5, 13, 14 Zebrafish have also increasingly been used to model cancer.15 Liver tumors, generated after exposure to carcinogens, exhibit a stage-specific expression profile comparable to human HCC.6 These examples illustrate the increasing relevance and impact of the zebrafish to model liver disease. The study by Yin et al. also highlights the feasibility of performing chemical screens.
Due to the small size and high number of zebrafish embryos and larvae, thousands of animals can be exposed to chemicals in a single experiment. Here, the authors tested 338 compounds for their capacities to modulate HSC numbers. The power of this system notwithstanding, the necessity to use a different transgenic cell line remains: for the screen, the authors used another transgenic line, labeling wt1b-positive cells. The PI3K inhibitor expression of wt1b overlaps with hand2 in the liver but has not
been explicitly characterized in the report. This minor shortcoming underscores the remaining challenges of using in vivo fluorescent reporters for screening Selleck 5-Fluoracil purposes. This screen identified two retinoid receptor agonists with opposite effects on HSC formation, confirming the reported importance for retinoic acid in HSC formation. Taken together, these results demonstrate the potential to identify novel compounds that affect HSC number and activity in the zebrafish with direct therapeutic implications. What this model still needs to prove, however, is the identification
of novel signaling pathways affecting HSC MCE公司 formation and biology that have not been elucidated in other systems. Zebrafish have recently made the jump from the fish tank to the bedside, demonstrating our ability to discover novel therapeutics: a chemical genetic screening approach identified prostaglandin E2 as a novel regulator of hematopoietic stem cells.16 This research inspired translational work17 that led to a recently completed clinical phase 1 trial, which demonstrated the use of prostaglandin E2 treatment of umbilical cord blood stem cells prior to transplantation into patients with leukemia and lymphoma (NCT00890500).18 Similarly, current work in a zebrafish melanoma model will result in a soon-to-be-opened clinical trial19 (L. Zon, personal communication). Our work using (NCT01611675) the acetaminophen model combined with chemical genetic screening has also fostered the discovery of novel therapeutics and considerations for a clinical trial.12 Each of these examples underscores the growing relevance of the zebrafish in translational medicine. The study by Yin et al. represents a major step toward the use of the zebrafish model for many aspects of hepatology research: it opens the door for further studies into HSC activation and physiology in a tractable in vivo model.