Modeling Disorders of Blood Coagulation in the Zebrafish
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Hemostasis, the process of blood clot formation and resolution in response to vascular injury, and thrombosis, the dysregulation of hemostasis leading to pathological clot formation, are widely studied. However, the genetic variability in hemostatic and thrombotic disorders is incompletely understood, suggesting that novel mediators have yet to be uncovered. The zebrafish is developing into a powerful in vivo model to study hemostasis, and its features as a model organism are well suited to (a) develop high-throughput screens to identify novel mediators of hemostasis and thrombosis, (b) validate candidate genes identified in human populations, and (c) characterize the structure/function relationship of gene products. In this review, we discuss conservation of the zebrafish hemostatic system, highlight areas for future study, and outline the utility of this model to study blood coagulation and its dysregulation.