Erythropoiesis is regulated such that a sufficient number of mature erythrocytes is produced. Down-regulation of erythropoiesis causes various types of anemia. Although some anemia-related genes have been identified, there are several types of anemic disease for which the molecular mechanisms are yet unclear, suggesting that unidentified genes in addition to the classical cytokine pathways play important roles in anemia. To address this issue, a new animal model for anemia is required. We established a reversible anemic model in zebrafish by keeping fish at 17 degrees C, a low water temperature. In zebrafish kidney marrow, expression of several genes encoding hematopoietic transcription factors (Runx1, scl, c-myb and GATA-2) and particularly erythropoiesis-related factors (klfd, hbaa1, ba1, GATA-1, EPO, and EPOr) was down-regulated, whereas myelopoiesis-related factors (csf1a and csf3) was up-regulated in low temperature conditions. We propose that this zebrafish model is useful to identify novel genes for hematopoiesis, particularly erythropoiesis.
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