Du, JL (reprint author), Chinese Acad Sci, Inst Neurosci, Shanghai Inst Life Sci, 320 Yueyang Rd, Shanghai 200031, Peoples R China.,email@example.com
The MTT (3-(4,5-dimethyl-2-thiazolyl)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide) assay is a classical method for screening cytotoxic anti-cancer agents. Candidate drugs from the MTT assay need in vivo models to test their efficiency and to assess the absorption, distribution, metabolism, excretion, and toxicity of the drugs. An in vivo screening model could increase the rate of development of anti-cancer drugs. Here, we used zebrafish to screen a library of 502 natural compounds and compared the results with those from an KIT assay of the MCF7 breast cancer cell line. We identified 59 toxic compounds in the zebrafish screen, 21 of which were also identified by the MTT assay, and 28 of which were already known for their anti-cancer and apoptosis-inducing effects. These compounds induced apoptosis and activated the p53 pathway in zebrafish within 3 h treatment. Our results indicate that zebrafish is a simple, reliable and highly efficient in vivo tool for cancer drug screening, and could complement the MTT assay. (C) 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.