Zebrafish as a Model for the Study of Lipid-Lowering Drug-Induced Myopathies

Int J Mol Sci. 2021 May 26;22(11):5654. doi: 10.3390/ijms22115654.


Drug-induced myopathies are classified as acquired myopathies caused by exogenous factors. These pathological conditions develop in patients without muscle disease and are triggered by a variety of medicaments, including lipid-lowering drugs (LLDs) such as statins, fibrates, and ezetimibe. Here we summarise the current knowledge gained via studies conducted using various models, such as cell lines and mammalian models, and compare them with the results obtained in zebrafish (Danio rerio) studies. Zebrafish have proven to be an excellent research tool for studying dyslipidaemias as a model of these pathological conditions. This system enables in-vivo characterization of drug and gene candidates to further the understanding of disease aetiology and develop new therapeutic strategies. Our review also considers important environmental issues arising from the indiscriminate use of LLDs worldwide. The widespread use and importance of drugs such as statins and fibrates justify the need for the meticulous study of their mechanism of action and the side effects they cause.

Keywords: ezetimibe; fibrates; muscle; myotoxicity; side effects of hyperlipidaemia treatment; statins; zebrafish.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Fibric Acids / adverse effects*
  • Fibric Acids / pharmacology
  • Humans
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors / adverse effects*
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Muscular Diseases* / chemically induced
  • Muscular Diseases* / metabolism
  • Muscular Diseases* / pathology
  • Zebrafish / metabolism*


  • Fibric Acids
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors