Löhr, H., and Hammerschmidt, M. (2011) Zebrafish in endocrine systems: recent advances and implications for human disease. Annual review of physiology. 73:183-211.
Since its introduction as a genetic vertebrate model system approximately 30 years ago, the focus of zebrafish research has increasingly shifted to questions that are also relevant for human development and disease. Here, we review the potential of the zebrafish as a model for human endocrine systems. A recent review compared the functions of the different endocrine systems and glands in zebrafish with those in other vertebrates, including humans, coming to the conclusion that major aspects are conserved. Here, we present an updated overview of this rapidly growing field of zebrafish research, focusing on the hypothalamo-pituitary axis, which links the central nervous system with the endocrine systems, and on major processes that are under (neuro)endocrine control and are the subject of intensive current research in other endocrine model organisms, such as feeding circuits and energy homeostasis, sleep, stress, reproduction, osmoregulation, and calcium homeostasis. Finally, we summarize the strengths and weaknesses of zebrafish as a model for studying endocrine systems.