Developmental toxicity screening in zebrafish

Catherine W. Mccollum, Nicole A. Ducharme, Maria Bondesson, Jan-Ake Gustafsson

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

100 Scopus citations


Given the ever-increasing toxic exposure ubiquitously present in our environment as well as emerging evidence that these exposures are hazardous to human health, the current rodent-based regulations are proving inadequate. In the process of overhauling risk assessment methodology, a nonrodent test organism, the zebrafish, is emerging as tractable for medium- and high-throughput assessments, which may help to accelerate the restructuring of standards. Zebrafish have high developmental similarity to mammals in most aspects of embryo development, including early embryonic processes, and on cardiovascular, somite, muscular, skeletal, and neuronal systems. Here, we briefly describe the development of these systems and then chronicle the toxic impacts assessed following chemical exposure. We also compare the available data in zebrafish toxicity assays with two databases containing mammalian toxicity data. Finally, we identify gaps in our collective knowledge that are ripe for future studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)67-114
Number of pages48
JournalBirth Defects Research Part C - Embryo Today: Reviews
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 2011


  • Development
  • High-throughput screening
  • Toxicity
  • Zebrafish

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Embryology
  • Developmental Biology


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