Purpose of review: Although the zebrafish has been established as a research tool over the past two to three decades, in hematology it has primarily been used to investigate areas distinct from coagulation. The advantages of this vertebrate model include high fecundity, rapid and external development, and conservation of virtually all clotting factors in the zebrafish genomic sequence. Here, we summarize the growing application of this technology to the study of hemostasis and thrombosis.
Recent findings: Loss of function studies have demonstrated conservation of function for a number of zebrafish coagulation factors. These include positive and negative regulators of coagulation, as well as key components of the thrombus itself, such as von Willebrand factor, fibrinogen, and thrombocytes. Such analyses have also been leveraged to aid in the understanding of human variation and disease, as well as to perform in-vivo structure/function experiments.
Summary: The zebrafish is an organism that lends itself to a number of unique and powerful approaches not possible in mammals. This review demonstrates that there is a high degree of genetic and functional conservation of coagulation, portending future insights into hemostasis and thrombosis through the use of this model.