Spitsbergen, J.M., Buhler, D.R., and Peterson, T.S. (2012) Neoplasia and neoplasm-associated lesions in laboratory colonies of zebrafish emphasizing key influences of diet and aquaculture system design. ILAR journal. 53(2):114-125.
During the past decade, the zebrafish has emerged as a leading model for mechanistic cancer research because of its sophisticated
genetic and genomic resources, its tractability for tissue targeting of transgene expression, its efficiency for forward genetic
approaches to cancer model development, and its cost effectiveness for enhancer and suppressor screens once a cancer model
is established. However, in contrast with other laboratory animal species widely used as cancer models, much basic cancer
biology information is lacking in zebrafish. As yet, data are not published regarding dietary influences on neoplasm incidences
in zebrafish. Little information is available regarding spontaneous tumor incidences or histologic types in wild-type lines
of zebrafish. So far, a comprehensive database documenting the full spectrum of neoplasia in various organ systems and tissues
is not available for zebrafish as it is for other intensely studied laboratory animal species. This article confirms that,
as in other species, diet and husbandry can profoundly influence tumor incidences and histologic spectra in zebrafish. We
show that in many laboratory colonies wild-type lines of zebrafish exhibit elevated neoplasm incidences and neoplasm-associated
lesions such as heptocyte megalocytosis. We present experimental evidence showing that certain diet and water management regimens
can result in high incidences of neoplasia and neoplasm-associated lesions. We document the wide array of benign and malignant
neoplasms affecting nearly every organ, tissue, and cell type in zebrafish, in some cases as a spontaneous aging change, and
in other cases due to carcinogen treatment or genetic manipulation.