(full paper is archived in the Miller Library)
Title: Zebrafish as a model system for research in cardiovascular physiology
Student Author(s): Porzig, Anne
Faculty Advisor(s): Thompson, Stuart
Location: Final Papers Biology 175H
Date: June 1998
Abstract: Zebrafish, Danio rerio, are a useful model system for vertebrate cardiovascular resarch. Their transparent bodies during the larval stage of development allow for in vivo experimentation. Pharmacological experimentation reveals important similarities between zebrafish hearts and those of mammals. Muscarinic cholinergic receptor activity was demonstrated through the dose dependent decrease in heart rate caused by the acetylcholine analog carbachol. Adrenergic receptor responses were elicited by norepinephrine and isoproterenol. The inhibition of intracellular calcium release channels by ryanodine also had a decelerating effect on heart rate, as did the disruption of soidum-potassium active pumps by ouabain. The stimulation of an undefined nitric oxide pathway by two nitric oxide donors also slowed heart rate. Clearly, the pharmacologic responses of the zebrafish heart should be further explored as a model for vertebrate cardiovascular physiology and as a foundation for research in the genetics and cardiovascular development of zebrafish.