zdjęcie na CoreFacility Zebrafish Core FacilityThe Zebrafish Core Facility (ZCF) has been in existence since 2012. It is a licensed breeding and research facility (District Veterinary Inspectorate in Warsaw registry no. PL14656251; Ministry of Science and Higher Education record no. 064 and 0051). The ZCF was established to introduce a new vertebrate model, Danio rerio, to research that is conducted at IIMCB. As the first in Poland, the ZCF joined the prestigious European Zebrafish Society (EZS) and is registered in the Zebrafish Information Network database (ZFIN). Since 2019, the ZCF has been included in IIMCB’s Research Infrastructure of Molecules and Cells (IN-MOL-CELL) within the Polish Roadmap for Research Infrastructures. In 2020, the ZCF became a member of the Core Facility Working Group of the EU-LIFE alliance,, actively participating in various initiatives, discussions of specific core facility challenges, and sharing best practices and expertise in core facility management.

Zebrafish (Danio rerio) is a small-bodied tropical, freshwater fish that originated in South Asia. Several key features, including high genetic similarity to humans, relatively short generation time, and transparent embryos that are readily accessible to genetic manipulations, have led to the rapid growth of zebrafish as an excellent model for biomedical research. Moreover, the wide sharing of techniques and collections of mutant/transgenic animals, together with low maintenance costs make zebrafish an attractive world-wide alternative to mammalian in vivo models that can be used to adhere to the Reduce, Refine, Replace (3R) principles of animal research. Our zebrafish collection consists of wildtype and genetically modified lines, including transgenics and mutants.

Among the ZCF collection are zebrafish that express modified genes that are involved in transcription regulation, heart development, neuropathology, and neurodegenerative disorders. Thanks to our ongoing activities, IIMCB researchers can use zebrafish in innovative projects on genetics, developmental biology, and molecular mechanisms of human diseases. The ZCF offers services for IIMCB researchers and external users, including research groups from the University of Warsaw, Medical University of Warsaw, Mossakowski Medical Research Centre (Polish Academy of Sciences), Warsaw University of Life Sciences, Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry (Polish Academy of Sciences) in Poznań, and Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań. Additionally, because of our international reputation and scientific collaborations, we export zebrafish lines to European and American scientific institutes.

Maintaining such a large number of zebrafish would not be possible without a suitable infrastructure. Our fish are currently housed in 1,210 tanks (eight independent, automated aquatic systems). The ZCF is equipped with incubators, microscopes, and microinjection systems for zebrafish embryos. Additionally, Zebrafish Core Facility users have at their disposal a laboratory that is dedicated to behavioral testing. The room is equipped with automated systems for observing and tracking larval and adult zebrafish. The ZCF also performs sperm freezing and in vitro fertilization to guarantee the preservation of zebrafish genetic lines. Diagnostic and health services for zebrafish are provided by an in-house veterinarian (an expert in the aquatic field and tropical fish diseases) in cooperation with an external zebrafish diagnostic laboratory, which allows us to continuously monitor health status of the fish colony and maintain the highest standards of animal welfare.

Scientists who use zebrafish for research purposes are obligated by law (Act of 15 January 2015 on the Protection of Animals Used for Scientific or Educational Purposes) to be certified to work with this animal model. All research and breeding activities at the ZCF are performed in compliance with fundamental ethical principles (Act of 15 January 2015 and European/International guidelines on animal welfare, including Directive 2010/63/EU on the Protection of Animals Used for Scientific Purposes and instructions of the Federation of European Laboratory Animal Science Associations [FELASA]).

Contact with ZCF: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. If you have any questions concerning the welfare of animals used in experiments at IIMCB, or if you notice any cases of irregularities related to the use of animals in procedures – please contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.