebrafish toxicity assay summary table


The objetive of these zebrafish toxicity assays is to provide information about the safety of the target studied compound wether continue with next discovery phase (efficacy study), select the most promising candidate (screening), evaluate the impact on the environment (ecotoxicity), etc.

Coming next: advantages of Ikan Biotech zebrafish models in the different therapeutic areas