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Karolinska Institutet Zebrafish Core Facility

The Karolinska Institutet Zebrafish Core Facility is open to all researchers wishing to use the zebrafish as an experimental model.

The zebrafish (Danio rerio) is a popular laboratory animal for a number of reasons. Zebrafish are vertebrates and they are easy to keep. The females produce large clutches of eggs and the embryos develop very quickly, with major organs in place by six days post-fertilisation. Since the embryos develop outside the mother and are transparent, they offer an opportunity to follow the formation of tissues and organs from a very early stage onwards.

    Zebrafish quick-facts

    • Clinically relevant model for human physiology and pathology
    • Cost efficient husbandry
    • Rapid, external development of optically clear embryos
    • Thousands of transgenic and knock-out lines freely available
    • Fast genetic accessibility
    • No requirement of an ethical permit if embryos < 5 days are used

    There are already zebrafish models for a number of human diseases, for example cardiomyopathy, diabetes, muscular dystrophy and Parkinson's disease.

    The facility

    The state-of-the-art facility at the Karolinska Institutet Zebrafish Core Facility houses fish in a continuously monitored environment and all staff are qualified animal technicians.

    With space for more than 80.000 fish, our facility is one of the largest in Europe. A major rebuild of the aquatic facility is scheduled for 2019/2020.


      We can provide researchers with fish from wildtype lines, as well as offer the possibility of bringing in mutant/transgenic fish lines of interest from other laboratories.

      Besides offering “bed and breakfast” for your zebrafish lines, we provide a variety of wildtype and mutant lines for your research. In our laboratories we have all the technical equipment needed for your zebrafish experiments. And of course, we offer scientific consultation, teaching of methods and experimental assistance to you that have not yet worked with the zebrafish model.

      The facility has, in collaboration with researchers from Karolinska Institutet, developed protocols for a wide range of techniques, including morpholino injections, whole mount in situ hybridisation, electron microscopy and immunofluorescence assays.

      Users of the facility have the following equipment at their disposal:

      • Eppendorf FemtoJet Microinjectors
      • Leica MZ16F Fluorescence Stereomicroscope
      • Leica DFC320 Digital FireWire Color Camera System
      • Leica M165FC Fluorescence Stereomicroscope
      • Leica DFC450C Digital FireWire Color Camera System
      • Nikon SMZ645 and SMZ800 Stereoscopic Zoom Microscopes


      Contact and organisation

      The zebrafish core facility is part of Comparative Medicine.


      Core facility manager

      Lars Bräutigam,, +46 8-524 87 316