ZFIN ID: ZDB-PUB-130610-39
Molecular and chemical genetic approaches to developmental origins of aging and disease in zebrafish
Sasaki, T., and Kishi, S.
Date: 2013
Source: Biochimica et biophysica acta. Molecular basis of disease   1832(9): 1362-70 (Review)
Registered Authors: Kishi, Shuji
Keywords: aging, evolution, development, disease, rejuvenation, zebrafish
MeSH Terms:
  • Aging/genetics*
  • Aging/pathology*
  • Animals
  • Disease Models, Animal*
  • Humans
  • Zebrafish/embryology
  • Zebrafish/genetics
  • Zebrafish/growth & development*
PubMed: 23660559 Full text @ BBA Molecular Basis of Disease

The incidence of diseases increases rapidly with age, accompanied by progressive deteriorations of physiological functions in organisms. Aging-associated diseases are sporadic but mostly inevitable complications arising from senescence. Senescence is often considered the antithesis of early development, but yet there may be factors and mechanisms in common between these two phenomena over the dynamic process of aging. The association between early development and late-onset disease with advancing age is thought to come from a consequence of developmental plasticity, the phenomenon by which one genotype can give rise to a range of physiologically and/or morphologically adaptive states in response to different environmental or genetic perturbations. On the one hand, we hypothesized that the future aging process can be predictive based on adaptivity during the early developmental period. Modulating the thresholds of adaptive plasticity by chemical genetic approaches, we have been investigating whether any relationship exists between the regulatory mechanisms that function in early development and in senescence using the zebrafish (Danio rerio), a small freshwater fish and a useful model animal for genetic studies. We have successfully conducted experiments to isolate zebrafish mutants expressing apparently altered senescence phenotypes during embryogenesis (“embryonic senescence”), subsequently showing shortened lifespan in adulthoods. We anticipate that previously uncharacterized developmental genes may mediate the aging process and play a pivotal role in senescence. On the other hand, unexpected senescence-related genes might also be involved in the early developmental process and regulation. The ease of manipulation using the zebrafish system allows us to conduct an exhaustive exploration of novel genes and small molecular compounds that can be linked to the senescence phenotype, and thereby facilitates searching for the evolutionary and developmental origins of aging in vertebrates. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Animal Models of Disease.