Zebrafish as a neuroblastoma model: Progress made, promise for the future

Shuai Li, Kok Siong Yeo, Taylor M. Levee, Cassie J. Howe, Zuag Paj Her, Shizhen Zhu

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


For nearly a decade, researchers in the field of pediatric oncology have been using zebrafish as a model for understanding the contributions of genetic alternations to the pathogenesis of neurob-lastoma (NB), and exploring the molecular and cellular mechanisms that underlie neuroblastoma initiation and metastasis. In this review, we will enumerate and illustrate the key advantages of using the zebrafish model in NB research, which allows researchers to: monitor tumor development in real-time; robustly manipulate gene expression (either transiently or stably); rapidly evaluate the cooperative interactions of multiple genetic alterations to disease pathogenesis; and provide a highly efficient and low-cost methodology to screen for effective pharmaceutical interventions (both alone and in combination with one another). This review will then list some of the common challenges of using the zebrafish model and provide strategies for overcoming these difficulties. We have also included visual diagram and figures to illustrate the workflow of cancer model development in zebrafish and provide a summary comparison of commonly used animal models in cancer research, as well as key findings of cooperative contributions between MYCN and diverse singling pathways in NB pathogenesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number580
Pages (from-to)1-18
Number of pages18
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2021


  • Animal model
  • Neuroblastoma
  • Zebrafish

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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