Review Can zebrafish be used as a model to study the neurodevelopmental causes of autism?

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    • Abstract:
      The zebrafish has proven to be an excellent model for analyzing issues of vertebrate development. In this review we ask whether the zebrafish is a viable model for analyzing the neurodevelopmental causes of autism. In developing an answer to this question three topics are considered. First, the general attributes of zebrafish as a model are discussed, including low cost maintenance, rapid life cycle and the multitude of techniques available. These techniques include large-scale genetic screens, targeted loss and gain of function methods, and embryological assays. Second, we consider the conservation of zebrafish and mammalian brain development, structure and function. Third, we discuss the impressive use of zebrafish as a model for human disease, and suggest several strategies by which zebrafish could be used to dissect the genetic basis for autism. We conclude that the zebrafish system could be used to make important contributions to understanding autistic disorders. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
    • Abstract:
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