Optokinetic response has been widely used to assess the visual functions of larval zebrafish. Nevertheless, the standard protocol for larval fish is not yet readily applicable in adults1-5. Here, we introduce how to measure the OKR of adult zebrafish using a new protocol which is established in our lab.
1Centre of Excellence for Alzheimer's Disease Research and Care, School of Medical sciences, Edith Cowan University, 2Centre for Clinical Research in Neuropsychiatry, Graylands Hospital, University of Western Australia, 3McCusker Alzheimer's Research foundation, 4School of Medicine and Pharmacology, University of Western Australia, 5Department of Molecular and Biomedical Sciences, University of Adelaide, 6School of Biomedical Sciences, Curtin University of Technology, 7School of Psychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences, University of Western Australia
This protocol outlines regular maintenance and care to maintain optimal conditions for zebrafish husbandry. The video illustrates the protocol for system maintenance, regular housing, feeding, breeding, and raising of zebrafish larvae.
The VisioTracker is an automated system for the quantitative analysis of visual performance of larval and small adult fish based on the recording of eye movements. It features full control over visual stimulus properties and real-time analysis, enabling high-throughput research in fields such as visual system development and function, pharmacology, neural circuit studies and sensorimotor integration.
1Department of Molecular Cell Biology, Institute of Biology, Leiden University, 2Department of Medical Microbiology and Infection Control, VU University Medical Center, 3Australian Regenerative Medicine Institute, Monash University
Transparent zebrafish embryos have proved useful model hosts to visualize and functionally study interactions between innate immune cells and intracellular bacterial pathogens, such as Salmonella typhimurium and Mycobacterium marinum. Micro-injection of bacteria and multi-color fluorescence imaging are essential techniques involved in the application of zebrafish embryo infection models.
A simple method to record extracellular field potentials in the larval zebrafish forebrain is described. The method provides a robust in vivo read-out of seizure-like activity. This technique can be used with genetically modified zebrafish larvae carrying epilepsy-related genes or seizures evoked by administration of convulsant drugs.
Microinjection is a well-established and effective method for introducing foreign substances into fertilized zebrafish embryos. Here, we demonstrate a robust microinjection technique for performing mRNA overexpression, and morpholino oligonucleotide gene knockdown studies in zebrafish.
A step-by-step guide to generating targeted chimeric zebrafish embryos by transplantation at the blastula or gastrula stage.
A clear, standardized method for dissection and isolation of the zebrafish heart at multiple developmental stages are described. Annotation and quantification techniques are also discussed.
Zebrafish cell transplantation enables the combination of genetics and embryology to generate tissue specific chimeras. This video demonstrates gastrula staged cell transplantations that have allowed our lab to investigate the roles of astroglial populations and specific guidance cues during commissure formation in the forebrain.
The zebrafish kidney is home to both renal and hematopoietic adult stem/progenitor cells, and represents an outstanding opportunity to study these cell types and their progeny in a vertebrate model organism. Here, we demonstrate a detailed dissection procedure that enables the researcher to identify and surgically remove the adult zebrafish kidney, which can be used for applications such as cell isolation, transplantation, and expression studies of kidney and/or blood cell populations.
A simple microfluidic device has been developed to perform anesthetic free in vivo imaging of C. elegans, intact Drosophila larvae and zebrafish larvae. The device utilizes a deformable PDMS membrane to immobilize these model organisms in order to perform time lapse imaging of numerous processes such as heart beat, cell division and sub-cellular neuronal transport. We demonstrate the use of this device and show examples of different types of data collected from different model systems.
After neural tube formation, the neuroepithelium constricts and folds while the tube fills with embryonic cerebrospinal fluid (eCSF) to form the embryonic brain ventricles. We developed this ventricle injection technique to better visualize the fluid filled space in contrast to the neuroepithelial shape in a live embryo.
This is a method for generating gynogenetic diploid zebrafish embryos (embryos whose only genetic contribution comes from the mother) by blocking the second meiotic division immediately after fertilization with ultraviolet light-inactivated sperm. EP embryos are not fully homozygous due to recombination during the first meiotic division, however they are homozygous at all loci that have not been separated from their centromere by recombination.
The zebrafish maxillary barbel is an integumentary sense organ containing ectodermal, mesodermal and neural crest derivatives. Importantly, the adult barbel can regenerate after proximal amputation. This video introduces maxillary barbel development and demonstrates a surgical protocol to induce regeneration, followed by collection, embedding and downstream imaging of barbel specimens.
This article describes an approach to microdissect zebrafish retinas with and without retinal pigment epithelium attached, from one to three days postfertilization embryos.
Targeting Olfactory Bulb Neurons Using Combined In Vivo Electroporation and Gal4-Based Enhancer Trap Zebrafish Lines
1Department of Biology, Pace University, 2Cellular and Molecular Medicine, University of California, San Diego, 3Division of Cell Biology and Cell Physiology, Zoological Institute, Braunschweig University of Technology
The temporal and spatial resolution of genetic manipulations determines the spectrum of biological phenomena that they can perturb. Here we use temporally and spatially discrete in vivo electroporation, combined with transgenic lines of zebrafish, to induce expression of a GFP transgene specifically in neurons of the developing olfactory bulb.
Dying cells are extruded from epithelial tissues by concerted contraction of neighboring cells without disrupting barrier function. The optical clarity of developing zebrafish provides an excellent system to visualize extrusion in living epithelia. Here we describe methods to induce and image extrusion in the larval zebrafish epidermis at cellular resolution.
1Hospital de Clínicas de Porto Alegre, Centro de Pesquisa Experimental Laboratório de Hepatologia e Gastroenterologia Experimental, 2Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, UFRGS. Porto Alegre, RS, Brasil
This paper presents a technique for collection of blood from the dorsal aorta of Zebrafish. It also provides instructions for obtaining serum for use in biochemical analyses, such as tests for determining cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
In order to understand the molecular mechanisms of the ethanol-induced developmental damage, we have developed a zebrafish model of ethanol exposure and are exploring the physical, cellular, and genetic alterations that occur after ethanol exposure1. We then seek to find potential interventions and rapidly test them in this animal model.
We present a novel method for microgavage of larval zebrafish utilizing standard embryo microinjection and stereomicroscopy equipment. We demonstrate that microgavage is a safe and efficient technique useful for delivering controlled amounts of diverse materials specifically into the larval zebrafish intestinal lumen.
Acute kidney injury (AKI) in humans is a common clinical problem caused by damage to the epithelial cells that comprise kidney nephrons, and AKI is associated with high mortality rates of 50-70%1. Following epithelial cell destruction, nephrons have a limited ability to regenerate, though the mechanisms and limitations that guide this phenomenon remain poorly understood. In this video article, we describe our technique for targeted laser ablation of kidney nephron cells in the zebrafish embryo kidney, or pronephros. Our new method can be used to complement nephrotoxicity-induced models of AKI and gain a high-resolution understanding of the cell and molecular alterations that are associated with epithelial regeneration in the kidney nephron.
This protocol describes a procedure for identifying and dissecting organs from the adult zebrafish.
1Department of Cell and Developmental Biology, State University of New York, Upstate Medical University, 2Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy, Eccles Institute of Human Genetics, University of Utah
Cilia-generated fluid flow in Kupffer’s Vesicle (KV) controls left-right patterning of the zebrafish embryo. Here, we describe a technique to modulate gene function specifically in KV cells. In addition, we show how to deliver fluorescent beads into KV to visualize fluid flow.
The rapid development, small size and transparency of zebrafish are tremendous advantages for the study of innate immune control of infection1-4. Here we demonstrate techniques for infecting zebrafish larvae using the fungal pathogen Candida albicans by microinjection, methodology recently used to implicate phagocyte NADPH oxidase activity in control of fungal dimorphism5.
1Department of Biological Sciences, Center for Zebrafish Research, University of Notre Dame, 2Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Pathology, Colorado State University, 3Departments of Anatomy and Cell Biology and Ophthalmology, Wayne State University School of Medicine
We describe a method to conditionally knockdown the expression of a target protein during adult zebrafish fin regeneration. This technique involves micro-injecting and electroporating antisense oligonucleotide morpholinos into fin tissue, which allows testing the protein’s role in various stages of fin regeneration, including wound healing, blastema formation, and regenerative outgrowth.
We developed the Visual-Motor Response to quantitate the motor output of larval zebrafish in response to light increments and decrements. We also examined zebrafish vision mutants, including the no optokinetic response (nrc) mutants, which were thought to be completely blind when tested by another vision assay, the optokinetic reflex.
Transplantation of GFP-expressing Blastomeres for Live Imaging of Retinal and Brain Development in Chimeric Zebrafish Embryos
We demonstrate a protocol to generate chimeric zebrafish embryos for live imaging cellular behavior during embryogenesis.
Quantifying the Frequency of Tumor-propagating Cells Using Limiting Dilution Cell Transplantation in Syngeneic Zebrafish
1Department of Molecular Pathology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, 2Department of Molecular Pathology, Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center, Harvard Stem Cell Institute
Limiting dilution cell transplantation assays are used to determine the frequency of tumor-propagating cells. This protocol describes a method for generating syngeneic zebrafish that develop fluorescently-labeled leukemia and details how to isolate and transplant these leukemia cells at limiting dilution into the peritoneal cavity of adult zebrafish.
Here we describe a novel high-content chemically induced inflammation assay aiming at the identification of immune-modulatory bioactives. We have successfully combined automated microscopy with custom developed software scripts enabling automated quantification of the inflammatory response as well as further data processing, analysis, mining, and storage.
Multicolor Time-lapse Imaging of Transgenic Zebrafish: Visualizing Retinal Stem Cells Activated by Targeted Neuronal Cell Ablation
In this video, techniques for multicolor confocal time-lapse imaging and targeted cell ablation are provided. Time-lapse imaging is used to monitor the behavior of multiple cell types of interest in vivo. Targeted cell ablation facilitates the study neural circuit function and cell-specific neuronal regeneration paradigms.
Larval zebrafish represent the first vertebrate model system to allow simultaneous patch clamp recording from a spinal motor-neuron and target skeletal muscle. This video demonstrates the microscopic methods used to identify a segmental CaP motor-neuron and target muscle cells as well as the methodologies for recording from each cell type.
Lens development involves interactions with other tissues. Several zebrafish eye mutants are characterized by an abnormally small lens size. Here we demonstrate a lens transplantation experiment to determine whether this phenotype is due to intrinsic causes or defective interactions with tissues that surround the lens.
Optogenetic techniques have made it possible to study the contribution of specific neurons to behavior. We describe a method in larval zebrafish for activating single somatosensory neurons expressing a channelrhodopsin variant (ChEF) with a diode-pumped solid state (DPSS) laser and recording the elicited behaviors with a high-speed video camera.
1Program in Molecular Medicine and Department of Cancer Biology, University of Massachusetts Medical School, 2Departments of Surgery and Medicine, Weill Cornell Medical College, 3Departments of Surgery and Medicine, New York Presbyterian Hospital
A rapid way to screen for melanoma modifiers using a zebrafish autochthonous tumor model is presented. It takes advantage of the miniCoopR vector which allows for expression of candidate melanoma genes in melanocytes. A method to obtain melanoma-free survival curves, an invasion assay, a protocol for antibody staining of scale melanocytes and a melanoma transplantation assay are described.
1Departments of Anatomy and Cell Biology and Ophthalmology, Wayne State University School of Medicine, 2Department of Biological Sciences, University of Notre Dame, 3Center for Zebrafish Research, University of Notre Dame
A method to conditionally knockdown a target protein’s expression in the adult zebrafish retina is described, which involves intravitreally injecting antisense morpholinos and electroporating them into the retina. The resulting protein is knocked down for several days, which allows testing the protein’s role in the regenerating or intact retina.
A rapid way to conduct immunostaining of zebrafish embryonic heart is described. Compared to the whole mount immunostaining approach, this method dramatically increases the penetration of the antibodies, which allows obtaining high resolution images that reveal cellular/subcellular structures in the heart within a much reduced processing time.
The method presented here comprises the precise injury of live zebrafish embryos with high-energy laser pulses and the subsequent analysis of these injuries and their recovery with time. We also show how genetically labeled single or groups of skeletal muscle cells can be tracked during and after laser light induced damage.
In this video, we demonstrate a method by which to analyze the developing vertebrate brain in live zebrafish embryos at single cell resolution by confocal microscopy. This includes the method by which we inject the single-cell zebrafish embryo and subsequently mount and image the developing brain.
1Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, Department of Medicine, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, 2Department of Pharmacology, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, 3Vanderbilt Institute of Chemical Biology, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, 4Research Medicine, Veterans Affairs TVHS, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine
Zebrafish has emerged as a powerful in vivo platform for phenotype-based drug screens and chemical genetic analysis. Here, we demonstrate a simple, practical method for large-scale screening of small molecules using zebrafish embryos.
We describe a technique of microinjecting the aminoglycoside, gentamicin, into 2 days post-fetilization (dpf) zebrafish larvae to induce acute kidney injury (AKI). We also describe a method for whole mount immunohistochemistry, plastic embedding and sectioning of zebrafish larvae to visualize the AKI mediated damage.
Here, we present a method for the photoactivated switch of photoconvertible fluorescent proteins (PCFPs) in the living zebrafish embryo and further tracking of photoconverted protein at specific time points during development. This methodology allows monitoring of cell biological events underlying different developmental processes in a live vertebrate organism.
Multiphoton microscopy allows control of low energy photons with deep optical penetration and reduced phototoxicity. We describe the use of this technology for live cell labeling in zebrafish embryos. This protocol can be readily adapted for photo-induction of various light-responsive molecules.
1Department of Biochemistry, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Yeshiva University, 2Macromolecular Therapeutics Development Facility, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Yeshiva University, 3Developmental and Molecular Biology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Yeshiva University
A click-chemistry based method that allows for the rapid, noninvasive, and robust labeling of alkyne-tagged glycans in zebrafish embryos is described. Fucosylated glycans in the enveloping layer of zebrafish embryos in the late gastrulation stage were imaged in this study.
Whole mount in situ hybridization (WISH) was used in an upper level undergraduate Comparative Vertebrate Biology course in addition to vertebrate dissections. This gave students the opportunity to study gene expression patterns as well as gross anatomy, linking the study of molecular and organismal biology within one course.
Gene microarrays are powerful tools in gene expression profiling at a genome-wide level. This technology has application in a variety of biological disciplines including developmental biology and toxicology. In this video, we detail a protocol for global gene expression analysis using a comprehensive oligonucleotide microarray platform for the zebrafish.
Zebrafish represent a powerful vertebrate model that has been under-utilised for metabolic studies. Here we describe a rapid way to measure the in vivo metabolic profile of developing zebrafish that allows the comparison of different mitochondrial function parameters between genetically or pharmacologically manipulated embryos, thereby increasing the applicability of this organism.
Metabolic memory is the phenomenon by which diabetic complications persist and progress unimpeded even after euglycemia is achieved pharmaceutically. Here we describe a diabetes mellitus zebrafish model which is unique in that it allows for the examination of the mitotically transmissible epigenetic components of metabolic memory in vivo.
In this video, we will demonstrate how to record electrical activity from identified single neurons in a whole brain preparation, which preserves complex neural circuits. We use transgenic fish in which gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) neurons are genetically tagged with a fluorescent protein for identification in the intact brain preparation.
Time-lapse Live Imaging of Clonally Related Neural Progenitor Cells in the Developing Zebrafish Forebrain
The present video demonstrates a method which takes advantage of the combination of electroporation and confocal microscopy to perform live imaging on individual neural progenitor cells in the developing zebrafish forebrain. In vivo analysis of the development of forebrain neural progenitor cells at a clonal level can be achieved in this way.
1Pharmacology and Chemical Biology, University of Pittsburgh Drug Discovery Institute, 2Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, University of Pittsburgh, 3Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Pittsburgh, 4Department of Chemistry, University of Pittsburgh
We report the development of a system for automated imaging and analysis of zebrafish transgenic embryos in multiwell plates. This demonstrates the ability to measure dose dependent effects of a small molecule, BCI, on Fibroblast Growth Factor reporter gene expression and provide technology for establishing high-throughput zebrafish chemical screens.