Beyond drug discovery: Exploring the physiological and methodological dimensions of zebrafish in diabetes research

Tamsheel Fatima Roohi, Syed Faizan, Mohd Farooq Shaikh, Kamsagara Linganna Krishna, Seema Mehdi, Nabeel Kinattingal, Alina Arulsamy

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review


Diabetes mellitus is a chronic disease that is now considered a global epidemic. Chronic diabetes conditions include type 1 and type 2 diabetes, both of which are normally irreversible. As a result of long-term uncontrolled high levels of glucose, diabetes can progress to hyperglycaemic pathologies, such as cardiovascular diseases, retinopathy, nephropathy and neuropathy, among many other complications. The complete mechanism underlying diabetes remains unclear due to its complexity. In this scenario, zebrafish (Danio rerio) have arisen as a versatile and promising animal model due to their good reproducibility, simplicity, and time- and cost-effectiveness. The Zebrafish model allows us to make progress in the investigation and comprehension of the root cause of diabetes, which in turn would aid in the development of pharmacological and surgical approaches for its management. The current review provides valuable reference information on zebrafish models, from the first zebrafish diabetes models using genetic, disease induction and chemical approaches, to the newest ones that further allow for drug screening and testing. This review aims to update our knowledge related to diabetes mellitus by gathering the most authoritative studies on zebrafish as a chemical, dietary and insulin induction, and genetic model for diabetes research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)847-872
Number of pages26
JournalExperimental Physiology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2024


  • animal model
  • anti-diabetic drugs
  • Danio rerio
  • diabetes mellitus
  • hyperglycaemic pathologies

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