A new zebrafish bone crush injury model

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While mammals have a limited capacity to repair bone fractures, zebrafish can completely regenerate amputated bony fin rays. Fin regeneration in teleosts has been studied after partial amputation of the caudal fin, which is not ideal to model human bone fractures because it involves substantial tissue removal, rather than local tissue injury. In this work, we have established a bone crush injury model in zebrafish adult caudal fin, which consists of the precise crush of bony rays with no tissue amputation. Comparing these two injury models, we show that the initial stages of injury response are the same regarding the activation of wound healing molecular markers. However, in the crush assay the expression of the blastema marker msxb appears later than during regeneration after amputation. Following the same trend, bone cells deposition and expression of genes involved in skeletogenesis are also delayed. We further show that bone and blood vessel patterning is also affected. Moreover, analysis of osteopontin and Tenascin-C reveals that they are expressed at later stages in crushed tissue, suggesting that in this case bone repair is prolonged for longer than in the case of regeneration after amputation. Due to the nature of the trauma inflicted, the crush injury model seems more similar to fracture bone repair in mammals than bony ray amputation. Therefore, the new model that we present here may help to identify the key processes that regulate bone fracture and contribute to improve bone repair in humans.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)915-921
Number of pages7
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 15 Sept 2012


  • Bone
  • Caudal fin
  • Crush
  • Epimorphic regeneration
  • Injury
  • Zebrafish


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