Dose-dependent Effects of Chemical Immobilization on the Heart Rate of Embryonic Zebrafish

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The small size and optical transparence of zebrafish embryos and larvae greatly facilitate modern intravital microscopic phenotyping of these experimentally tractable laboratory animals. Neither the experimentally derived dose-response relationships for chemicals commonly used in the mounting of live fish larvae, nor their effect on the stress of the animal, are currently available in the research literature. This is particularly problematic for IACUCs attempting to maintain the highest ethical standards of animal care in the face of a recent spate in investigator-initiated requests to use embryonic zebrafish as experimental models. The authors address this issue by describing the dose-dependent efficacy of several commonly used chemical mounting treatments and their effect on one stress parameter, embryo heart rate. The results of this study empirically define, for the first time, effective, minimally stressful treatments for immobilization and in vivo visualization during early zebrafish development.



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