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Advances in Hematology
Volume 2012, Article ID 857058, 9 pages
Review Article

Zebrafish Thrombocytes: Functions and Origins

Department of Biological Sciences, University of North Texas, Denton, TX 76203-5017, USA

Received 2 March 2012; Accepted 19 April 2012

Academic Editor: Jason Berman

Copyright © 2012 Gauri Khandekar et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Platelets play an important role in mammalian hemostasis. Thrombocytes of early vertebrates are functionally equivalent to mammalian platelets. A substantial amount of research has been done to study platelet function in humans as well as in animal models. However, to date only limited functional genomic studies of platelets have been performed but are low throughput and are not cost-effective. Keeping this in mind we introduced zebrafish, a vertebrate genetic model to study platelet function. We characterized zebrafish thrombocytes and established functional assays study not only their hemostatic function but to also their production. We identified a few genes which play a role in their function and production. Since we introduced the zebrafish model for the study of hemostasis and thrombosis, other groups have adapted this model to study genes that are associated with thrombocyte function and a few novel genes have also been identified. Furthermore, transgenic zebrafish with GFP-tagged thrombocytes have been developed which helped to study the production of thrombocytes and their precursors as well as their functional roles not only in hemostasis but also hematopoiesis. This paper integrates the information available on zebrafish thrombocyte function and its formation.