Recently, zebrafish have become an increasingly popular model in behavioural neuroscience and pharmacology (e.g. preclinical drug screening). Zebrafish are vertebrates that have high genetic homology with humans (around 80%), and broad generalizability of experimental results. They are diurnal animals with a structurally comparable nervous system to mammals. By adding compounds directly to wells containing freely swimming zebrafish larvae and measuring their behavioural output, in vivo drug outcomes can be readily monitored. Thus, zebrafish represent a model in which drug phenotyping at the whole organism level is possible in a high throughput format. Zebrafish disease models are time- and cost-efficient and make for a better predictive and more clinically relevant model of therapeutic drug outcomes than what can be obtained in in vitro screening.
3Z offers two main assays for drug screening:
Sleep assay: Compounds are screened for 24 hours, during lights on (12:00-22:00; 08:00-12:00) and lights off (22:00-08:00) periods. The following sleep parameters are estimated: Sleep ratio, Sleep fragmentation, Sleep and wake bout length, Sleep onset latency and average velocity.
See slide deck for further information: 3Z_Sleep_Assay
Seizure (epilepsy) assay: Pentylenetetrazole (PTZ) is initially added to wells to induce seizures. Compounds are thereafter screened for up to 3 hours. Seizure activity is estimated by average swim velocity and no. of seizures.
See slide deck for further information: 3Z_Slidedeck_Epilepsy
3Z furthermore offers custom built assays for specific research questions. These assays are designed based on customers´need.
A number of zebrafish disease models are being developed in-house. Techniques used for these applications include CRISPR/Talen transgene modifications, and morpholino oligonucleotide injections.