Zebrafish: Model for the Study of Inflammation and the Innate Immune Response to Infectious Diseases

  • Beatriz Novoa
  • Antonio FiguerasEmail author
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 946)


The zebrafish (Danio rerio) has been extensively used in biomedical research as a model to study vertebrate development and hematopoiesis and recently, it has been adopted into varied fields including immunology. After fertilization, larvae survive with only the innate immune responses because adaptive immune system is morphologically and functionally mature only after 4–6 weeks postfertilization. This temporal separation provides a suitable system to study the vertebrate innate immune response in vivo, independently from the adaptive immune response. The transparency of early life stages allows a useful real-time visualization. Adult zebrafish which have complete (innate and adaptative) immune systems offer also advantages over other vertebrate infection models: small size, relatively rapid life cycle, ease of breeding, and a growing list of molecular tools for the study of infectious diseases. In this review, we have tried to give some examples of the potential of zebrafish as a valuable model in innate immunity and inflammation studies.


Zebrafish (Danio rerioInflammation Innate immunity Infectious disease Ontogeny 



We want to thank the funding from the project CSD2007-00002 “Aquagenomics” of the program Consolider-Ingenio 2010 from the Spanish Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Instituto de Investigaciones MarinasCSICVigoSpain

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