Traditionally, the formation of mineralized tissue has been studied in mammalian settings, both in vivo and in vitro. There are undeniable advantages of using murine systems, but there are also short-comings such as in vivo observation of chondrocytes and osteoblasts, and the inability to carry out forward genetic screens that would allow for an unbiased way to identify gene functions at the whole organism level.
We have therefore turned to the zebrafish (Danio rerio), which complements mammalian systems and provides an alternative approach to the study of osteogenesis and mineralization. In this lecture I will provide examples of how genetic studies have enabled us to identify novel gene functions, and how studying embryonic skeletal development in zebrafish can provide mechanistic insight into the role of novel factors essential for osteoblast function and mineralization.
Disclosure of Interest None Declared