Murphey, R.D., and Zon, L.I. (2006) Small molecule screening in the zebrafish. Methods (San Diego, Calif.). 39(3):255-261.
The zebrafish is an ideal organism for small molecule studies. The ability to use the whole organism allows complex in vivo phenotypes to be assayed and combines animal testing with screening. Embryos are easily treatable by waterborne exposure. The small size and abundance of embryos make zebrafish suitable for screening in a high-throughput manner in 96- or 48-well plates. Zebrafish embryos have successfully been used in chemical genetic screens to elucidate biological pathways and find chemical suppressors. Small molecules discovered by screening zebrafish disease models may also be useful as lead compounds for drug development as there appears to be a high level of conservation of drug activity between mammals and zebrafish. Here we provide the technical aspects of treating embryos with small molecules and performing chemical screens with zebrafish.