Zebrafish PKD-targeted Services


The zebrafish is the premier non-mammalian vertebrate model organism that has a kidney, and is well-established as a model system for the study of PKD and other ciliopathies. For PKD research, the zebrafish model can be used to understand the molecular and cellular basis of the disease, assess the functional role of human genetic variations, and screen for small-molecule suppressors in PKD zebrafish embryonic disease models.

Services provided by the Model Systems Core are supported and complemented by Mayo’s Zebrafish Core Facility, which provides animal housing and extensive technical expertise.


Four zebrafish PKD-targeted services are offered by the Model Systems Core:

  • Small-molecule screening for cystic phenotype effects: A recent screen for small-molecule suppressors of a PKD zebrafish embryonic disease model has demonstrated the viability of using zebrafish to explore chemical genetics questions. Also, one major emphasis in PKD is the potential use of combinatorial treatment approaches, so the zebrafish offers an opportunity to explore new small molecules as well as combinations of known drugs for preclinical efficacy testing.
  • Evaluation of pathways relevant to PKD: For example, microinjection of mRNAs or antisense morpholino oligonucleotides into embryos. The zebrafish embryo is a very rapid environment that enables the in vivo testing of specific hypotheses related to PKD disease formation and progression.
  • Human sequence variation functional testing: The zebrafish has been effectively used to discern functional differences in human sequence variation of candidate PKD loci. The Zebrafish Core Facility provides necessary expertise to run comparable in vivo functional tests for newly identified human sequence variants identified in the Mayo Translational PKD Center.
  • Targeted training on current zebrafish technologies: The core offers training on zebrafish-related topics of interest to Mayo Translational PKD Center faculty and scientists.

Submit an email inquiry to the core about zebrafish services.