In this issue of the newsletter, we will be highlighting the research being carried out by the Animal and Imaging Core Facility at DDI, led by Dr. Ashraf Madhoun.


Find out what is new within the Research Sector at DDI

Zebrafish As A Model For Obesity And Diabetes

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Obesity and diabetes are very common in Kuwait. The connection between the two diseases is so strong that they are often combined and referred to as ‘diabesity’. Both are complex diseases and are caused by a mixture of genetic and environmental factors. At Dasman Diabetes institute and other international institution, research studies are aiming to understand the origins and progress of diabesity, which involves the use of animal as a research models of human disease.

Zebrafish are small, colorful, tropical fish that can often be found in aquariums. However, given their genetic, anatomical and physiological similarities with humans, they can also be found in research labs as important animal models of disease. Zebrafish reproduce quickly, are easy to maintain in large numbers and can be genetically mutated to mimic disease. Zebrafish also possess digestive organs, fat tissue and skeletal muscle. These attributes add to the usefulness of Zebrafish in medical research.

This review publication highlights the recent research using Zebrafish as an animal model for human obesity and diabetes. High-fat, overly feed and genetically modified zebrafish have been used to study the roles of lipid metabolism, energy balance and fat disruption in obesity. Genetically and physically modified zebrafish have also been used to research type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Zebrafish research has improved our understanding of obesity and diabetes and has uncovered potential new drug therapies for these diseases. Detailed information was in the review: Zang L, Maddison LA, Chen W. Zebrafish as a Model for Obesity and Diabetes. Front Cell Dev Biol. 2018;6:91.

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