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Scholars Day 2005, Wednesday, April 13

A Zebrafish Model For Gastrointestinal Motility

Gastrointestinal motility (GI) is the coordinated contraction of smooth muscles that results in mixing and ordered propulsion of luminal content for nutrient absorption. Zebrafish larvae are transparent and luminal content can be visualized. This is not possible in the mouse model. Enteric neurons, pacemaker cells, smooth muscle cells, and the central nervous system function together to regulate motility. Direct observation in an intact animal avoids disruption of complex interactions between the different subsystems. A zebrafish-based model system offers the advantage of direct and continuous visualization of GI motility in an intact animal model. Contraction frequency and the coordination of motility will be directly visualized. This new model system is validated by comparing the effects of GI motility-enhancing between humans and zebrafish. Current therapies for GI motility disorders are lacking and a new zebrafish-based model for GI motility might be helpful for the design of new therapies.

Presenter: Gimi Ciudin (Graduate Student)
Topic: Biological Sciences
Location: 123 Hartwell
Time: 9 am (Session I)