The team of University of Heidelberg investigated the activity of Cytochrome P450 enzymes in zebrafish (Danio rerio) embryos with the 7-methoxycoumarin-O-demethylase (MCOD) assay.
Activities of cytochrome P450 enzymes are crucial for cellular metabolism and detoxification of xenobiotics such as pharmaceuticals. However, some drugs interact with these enzymes and may both induce or inhibit them. In zebrafish (Danio rerio), the activity of CYP2 family members can be investigated by staining 4 d old zebrafish embryos with 7-methoxycoumarin. At 4 days, the highest CYP activity (blue) can be measured in the gut (outlined in red). By comparing the activities in treated and non-treated fish, the effect of pharmaceuticals on CYP enzymes can be determined.