A window to the heart: can zebrafish mutants help us understand heart disease in humans?

Trends Genet. 2002 Oct;18(10):491-4. doi: 10.1016/s0168-9525(02)02766-x.


Heart disease is a leading cause of death in the developed world. Abnormalities of heart muscle (cardiomyopathies) and/or electrical conduction (arrhythmias) are frequent causes of heart failure and sudden death. During the past twelve years, identification of genetic mutations that cause familial cardiomyopathies and arrhythmias has fueled a massive increase in molecular investigation into these diseases. Today, studies of zebrafish mutants with defective heart function are providing insight into the genes required to generate a normal heartbeat.

Publication types

  • News
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Arrhythmias, Cardiac / genetics
  • Cardiomyopathies / genetics
  • Heart Diseases / genetics*
  • Heart Rate / genetics
  • Humans
  • Mutation
  • Myocardial Contraction / genetics
  • Zebrafish / genetics*