Using Zebrafish Larvae to Study the Pathological Consequences of Hemorrhagic Stroke

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Despite being the most severe subtype of stroke with high global mortality, there is no specific treatment for patients with intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH). Modelling ICH pre-clinically has proven difficult, and current rodent models poorly recapitulate the spontaneous nature of human ICH. Therefore, there is an urgent requirement for alternative pre-clinical methodologies for study of disease mechanisms in ICH and for potential drug discovery.

The use of zebrafish represents an increasingly popular approach for translational research, primarily due to a number of advantages they possess over mammalian models of disease, including prolific reproduction rates and larval transparency allowing for live imaging. Other groups have established that zebrafish larvae can exhibit spontaneous ICH following genetic or chemical disruption of cerebrovascular development. The aim of this methodology is to utilize such models to study the pathological consequences of brain hemorrhage, in the context of pre-clinical ICH research. By using live imaging and motility assays, brain damage, neuroinflammation and locomotor function following ICH can be assessed and quantified.

This study shows that key pathological consequences of brain hemorrhage in humans are conserved in zebrafish larvae highlighting the model organism as a valuable in vivo system for pre-clinical investigation of ICH. The aim of this methodology is to enable the pre-clinical stroke community to employ the zebrafish larval model as an alternative complementary model system to rodents.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Visualized Experiments
Early online date6 May 2019
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Lydia Becker Institute
  • Manchester Institute for Collaborative Research on Ageing


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