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.
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.
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.
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.
Key to understanding the morphogenetic processes that shape the early embryo is the ability to image cells at high resolution. We describe here a technique for labeling single cells or small clusters of cells in whole zebrafish embryos with membrane-targeted Green Fluorescent Protein.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Live Imaging of Cell Motility and Actin Cytoskeleton of Individual Neurons and Neural Crest Cells in Zebrafish Embryos
1Genetics Training Program, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2Department of Anatomy, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 3Department of Zoology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 4Cell and Molecular Biology Training Program, University of Wisconsin-Madison
This protocol describes imaging of individual neurons or neural crest cells in living zebrafish embryos. This method is used to examine cellular behaviors and actin localization using fluorescence confocal time-lapse microscopy.
A step-by-step guide to generating targeted chimeric zebrafish embryos by transplantation at the blastula or gastrula stage.
This protocol delineates a way to label and trace the fate of small groups of cells zebrafish embryos using UV-uncaging of caged fluorescein, followed by whole mount immunolabeling to amplify the signal from the uncaged fluorescein.
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 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.
Due to the hard chorion and soft embryos, manipulation of medaka embryos is more involved than in zebrafish. This video shows step-by-step procedures for how to manipulate medaka embryos, including dechorionation, mounting in agarose for imaging and cell transplantation for the production of chimeras. These procedures are essential to use medaka and zebrafish in a laboratory to take full advantage of their complementary features for the genetic dissection of vertebrate genome functions.
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.
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.
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.
We demonstrate our approach to finding potential enhancer elements from developmentally regulated genes and evaluating their function through mosaic zebrafish transgenesis.
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.
Here we describe a method for mounting zebrafish embryos for long-term imaging, two-photon imaging and tissue-damage techniques, and time-lapse confocal imaging.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Direct Delivery of MIF Morpholinos Into the Zebrafish Otocyst by Injection and Electroporation Affects Inner Ear Development
1Department of Veterinary Science, University of Wisconsin, Madison, 2Department of Cell and Developmental Biology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, 3Present address: Department of Pulmonary Medicine, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, 4Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
A method to deliver morpholinos directly into the zebrafish otocyst at 24hpf has been developed. Using microinjection of morpholinos into the lumen of otic vesicle and electroporation to effect penetration, we were able to bypass the effect of morpholinos on the brain and obtain effects specific to the inner ear.
We present a method to collect cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and to create a system which lacks CSF within the embryonic zebrafish brain ventricular system. This allows for further examination of CSF composition and its requirement during embryonic brain development.
A method is described to photoactivate single cells containing a caged fluorescent protein using two-photon absorption from a Ti:Sapphire femtosecond laser oscillator. To fate map the photoactivated cell, immunohistochemistry is used. This technique can be applied to any cell type.
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.
1Department of Ophthalmology, Massachusetts Eye and Ear, 2JoVE Content Production
This September in JoVE, researchers from the School of Medicine at the Free University of Berlin demonstrate a novel method for studying how stroke patients compensate for visual field defects. To do this, our authors make use of a driving simulator complete with brakes, a steering wheel, and turn signals. Using driving simulation software and sophisticated eye tracking, researchers can compare the gaze behavior of stroke patients as they navigate through virtual driving courses with varying degrees of complexity. Though posterior cerebral artery infarction can lead to similar visual deficits in patients, some are able to navigate through the driving courses by developing compensatory eye movements, while others crash into dangerous obstacles, like wild boars. Through the analysis of compensatory gaze behavior employed by patients, our authors see great potential for using driving simulation as a tool to rehabilitate stroke patients trying to overcome the blind spots in their visual fields.
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.
FSL Constructs: A Simple Method for Modifying Cell/Virion Surfaces with a Range of Biological Markers Without Affecting their Viability
1Biotechnology Research Institute, AUT University and KODE Biotech Ltd, 2Shemyakin Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry RAS, Moscow, Russia
Function-Spacer-Lipid (FSL) constructs allow the surface characteristics of living cells and virions to be modified without loss of vitality. The method requires only simple contact of an FSL construct solution with a cell/virion and spontaneous and stable surface incorporation occurs.
Slice cultures facilitate the manipulation of embryo development by gene and pharmacological perturbations. However, culture conditions must ensure that normal development can proceed within the reduced environment of the slice. We illustrate a protocol that facilitates normal spinal cord development to proceed for at least 24 hr.
We describe a live whole animal quantitative measurement for permeability of the embryonic zebrafish brain. The technique analyzes the ability to retain cerebrospinal fluid and molecules of different molecular weights within the neural tube lumen and quantifies their movement out of the ventricles. This method is useful for determining differences in epithelial permeability and maturation during development and disease.
The manufacture, calibration and use of non-invasive vibrating probes to measure bioelectric current in various biological systems is described.
Whole mount in situ hybridization is one of the most widely used techniques in developmental biology. Here, we present a high-resolution double fluorescent in situ hybridization protocol for analyzing the precise expression pattern of a single gene and for determining the overlap of the expression domains of two genes. We include a propidium iodide nuclear counter-stain to highlight tissue organization.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This video shows how morpholino or mRNA can be injected into zebrafish embryos at the one-cell stage to decrease or increase the level of specific gene products during subsequent development.
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.
Medaka and zebrafish are complementary for genetic dissection of vertebrate genome functions. This protocol highlights the key points for successful microinjection into medaka embryos, an important technique for embryological and genetic analysis using medaka and zebrafish in a laboratory.