Observational study of Killifish with spinal deformities
To evaluate the morphology and molecular biology of Aphanius fasciatus with severe spine deformities.
Summary of background data
Idiopathic Scoliosis affects 3% of the population and is an abnormal three-dimensional curvature of the spine with unknown cause. The lack of a model system with naturally occurring spinal curvatures has hindered research on the etiology of IS.
The Mediterranean killifish Aphanius fasciatus, collected from the coast of Sfax (Tunisia), which has an inborn skeletal deformity was chosen. We used morphologic features to evaluate the severity of scoliosis according to the different types and performed a biochemical analysis using factors previously studied in humans (estradiol, melatonin and Insulin Growth Factor 1 “IGF-1”).
We have detected relevant molecular deviations that occur in Killifish deformities and the fish with severe scoliosis are smaller and less old than the ones with milder scolioses. Furthermore, a significant change in levels of ovarian estradiol, liver IGF-1 and brain melatonin was noted between deformed and normal fish.
Aphanius fasciatus could be used as a molecular model system to study the etiology of IS in humans as the characterization of the Aphanius fasciatus scoliosis syndrome has revealed morphological and biochemical parallels to IS. However, it is important to note the limitations of the proposed model, including the short lifespan of the fish.
Level of evidence
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We would like to acknowledge all laboratory staff at Department of Laboratory LR11ES41 Genetic Biodiversity and Valorization of Bio-resources, 5000, Monastir, Tunisia. for the funding and technical support that we presented and for their encouragement to succeed in this work.
The financemet was provided by Monastir University, Monastir Higher Institute of Biotechnology, Laboratory LR11ES41, Genetics Biodiversity and Valorization of Bio-resources, 5000, Monastir, Tunisia.
IRB approval/Research Ethics Committee
The handling and sacrifice of animals have been applied in the regulation of the IRB approval/Research Ethics Committee of the Monastir Higher Institute of Biotechnology, University of Monastir, Tunisia.
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Lahmar, S., Kessabi, K. & Messaoudi, I. Aphanius fasciatus: a molecular model of scoliosis?. Spine Deform (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s43390-021-00291-w
- Aphanius fasciatus
- Human idiopathic scoliosis
- Natural model