Ion transport in the zebrafish kidney from a human disease angle: possibilities, considerations, and future perspectives.
SourceAmerican Journal of Physiology : Renal Physiology, 312, 1, (2017), pp. F172-F189
Article / Letter to editor
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American Journal of Physiology : Renal Physiology
SubjectRadboudumc 11: Renal disorders RIMLS: Radboud Institute for Molecular Life Sciences
Unique experimental advantages, such as its embryonic/larval transparency, high-throughput nature, and ease of genetic modification, underpin the rapid emergence of the zebrafish (Danio rerio) as a preeminent model in biomedical research. Particularly in the field of nephrology, the zebrafish provides a promising model for studying the physiological implications of human solute transport processes along consecutive nephron segments. However, although the zebrafish might be considered a valuable model for numerous renal ion transport diseases and functional studies of many channels and transporters, not all human renal electrolyte transport mechanisms and human diseases can be modeled in the zebrafish. With this review, we explore the ontogeny of zebrafish renal ion transport, its nephron structure and function, and thereby demonstrate the clinical translational value of this model. By critical assessment of genomic and amino acid conservation of human proteins involved in renal ion handling (channels, transporters, and claudins), kidney and nephron segment conservation, and renal electrolyte transport physiology in the zebrafish, we provide researchers and nephrologists with an indication of the possibilities and considerations of the zebrafish as a model for human renal ion transport. Combined with advanced techniques envisioned for the future, implementation of the zebrafish might expand beyond unraveling pathophysiological mechanisms that underlie distinct genetic or environmentally, i.e., pharmacological and lifestyle, induced renal transport deficits. Specifically, the ease of drug administration and the exploitation of improved genetic approaches might argue for the adoption of the zebrafish as a model for preclinical personalized medicine for distinct renal diseases and renal electrolyte transport proteins.
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