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Harnessing zebrafish for the study of white blood cell development and its perturbation
journal contributionposted on 2004-09-01, 00:00 authored by S Onnebo, S Yoong, Alister WardAlister Ward
Considerable progress has been made in understanding the molecular basis of normal white blood cell development and its perturbation in disease through the use of clinical studies and traditional animal and cell line models. Despite this, however, many questions are still being answered and white blood cell disorders, including leukemia and lymphoma, remain a significant health problem. The zebrafish (Danio rerio) has emerged as a powerful alternative vertebrate model for the study of development and disease. We review the recent application of zebrafish to the study of white blood cell development and its disruption, particularly leukemogenesis. Such studies have highlighted the overall conservation of these processes throughout vertebrates, and establish zebrafish as a useful experimental model. This organism is now poised to make an important contribution to our understanding of the underlying genetic control of white blood cell development and its disruption, as well as the identification of new therapeutic agents.