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Front. Neurosci. | doi: 10.3389/fnins.2018.00976

The utility of Zebrafish as a model for screening developmental neurotoxicity

  • 1Nano Carbon Materials, Center for Sustainable Future Technologies, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT), Italy
  • 2School of Chemical Sciences, Dublin City University, Ireland

The developing central nervous system and the blood brain barrier are especially vulnerable and sensitive to different chemicals, including environmental contaminants and drugs. Developmental exposure to these compounds has been involved in several neurological disorders, such as autism spectrum disorders as well as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. Zebrafish (Danio Rerio) have emerged as powerful toxicological model systems that can speed up chemical hazard assessment and can be used to extrapolate neurotoxic effects that chemicals have on humans. Zebrafish embryos and larvae are convenient for high-throughput screening of chemicals, due to their small size, low-cost, easy husbandry, and transparency. Additionally, zebrafish are homologous to other higher order vertebrates in terms of molecular signaling processes, genetic compositions, and tissue/organ structures as well as neurodevelopment. This mini review underlines the potential of the zebrafish as a complementary model for developmental neurotoxicity screening of chemicals and describes the different endpoints utilized for such screening with some studies illustrating their use.

Keywords: Zebrafish, Model, Neurotoxicity, development, chemicals

Received: 30 Aug 2018; Accepted: 06 Dec 2018.

Edited by:

MARIUS ENACHESCU, Politehnica University of Bucharest, Romania

Reviewed by:

Suresh Jesuthasan, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
RESHAM CHHABRA, School of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University, United States  

Copyright: © 2018 d'Amora and Giordani. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Prof. Silvia Giordani, Dublin City University, School of Chemical Sciences, Dublin, Dublin 9, Ireland,