Osteoblast and osteoclast behavior in zebrafish cultured scales

Sara Pasqualetti, Giuseppe Banfi, Massimo Mariotti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Fish scale culture can be used as a model to test the effects of several molecules on bone metabolism by histological and biochemical methods, although solid cell biology data about the behavior of the scale cells in culture are needed if such a model is to be employed for pharmacological applications. In the present study, we cultured zebrafish scales at various temperatures and for various times and analyzed the behavior of the bone cells in terms of viability and activity. We demonstrated that the cultured scale cells maintained their usual distribution at 28°C until 72 h, after which time episquamal osteoblasts showed an obvious change in their cell organization followed by an increase in cell death. Osteoclast tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase and osteoblast alkaline phosphatase activities were maintained until 72 h but were reduced at 96 h as a consequence of the massive cell death. This scenario indicates that zebrafish scales cultured until 72 h can be considered as an innovative model of explanted organ culture to assay the ability of chemical compounds to modulate the metabolism of bone cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)69-75
Number of pages7
JournalCell & Tissue Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2012


  • Cell culture
  • Fish scale
  • Osteoblast
  • Osteoclast
  • Zebrafish

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Cell Biology
  • Histology

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