Zebrafish (Danio rerio) are small freshwater fish popular in home aquaria. In the last decades interest in using zebrafish models in biomedical research has increased greatly. Zebrafish provide a vertebrate model in which many advantages of lower invertebrate model organisms are combined to the advantages of mammalian research models:
- Embryonic development ex utero
- Transparency of embryos
- Rapid embryonic development
- Fast progeny production
- Genetically traceable
- Easy genetic manipulation
- Suitability for large scale genetic screens and small molecule screens
- Anatomical and physiological similarities with mammals
- Various established human disease models
Keeping and raising of zebrafish stocks is performed under permission of the State Provincial Office of Western Finland (permission ESAVI/10079/04.10.06/2015). Care of animals is done in accordance with the EU-directive 2010/ 63/EU on the protection of animals used for scientific purposes and the Finnish Act on the Protection of Animals Used for Scientific or Educational Purposes (497/2013) and the Government Decree on the Protection of Animals Used for Scientific or Educational Purposes (564/2013). All experiments with zebrafish that are older than 7 days post fertilization are done under permissions granted by the National Animal Experiment Board.
Our facility serves all scientists using zebrafish as a research model system. The facility is capable of housing up to 50 000 adult zebrafish. It is composed of a laboratory room, a microscope room for fluorescence microscopy and imaging, two large fish rooms with separate systems, and two quarantine rooms with stand-alone units for infection experiments. The zebrafish housing system was designed and installed by Aquatic Habitats. The facility is equipped with a reverse osmosis water purification system, and a Pentair control box which automatically monitors pH, conductivity, temperature, water level and water exchange in the fish water. The system is capable of maintaining consistent pH and conductivity by dosing salt and sodium bicarbonate solutions automatically as necessary. The system water recirculates through several filtration units, including mechanical, biological and chemical filters, as well as an ultraviolet sterilizer.
All the users of the Zebrafish Laboratory services are obligated to acknowledge the facility in publications:
“The authors acknowledge the Tampere Zebrafish Laboratory for their service.”