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Open Access Hematologic and Serum Biochemical Values for Zebrafish (Danio rerio)

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The zebrafish (Danio rerio) has proven an excellent model for study of vertebrate development and genetics. Mutagenesis studies have produced many blood mutants with defects ranging from hematopoiesis to coagulation. The overwhelming majority of zebrafish studies have focused on development and mutational effects in embryos, whereas effects in mature zebrafish have gone largely unexplored. We believe that zebrafish will prove a valuable model for study of aging and age-related diseases, and we have sought to characterize some of the basic features of mature zebrafish. Accordingly, blood was collected from adult zebrafish and was analyzed to determine reference hematologic and biochemical parameters. White blood cell differential counts indicated predominantly lymphocytes, with mean proportion of 82.95%. Total red blood cell counts averaged 3.02×106 cells/l. Except for increases in alanine transaminase (ALT), amylase, and phosphorus values, serum biochemical analytes were within the range of reported values for mammals and other species of fish. Accurate analysis of the many zebrafish mutants generated requires determination of normal characteristics of zebrafish. We believe results such as these will help define normal adult zebrafish, which have a tremendous potential for use in the study of human disease and aging.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Unit for Laboratory Animal Medicine and Department of Pathology, University of Michigan, Room 5304 CCGCB, 1500 E. Medical Center Drive, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-0940

Publication date: February 1, 2003

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  • Comparative Medicine (CM), an international journal of comparative and experimental medicine, is the leading English-language publication in the field and is ranked by the Science Citation Index in the upper third of all scientific journals. The mission of CM is to disseminate high-quality, peer-reviewed information that expands biomedical knowledge and promotes human and animal health through the study of laboratory animal disease, animal models of disease, and basic biologic mechanisms related to disease in people and animals.

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