Metabolic research

ZeClinics provides preclinical in vivo CRO services using innovative zebrafish models of metabolic disorders such as obesity, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), and atherosclerosis, with the added value of larger and statistically significant populations than classic animal models.

Our metabolic field experts offer their experience in drug discovery using zebrafish to help you design and run efficient and cost-effective studies to accelerate your R&D process.

Metabolic Disease Models

Zebrafish Solutions Facilitating Successful Development of your Metabolic Therapies


Zebrafish represent a fantastic model to study metabolic disorders because of the remarkable genetic, anatomic, and functional similarities with humans in lipid metabolism, adipogenic pathways, pancreas structure, and glucose homeostasis.

Zebrafish share with mammals:

Key organs for energy homeostasis and metabolism regulation: including digestive organs, adipose tissues, and skeletal muscle.

Conserved metabolic pathways: including appetite, hormonal regulation, and lipid storage.

System for transporting lipids: including apolipoproteins, all main nuclear receptors, and enzymes involved in lipoprotein metabolism.

Orthologues of human genes important for lipid metabolism with comparable expression patterns: including microsomal TG transfer protein (mttp), fatty acid transport protein (slc27a), and acyl-CoA synthetase (acsl) gene families, as well as the LDL receptor (ldlr) and the cholesteryl ester transfer protein (cetp).

The conservation of a critical human lipoprotein-modifying enzyme (CETP) makes zebrafish prone to dyslipidemia with short dietary interventions, unlike rodents, which are generally resistant to atherosclerosis.


Our preclinical metabolic research services are developed to help you address:

Preclinical Metabolic Research Capabilities

Several studies demonstrated significant metabolic changes can be generated in zebrafish through relatively short dietary interventions. Similar to mammals, excessive nutrients in zebrafish cause increased plasma triglyceride levels and hepatic steatosis. Obese zebrafish also exhibit dysregulation of pathways that control lipid metabolism, including SREBF1, PPARs, NR1H3, and LEP.

Ready-to-use Metabolic Models

ZeClinics' metabolic experts have developed in-house and gold standard nutritional models for metabolic conditions. Our diet-based adult, juvenile, and larval zebrafish models recapitulate the key aspects of metabolic diseases, and represent an efficient, cost-effective, and human-relevant option to study these conditions.

Obesity Model

For genetic functional studies of potential obesity-modulating genes.


For genetic functional studies of potential hepatic steatosis-modulating genes.

Get the milestone data you need to make important decisions in the early stages of drug discovery. Contact us to learn more about ZeClinics’ preclinical metabolic research services and how we can help accelerate your R&D process.

We'd like to hear from you

If you want more information about our metabolic
disease models or have any other questions, please
contact our experts.


  1. Schlegel A, Gut P. Metabolic insights from zebrafish genetics, physiology, and chemical biology. Cell Mol Life Sci. 2015 Jun;72(12):2249-60.
  2. Faillaci F, Milosa F, Critelli RM, Turola E, Schepis F, Villa E. Obese zebrafish: A small fish for a major human health condition. Animal Model Exp Med. 2018 Nov 21;1(4):255-265.

View our Metabolic research services