Improvement of surface ECG recording in adult zebrafish reveals that the value of this model exceeds our expectation

Chi Chi Liu, Li Li, Yun Wah Lam, Chung Wah Siu, Shuk Han Cheng

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46 Citations (Scopus)


The adult zebrafish has been used to model the electrocardiogram (ECG) for human cardiovascular studies. Nonetheless huge variations are observed among studies probably because of the lack of a reliable and reproducible recording method. In our study, an adult zebrafish surface ECG recording technique was improved using a multi-electrode method and by pre-opening the pericardial sac. A convenient ECG data analysis method without wavelet transform was also established. Intraperitoneal injection of KCl in zebrafish induced an arrhythmia similar to that of humans, and the arrhythmia was partially rescued by calcium gluconate. Amputation and cryoinjury of the zebrafish heart induced ST segment depression and affected QRS duration after injury. Only cryoinjury decelerated the heart rate. Different changes were also observed in the QT interval during heart regeneration in these two injury models. We also characterized the electrocardiophysiology of breakdance zebrafish mutant with a prolonged QT interval, that has not been well described in previous studies. Our study provided a reliable and reproducible means to record zebrafish ECG and analyse data. The detailed characterization of the cardiac electrophysiology of zebrafish and its mutant revealed that the potential of the zebrafish in modeling the human cardiovascular system exceeds expectations.
Original languageEnglish
Article number25073
Number of pages13
JournalScientific Reports
Publication statusPublished - 29 Apr 2016
Externally publishedYes

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