Zebrafish: A Model for the Study of Toxicants Affecting Muscle Development and Function

Int J Mol Sci. 2016 Nov 19;17(11):1941. doi: 10.3390/ijms17111941.


The rapid progress in medicine, agriculture, and allied sciences has enabled the development of a large amount of potentially useful bioactive compounds, such as drugs and pesticides. However, there is another side of this phenomenon, which includes side effects and environmental pollution. To avoid or minimize the uncontrollable consequences of using the newly developed compounds, researchers seek a quick and effective means of their evaluation. In achieving this goal, the zebrafish (Danio rerio) has proven to be a highly useful tool, mostly because of its fast growth and development, as well as the ability to absorb the molecules diluted in water through its skin and gills. In this review, we focus on the reports concerning the application of zebrafish as a model for assessing the impact of toxicants on skeletal muscles, which share many structural and functional similarities among vertebrates, including zebrafish and humans.

Keywords: biosensors; pollutants; skeletal muscles; toxicants; zebrafish.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Animals, Genetically Modified
  • Cosmetics / toxicity
  • Gene Expression / drug effects
  • Genes, Reporter
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins / genetics
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins / metabolism
  • Hazardous Substances / toxicity*
  • Metals, Heavy / toxicity
  • Muscle Development / drug effects*
  • Muscle Development / genetics
  • Muscle, Skeletal / drug effects*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / metabolism
  • Pesticides / toxicity
  • Psychotropic Drugs / toxicity
  • Toxicity Tests, Chronic / methods*
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical / toxicity*
  • Zebrafish


  • Cosmetics
  • Hazardous Substances
  • Metals, Heavy
  • Pesticides
  • Psychotropic Drugs
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins