Modeling Amyloid-β42 Toxicity and Neurodegeneration in Adult Zebrafish Brain

J Vis Exp. 2017 Oct 25;(128):56014. doi: 10.3791/56014.


Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a debilitating neurodegenerative disease in which accumulation of toxic amyloid-β42 (Aβ42) peptides leads to synaptic degeneration, inflammation, neuronal death, and learning deficits. Humans cannot regenerate lost neurons in the case of AD in part due to impaired proliferative capacity of the neural stem/progenitor cells (NSPCs) and reduced neurogenesis. Therefore, efficient regenerative therapies should also enhance the proliferation and neurogenic capacity of NSPCs. Zebrafish (Danio rerio) is a regenerative organism, and we can learn the basic molecular programs with which we could design therapeutic approaches to tackle AD. For this reason, the generation of an AD-like model in zebrafish was necessary. Using our methodology, we can introduce synthetic derivatives of Aβ42 peptide with tissue penetrating capability into the adult zebrafish brain, and analyze the disease pathology and the regenerative response. The advantage over the existing methods or animal models is that zebrafish can teach us how a vertebrate brain can naturally regenerate, and thus help us to treat human neurodegenerative diseases better by targeting endogenous NSPCs. Therefore, the amyloid-toxicity model established in the adult zebrafish brain may open new avenues for research in the field of neuroscience and clinical medicine. Additionally, the simple execution of this method allows for cost-effective and efficient experimental assessment. This manuscript describes the synthesis and injection of Aβ42 peptides into zebrafish brain.

Publication types

  • Video-Audio Media

MeSH terms

  • Alzheimer Disease / chemically induced*
  • Alzheimer Disease / pathology
  • Amyloid beta-Peptides / chemical synthesis*
  • Amyloid beta-Peptides / toxicity*
  • Animals
  • Brain / drug effects*
  • Brain / pathology
  • Disease Models, Animal*
  • Nerve Degeneration / chemically induced*
  • Nerve Degeneration / pathology
  • Neurogenesis / drug effects
  • Peptide Fragments / chemical synthesis*
  • Peptide Fragments / toxicity*
  • Zebrafish


  • Amyloid beta-Peptides
  • Peptide Fragments
  • amyloid beta-protein (1-42)