Toxicity Assessment of Herbal Medicine on Zebrafish

Herbal medicine, a traditional way of treatment, is now modernized to provide a safe, effective treatment to humans. For this, toxicological evaluation is critical in herbal medicine to discover side effects and protect humans. This blog explains how zebrafish can be used to assess the toxicity of these medicinal compounds.

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Danio Rerio sometimes known as the zebrafish, is a little freshwater fish that grows to be around 2–4 cm long. Its small size, short life cycle, and high fecundity make it ideal for use as a test organism in laboratories. Zebrafish have been utilised extensively in genetic development, transgenesis and toxicological research. Because of the high degree of gene function conservation between zebrafish and humans, zebrafish has become a prominent model for genetic study. It has been revealed that zebrafish and humans have 87 percent genetic similarities.

Because the test can be conducted with little amounts, the zebrafish embryotoxicity model is more suited for isolated substances from herbal medicine. Because embryos are transparent, researchers may easily assess the effects of chemicals on numerous organs such as the heart, brain, gut, pancreas, cartilage, liver, and kidney.

Furthermore, due to the holistic action of natural agents, this approach is better suited to detecting off-target impacts or numerous targets.

Mode of Induction:

  • The zebrafish is fed with a herbal medicine infused feed formulation. 
  • After the strain is induced, the zebrafish is then analysed for changes induced by the herbal medicine.

Analyzing Parameters

• ADME Screening – The toxicity of compound is screened using predictive software and assessed.
• LC50 determination – exposure concentration of a toxic substance lethal to half of the test animals.
• Novel Tank Test – Fish were placed separately at the bottom of the tank using a net, and their swimming activity was videotaped. After then, the various patterns detected are compared.


• As a result, Zebrafish can be utilised as a useful model for studying herbal medicine.
• Zebrafish is gaining popularity as a predictive animal model for in vivo medication effectiveness, toxicity, and safety testing.
• Tissues and organs in zebrafish are morphologically and molecularly same or comparable to those of other vertebrates, including humans.


Zebrafish Studies:

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