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Use of Zebrafish Models to Boost Research in Rare Genetic Diseases

Tijdschriftbijdrage - Tijdschriftartikel

Rare genetic diseases are a group of pathologies with often unmet clinical needs. Even if rare by a single genetic disease (from 1/2000 to 1/more than 1,000,000), the total number of patients concerned account for approximatively 400 million peoples worldwide. Finding treatments remains challenging due to the complexity of these diseases, the small number of patients and the challenge in conducting clinical trials. Therefore, innovative preclinical research strategies are required. The zebrafish has emerged as a powerful animal model for investigating rare diseases. Zebrafish combines conserved vertebrate characteristics with high rate of breeding, limited housing requirements and low costs. More than 84% of human genes responsible for diseases present an orthologue, suggesting that the majority of genetic diseases could be modelized in zebrafish. In this review, we emphasize the unique advantages of zebrafish models over other in vivo models, particularly underlining the high throughput phenotypic capacity for therapeutic screening. We briefly introduce how the generation of zebrafish transgenic lines by gene-modulating technologies can be used to model rare genetic diseases. Then, we describe how zebrafish could be phenotyped using state-of-the-art technologies. Two prototypic examples of rare diseases illustrate how zebrafish models could play a critical role in deciphering the underlying mechanisms of rare genetic diseases and their use to identify innovative therapeutic solutions.
Tijdschrift: International Journal of Molecular Sciences
ISSN: 1422-0067
Issue: 24
Volume: 22
Jaar van publicatie:2021