Drug screening assays in living zebrafish disease models

Tecan’s Infinite M1000 multimode microplate reader has enabled scientists in the Department of Cellular Biology and Anatomy at Georgia Health Sciences University (GHSU), USA, to develop a high throughput system for reporter-based drug screening assays in living zebrafish disease models1.

Dr Jeff Mumm, Assistant Professor at GHSU, explained: “Quantitative microplate reader systems have revolutionised the pace of drug discovery, enabling the development of reporter–based in vitro and in silico assays that allow high throughput screening (HTS). However, biological validation has become a bottleneck in the drug discovery process, due to a lack of HTS-compatible in vivo assay platforms. Quantifying reporter levels in living zebrafish provides a versatile means of alleviating this road block.”

He continued: “The flexibility of the Infinite M1000 has allowed us to develop a simple and cost-effective automated screening method based on fluorescent or luminescent reporter detection in live zebrafish. Using this method we have been able to quantify the loss and regeneration of targeted cells in zebrafish disease models, as well as small molecule-induced changes in disease-linked molecular signaling pathways.

"High signal to noise ratios allow us to monitor changes in individual fish – which accounts for wide reporter level variance across populations by normalizing signals to each individual’s ground state – enabling us to detect long-term changes over several days. This powerful technique will benefit a wide variety of high throughput chemical and genetic screens in live zebrafish, potentially accelerating the validation of new drugs.”

1. Walker SL, et al. (2012) Automated Reporter Quantification In Vivo: High-Throughput Screening Method for Reporter-Based Assays in Zebrafish. PLoS ONE, published 04 Jan 2012.

For more information, visit www.tecan.com/InfiniteM1000


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