Interlaboratory Study on Zebrafish in Toxicology: Systematic Evaluation of the Application of Zebrafish in Toxicology's (SEAZIT's) Evaluation of Developmental Toxicity

Toxics. 2024 Jan 22;12(1):93. doi: 10.3390/toxics12010093.


Embryonic zebrafish represent a useful test system to screen substances for their ability to perturb development. The exposure scenarios, endpoints captured, and data analysis vary among the laboratories who conduct screening. A lack of harmonization impedes the comparison of the substance potency and toxicity outcomes across laboratories and may hinder the broader adoption of this model for regulatory use. The Systematic Evaluation of the Application of Zebrafish in Toxicology (SEAZIT) initiative was developed to investigate the sources of variability in toxicity testing. This initiative involved an interlaboratory study to determine whether experimental parameters altered the developmental toxicity of a set of 42 substances (3 tested in duplicate) in three diverse laboratories. An initial dose-range-finding study using in-house protocols was followed by a definitive study using four experimental conditions: chorion-on and chorion-off using both static and static renewal exposures. We observed reasonable agreement across the three laboratories as 33 of 42 test substances (78.6%) had the same activity call. However, the differences in potency seen using variable in-house protocols emphasizes the importance of harmonization of the exposure variables under evaluation in the second phase of this study. The outcome of the Def will facilitate future practical discussions on harmonization within the zebrafish research community.

Keywords: developmental toxicity; harmonization; high-throughput screening; interlaboratory study; optimization; zebrafish.