The International Journal of Developmental Biology

Int. J. Dev. Biol. 55: 505 - 509 (2011)

Vol 55, Issue 4-5

Special Issue: Angiogenesis in Development & Cancer

Zebrafish embryo, a tool to study tumor angiogenesis

Review | Published: 19 July 2011

Chiara Tobia, Giulia De Sena and Marco Presta*

Department of Biomedical Sciences and Biotechnology, University of Brescia, Italy


Zebrafish (Danio rerio) represents a powerful model system in cancer research. Recent observations have shown the possibility to exploit zebrafish to investigate tumor angiogenesis, a pivotal step in cancer progression and target for anti-tumor therapies. Experimental models have been established in zebrafish adults, juveniles, and embryos, each one with its own advantages and disadvantages. Novel genetic tools and high resolution in vivo imaging techniques are also becoming available in zebrafish. It is anticipated that zebrafish will represent an important tool for chemical discovery and gene targeting in tumor angiogenesis. This review focuses on the recently developed tumor angiogenesis models in zebrafish, with particular emphasis to tumor engrafting in zebrafish embryos.


zebrafish, angiogenesis, xenotransplantation, tumor, VEGF

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