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Sample records for zebrafish aplnra functions

  1. Functional and Structural Characterization of Zebrafish ASC.

    PubMed

    Li, Yajuan; Huang, Yi; Cao, Xiaocong; Yin, Xueying; Jin, Xiangyu; Liu, Sheng; Jiang, Jiansheng; Jiang, Wei; Xiao, Tsan Sam; Zhou, Rongbin; Cai, Gang; Hu, Bing; Jin, Tengchuan

    2018-05-23

    The zebrafish genome encodes homologs for most of the proteins involved in inflammatory pathways; however, the molecular components and activation mechanisms of fish inflammasomes are largely unknown. ASC (apoptosis-associated speck-like protein containing a caspase-recruitment domain (CARD)) is the only adaptor involved in the formation of multiple types of inflammasomes. Here, we demonstrate that zASC is also involved in inflammasome activation in zebrafish. When overexpressed in vitro and in vivo in zebrafish, both the zASC and zASC pyrin domain (PYD) proteins form speck and filament structures. Importantly, the crystal structures of the N-terminal PYD and C-terminal CARD of zebrafish ASC were determined independently as two separate entities fused to maltose-binding protein (MBP). Structure-guided mutagenesis revealed the functional relevance of the PYD hydrophilic surface found in the crystal lattice. Finally, the fish caspase-1 homolog Caspy, but not the caspase-4/11 homolog Caspy2, interacts with zASC through homotypic PYD-PYD interactions, which differ from those in mammals. These observations establish the conserved and unique structural/functional features of the zASC-dependent inflammasome pathway. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

  2. Functional inhibition of UQCRB suppresses angiogenesis in zebrafish

    SciT

    Cho, Yoon Sun; Jung, Hye Jin; Seok, Seung Hyeok

    2013-04-19

    Highlights: ► This is the first functional characterization of UQCRB in vivo model. ► Angiogenesis is inhibited with UQCRB loss of function in zebrafish. ► UQCRB is introduced as a prognostic marker for mitochondria- and angiogenesis-related diseases. -- Abstract: As a subunit of mitochondrial complex III, UQCRB plays an important role in complex III stability, electron transport, and cellular oxygen sensing. Herein, we report UQCRB function regarding angiogenesis in vivo with the zebrafish (Danio rerio). UQCRB knockdown inhibited angiogenesis in zebrafish leading to the suppression of VEGF expression. Moreover, the UQCRB-targeting small molecule terpestacin also inhibited angiogenesis and VEGF levelsmore » in zebrafish, supporting the role of UQCRB in angiogenesis. Collectively, UQCRB loss of function by either genetic and pharmacological means inhibited angiogenesis, indicating that UQCRB plays a key role in this process and can be a prognostic marker of angiogenesis- and mitochondria-related diseases.« less

  3. Zebrafish models for the functional genomics of neurogenetic disorders.

    PubMed

    Kabashi, Edor; Brustein, Edna; Champagne, Nathalie; Drapeau, Pierre

    2011-03-01

    In this review, we consider recent work using zebrafish to validate and study the functional consequences of mutations of human genes implicated in a broad range of degenerative and developmental disorders of the brain and spinal cord. Also we present technical considerations for those wishing to study their own genes of interest by taking advantage of this easily manipulated and clinically relevant model organism. Zebrafish permit mutational analyses of genetic function (gain or loss of function) and the rapid validation of human variants as pathological mutations. In particular, neural degeneration can be characterized at genetic, cellular, functional, and behavioral levels. Zebrafish have been used to knock down or express mutations in zebrafish homologs of human genes and to directly express human genes bearing mutations related to neurodegenerative disorders such as spinal muscular atrophy, ataxia, hereditary spastic paraplegia, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), epilepsy, Huntington's disease, Parkinson's disease, fronto-temporal dementia, and Alzheimer's disease. More recently, we have been using zebrafish to validate mutations of synaptic genes discovered by large-scale genomic approaches in developmental disorders such as autism, schizophrenia, and non-syndromic mental retardation. Advances in zebrafish genetics such as multigenic analyses and chemical genetics now offer a unique potential for disease research. Thus, zebrafish hold much promise for advancing the functional genomics of human diseases, the understanding of the genetics and cell biology of degenerative and developmental disorders, and the discovery of therapeutics. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled Zebrafish Models of Neurological Diseases. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  4. A critical period for functional vestibular development in zebrafish

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Moorman, Stephen J.; Cordova, Rodolfo; Davies, Sarah A.

    2002-01-01

    We have determined a critical period for vestibular development in zebrafish by using a bioreactor designed by NASA to simulate microgravity for cells in culture. A critical period is defined as the briefest period of time during development when stimulus deprivation results in long lasting or permanent sensory deficits. Zebrafish eggs were collected within 3 hours of being laid and fertilized. In experiment 1, eggs were placed in the bioreactor at 3, 24, 30, 36, 48, or 72 hours postfertilization (hPF) and maintained in the bioreactor until 96 hPF. In experiment 2, eggs were placed in the bioreactor immediately after they were collected and maintained in the bioreactor until 24, 36, 48, 60, 66, 72, or 96 hPF. Beginning at 96 hPF, all larvae had their vestibulo-ocular reflexes (VOR) evaluated once each day for 5 days. Only larvae that hatched from eggs that were placed in the bioreactor before 30 hPF in experiment 1 or removed from the bioreactor later than 66 hPF in experiment 2 had VOR deficits that persisted for at least 5 days. These data suggest a critical period for vestibular development in the zebrafish that begins before 30 hPF and ends after 66 hPF. To confirm this, zebrafish eggs were placed in the bioreactor at 24 hPF and removed at 72 hPF. VORs were evaluated in these larvae once each day for 5 days beginning at 96 hPF. These larvae had VOR deficits that persisted for at least 5 days. In addition, larvae that had been maintained in the bioreactor from 24 to 66 hPF or from 30 to 72 hPF, had only temporary VOR deficits. In a final experiment, zebrafish eggs were placed in the bioreactor at 3 hPF and removed at 96 hPF but the bioreactor was turned off from 24 hPF to 72 hPF. These larvae had normal VORs when they were removed from the bioreactor at 96 hPF. Taken as a whole, these data support the idea that there is a critical period for functional maturation of the zebrafish vestibular system. The developmental period identified includes the timeframe

  5. DND protein functions as a translation repressor during zebrafish embryogenesis.

    PubMed

    Kobayashi, Manami; Tani-Matsuhana, Saori; Ohkawa, Yasuka; Sakamoto, Hiroshi; Inoue, Kunio

    2017-03-04

    Germline and somatic cell distinction is regulated through a combination of microRNA and germ cell-specific RNA-binding proteins in zebrafish. An RNA-binding protein, DND, has been reported to relieve the miR-430-mediated repression of some germ plasm mRNAs such as nanos3 and tdrd7 in primordial germ cells (PGCs). Here, we showed that miR-430-mediated repression is not counteracted by the overexpression of DND protein in somatic cells. Using a λN-box B tethering assay in the embryo, we found that tethering of DND to reporter mRNA results in translation repression without affecting mRNA stability. Translation repression by DND was not dependent on another germline-specific translation repressor, Nanos3, in zebrafish embryos. Moreover, our data suggested that DND represses translation of nanog and dnd mRNAs, whereas an RNA-binding protein DAZ-like (DAZL) promotes dnd mRNA translation. Thus, our study showed that DND protein functions as a translation repressor of specific mRNAs to control PGC development in zebrafish. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. Integrating anatomy and function for zebrafish circuit analysis.

    PubMed

    Arrenberg, Aristides B; Driever, Wolfgang

    2013-01-01

    Due to its transparency, virtually every brain structure of the larval zebrafish is accessible to light-based interrogation of circuit function. Advanced stimulation techniques allow the activation of optogenetic actuators at different resolution levels, and genetically encoded calcium indicators report the activity of a large proportion of neurons in the CNS. Large datasets result and need to be analyzed to identify cells that have specific properties-e.g., activity correlation to sensory stimulation or behavior. Advances in three-dimensional (3D) functional mapping in zebrafish are promising; however, the mere coordinates of implicated neurons are not sufficient. To comprehensively understand circuit function, these functional maps need to be placed into the proper context of morphological features and projection patterns, neurotransmitter phenotypes, and key anatomical landmarks. We discuss the prospect of merging functional and anatomical data in an integrated atlas from the perspective of our work on long-range dopaminergic neuromodulation and the oculomotor system. We propose that such a resource would help researchers to surpass current hurdles in circuit analysis to achieve an integrated understanding of anatomy and function.

  7. The genetics of hair-cell function in zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Nicolson, Teresa

    2017-09-01

    Our ears are remarkable sensory organs, providing the important senses of balance and hearing. The complex structure of the inner ear, or 'labyrinth', along with the assorted neuroepithelia, have evolved to detect head movements and sounds with impressive sensitivity. The rub is that the inner ear is highly vulnerable to genetic lesions and environmental insults. According to National Institute of Health estimates, hearing loss is one of the most commonly inherited or acquired sensorineural diseases. To understand the causes of deafness and balance disorders, it is imperative to understand the underlying biology of the inner ear, especially the inner workings of the sensory receptors. These receptors, which are termed hair cells, are particularly susceptible to genetic mutations - more than two dozen genes are associated with defects in this cell type in humans. Over the past decade, a substantial amount of progress has been made in working out the molecular basis of hair-cell function using vertebrate animal models. Given the transparency of the inner ear and the genetic tools that are available, zebrafish have become an increasingly popular animal model for the study of deafness and vestibular dysfunction. Mutagenesis screens for larval defects in hearing and balance have been fruitful in finding key components, many of which have been implicated in human deafness. This review will focus on the genes that are required for hair-cell function in zebrafish, with a particular emphasis on mechanotransduction. In addition, the generation of new tools available for the characterization of zebrafish hair-cell mutants will be discussed.

  8. Gli function is essential for motor neuron induction in zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Vanderlaan, Gary; Tyurina, Oksana V; Karlstrom, Rolf O; Chandrasekhar, Anand

    2005-06-15

    The Gli family of zinc-finger transcription factors mediates Hedgehog (Hh) signaling in all vertebrates. However, their roles in ventral neural tube patterning, in particular motor neuron induction, appear to have diverged across species. For instance, cranial motor neurons are essentially lost in zebrafish detour (gli1(-)) mutants, whereas motor neuron development is unaffected in mouse single gli and some double gli knockouts. Interestingly, the expression of some Hh-regulated genes (ptc1, net1a, gli1) is mostly unaffected in the detour mutant hindbrain, suggesting that other Gli transcriptional activators may be involved. To better define the roles of the zebrafish gli genes in motor neuron induction and in Hh-regulated gene expression, we examined these processes in you-too (yot) mutants, which encode dominant repressor forms of Gli2 (Gli2(DR)), and following morpholino-mediated knockdown of gli1, gli2, and gli3 function. Motor neuron induction at all axial levels was reduced in yot (gli2(DR)) mutant embryos. In addition, Hh target gene expression at all axial levels except in rhombomere 4 was also reduced, suggesting an interference with the function of other Glis. Indeed, morpholino-mediated knockdown of Gli2(DR) protein in yot mutants led to a suppression of the defective motor neuron phenotype. However, gli2 knockdown in wild-type embryos generated no discernable motor neuron phenotype, while gli3 knockdown reduced motor neuron induction in the hindbrain and spinal cord. Significantly, gli2 or gli3 knockdown in detour (gli1(-)) mutants revealed roles for Gli2 and Gli3 activator functions in ptc1 expression and spinal motor neuron induction. Similarly, gli1 or gli3 knockdown in yot (gli2(DR)) mutants resulted in severe or complete loss of motor neurons, and of ptc1 and net1a expression, in the hindbrain and spinal cord. In addition, gli1 expression was greatly reduced in yot mutants following gli3, but not gli1, knockdown, suggesting that Gli3 activator

  9. Relationships among msx gene structure and function in zebrafish and other vertebrates.

    PubMed

    Ekker, M; Akimenko, M A; Allende, M L; Smith, R; Drouin, G; Langille, R M; Weinberg, E S; Westerfield, M

    1997-10-01

    The zebrafish genome contains at least five msx homeobox genes, msxA, msxB, msxC, msxD, and the newly isolated msxE. Although these genes share structural features common to all Msx genes, phylogenetic analyses of protein sequences indicate that the msx genes from zebrafish are not orthologous to the Msx1 and Msx2 genes of mammals, birds, and amphibians. The zebrafish msxB and msxC are more closely related to each other and to the mouse Msx3. Similarly, although the combinatorial expression of the zebrafish msx genes in the embryonic dorsal neuroectoderm, visceral arches, fins, and sensory organs suggests functional similarities with the Msx genes of other vertebrates, differences in the expression patterns preclude precise assignment of orthological relationships. Distinct duplication events may have given rise to the msx genes of modern fish and other vertebrate lineages whereas many aspects of msx gene functions during embryonic development have been preserved.

  10. TSH Receptor Function Is Required for Normal Thyroid Differentiation in Zebrafish

    PubMed Central

    Opitz, Robert; Maquet, Emilie; Zoenen, Maxime; Dadhich, Rajesh

    2011-01-01

    TSH is the primary physiological regulator of thyroid gland function. The effects of TSH on thyroid cells are mediated via activation of its membrane receptor [TSH receptor (TSHR)]. In this study, we examined functional thyroid differentiation in zebrafish and characterized the role of TSHR signaling during thyroid organogenesis. Cloning of a cDNA encoding zebrafish Tshr showed conservation of primary structure and functional properties between zebrafish and mammalian TSHR. In situ hybridization confirmed that the thyroid is the major site of tshr expression during zebrafish development. In addition, we identified tpo, iyd, duox, and duoxa as novel thyroid differentiation markers in zebrafish. Temporal analyses of differentiation marker expression demonstrated the induction of an early thyroid differentiation program along with thyroid budding, followed by a delayed onset of duox and duoxa expression coincident with thyroid hormone synthesis. Furthermore, comparative analyses in mouse and zebrafish revealed for the first time a thyroid-enriched expression of cell death regulators of the B-cell lymphoma 2 family during early thyroid morphogenesis. Knockdown of tshr function by morpholino microinjection into embryos did not affect early thyroid morphogenesis but caused defects in later functional differentiation. The thyroid phenotype observed in tshr morphants at later stages comprised a reduction in number and size of functional follicles, down-regulation of differentiation markers, as well as reduced thyroid transcription factor expression. A comparison of our results with phenotypes observed in mouse models of defective TSHR and cAMP signaling highlights the value of zebrafish as a model to enhance the understanding of functional differentiation in the vertebrate thyroid. PMID:21737742

  11. Simultaneous assessment of glomerular filtration and barrier function in live zebrafish

    PubMed Central

    Kotb, Ahmed M.; Müller, Tobias; Xie, Jing; Anand-Apte, Bela; Endlich, Nicole

    2014-01-01

    The zebrafish pronephros is a well-established model to study glomerular development, structure, and function. A few methods have been described to evaluate glomerular barrier function in zebrafish larvae so far. However, there is a need to assess glomerular filtration as well. In the present study, we extended the available methods by simultaneously measuring the intravascular clearances of Alexa fluor 647-conjugated 10-kDa dextran and FITC-conjugated 500-kDa dextran as indicators of glomerular filtration and barrier function, respectively. After intravascular injection of the dextrans, mean fluorescence intensities of both dextrans were measured in the cardinal vein of living zebrafish (4 days postfertilization) by confocal microscopy over time. We demonstrated that injected 10-kDa dextran was rapidly cleared from the circulation, became visible in the lumen of the pronephric tubule, quickly accumulated in tubular cells, and was detectably excreted at the cloaca. In contrast, 500-kDa dextran could not be visualized in the tubule at any time point. To check whether alterations in glomerular function can be quantified by our method, we injected morpholino oligonucleotides (MOs) against zebrafish nonmuscle myosin heavy chain IIA (zMyh9) or apolipoprotein L1 (zApol1). While glomerular filtration was reduced in zebrafish nonmuscle myosin heavy chain IIA MO-injected larvae, glomerular barrier function remained intact. In contrast, in zebrafish apolipoprotein L1 MO-injected larvae, glomerular barrier function was compromised as 500-kDa dextran disappeared from the circulation and became visible in tubular cells. In summary, we present a novel method that allows to simultaneously assess glomerular filtration and barrier function in live zebrafish. PMID:25298528

  12. Advanced Echocardiography in Adult Zebrafish Reveals Delayed Recovery of Heart Function after Myocardial Cryoinjury

    PubMed Central

    Kossack, Mandy; Juergensen, Lonny; Fuchs, Dieter; Katus, Hugo A.; Hassel, David

    2015-01-01

    Translucent zebrafish larvae represent an established model to analyze genetics of cardiac development and human cardiac disease. More recently adult zebrafish are utilized to evaluate mechanisms of cardiac regeneration and by benefiting from recent genome editing technologies, including TALEN and CRISPR, adult zebrafish are emerging as a valuable in vivo model to evaluate novel disease genes and specifically validate disease causing mutations and their underlying pathomechanisms. However, methods to sensitively and non-invasively assess cardiac morphology and performance in adult zebrafish are still limited. We here present a standardized examination protocol to broadly assess cardiac performance in adult zebrafish by advancing conventional echocardiography with modern speckle-tracking analyses. This allows accurate detection of changes in cardiac performance and further enables highly sensitive assessment of regional myocardial motion and deformation in high spatio-temporal resolution. Combining conventional echocardiography measurements with radial and longitudinal velocity, displacement, strain, strain rate and myocardial wall delay rates after myocardial cryoinjury permitted to non-invasively determine injury dimensions and to longitudinally follow functional recovery during cardiac regeneration. We show that functional recovery of cryoinjured hearts occurs in three distinct phases. Importantly, the regeneration process after cryoinjury extends far beyond the proposed 45 days described for ventricular resection with reconstitution of myocardial performance up to 180 days post-injury (dpi). The imaging modalities evaluated here allow sensitive cardiac phenotyping and contribute to further establish adult zebrafish as valuable cardiac disease model beyond the larval developmental stage. PMID:25853735

  13. Functional Development of the Circadian Clock in the Zebrafish Pineal Gland

    PubMed Central

    Ben-Moshe, Zohar; Foulkes, Nicholas S.

    2014-01-01

    The zebrafish constitutes a powerful model organism with unique advantages for investigating the vertebrate circadian timing system and its regulation by light. In particular, the remarkably early and rapid development of the zebrafish circadian system has facilitated exploring the factors that control the onset of circadian clock function during embryogenesis. Here, we review our understanding of the molecular basis underlying functional development of the central clock in the zebrafish pineal gland. Furthermore, we examine how the directly light-entrainable clocks in zebrafish cell lines have facilitated unravelling the general mechanisms underlying light-induced clock gene expression. Finally, we summarize how analysis of the light-induced transcriptome and miRNome of the zebrafish pineal gland has provided insight into the regulation of the circadian system by light, including the involvement of microRNAs in shaping the kinetics of light- and clock-regulated mRNA expression. The relative contributions of the pineal gland central clock and the distributed peripheral oscillators to the synchronization of circadian rhythms at the whole animal level are a crucial question that still remains to be elucidated in the zebrafish model. PMID:24839600

  14. Comprehensive analysis of coding-lncRNA gene co-expression network uncovers conserved functional lncRNAs in zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Chen, Wen; Zhang, Xuan; Li, Jing; Huang, Shulan; Xiang, Shuanglin; Hu, Xiang; Liu, Changning

    2018-05-09

    Zebrafish is a full-developed model system for studying development processes and human disease. Recent studies of deep sequencing had discovered a large number of long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) in zebrafish. However, only few of them had been functionally characterized. Therefore, how to take advantage of the mature zebrafish system to deeply investigate the lncRNAs' function and conservation is really intriguing. We systematically collected and analyzed a series of zebrafish RNA-seq data, then combined them with resources from known database and literatures. As a result, we obtained by far the most complete dataset of zebrafish lncRNAs, containing 13,604 lncRNA genes (21,128 transcripts) in total. Based on that, a co-expression network upon zebrafish coding and lncRNA genes was constructed and analyzed, and used to predict the Gene Ontology (GO) and the KEGG annotation of lncRNA. Meanwhile, we made a conservation analysis on zebrafish lncRNA, identifying 1828 conserved zebrafish lncRNA genes (1890 transcripts) that have their putative mammalian orthologs. We also found that zebrafish lncRNAs play important roles in regulation of the development and function of nervous system; these conserved lncRNAs present a significant sequential and functional conservation, with their mammalian counterparts. By integrative data analysis and construction of coding-lncRNA gene co-expression network, we gained the most comprehensive dataset of zebrafish lncRNAs up to present, as well as their systematic annotations and comprehensive analyses on function and conservation. Our study provides a reliable zebrafish-based platform to deeply explore lncRNA function and mechanism, as well as the lncRNA commonality between zebrafish and human.

  15. 4-dimensional functional profiling in the convulsant-treated larval zebrafish brain.

    PubMed

    Winter, Matthew J; Windell, Dylan; Metz, Jeremy; Matthews, Peter; Pinion, Joe; Brown, Jonathan T; Hetheridge, Malcolm J; Ball, Jonathan S; Owen, Stewart F; Redfern, Will S; Moger, Julian; Randall, Andrew D; Tyler, Charles R

    2017-07-26

    Functional neuroimaging, using genetically-encoded Ca 2+ sensors in larval zebrafish, offers a powerful combination of high spatiotemporal resolution and higher vertebrate relevance for quantitative neuropharmacological profiling. Here we use zebrafish larvae with pan-neuronal expression of GCaMP6s, combined with light sheet microscopy and a novel image processing pipeline, for the 4D profiling of chemoconvulsant action in multiple brain regions. In untreated larvae, regions associated with autonomic functionality, sensory processing and stress-responsiveness, consistently exhibited elevated spontaneous activity. The application of drugs targeting different convulsant mechanisms (4-Aminopyridine, Pentylenetetrazole, Pilocarpine and Strychnine) resulted in distinct spatiotemporal patterns of activity. These activity patterns showed some interesting parallels with what is known of the distribution of their respective molecular targets, but crucially also revealed system-wide neural circuit responses to stimulation or suppression. Drug concentration-response curves of neural activity were identified in a number of anatomically-defined zebrafish brain regions, and in vivo larval electrophysiology, also conducted in 4dpf larvae, provided additional measures of neural activity. Our quantification of network-wide chemoconvulsant drug activity in the whole zebrafish brain illustrates the power of this approach for neuropharmacological profiling in applications ranging from accelerating studies of drug safety and efficacy, to identifying pharmacologically-altered networks in zebrafish models of human neurological disorders.

  16. Functional mechanotransduction is required for cisplatin-induced hair cell death in the zebrafish lateral line.

    PubMed

    Thomas, Andrew J; Hailey, Dale W; Stawicki, Tamara M; Wu, Patricia; Coffin, Allison B; Rubel, Edwin W; Raible, David W; Simon, Julian A; Ou, Henry C

    2013-03-06

    Cisplatin, one of the most commonly used anticancer drugs, is known to cause inner ear hair cell damage and hearing loss. Despite much investigation into mechanisms of cisplatin-induced hair cell death, little is known about the mechanism whereby cisplatin is selectively toxic to hair cells. Using hair cells of the zebrafish lateral line, we found that chemical inhibition of mechanotransduction with quinine and EGTA protected against cisplatin-induced hair cell death. Furthermore, we found that the zebrafish mutants mariner (myo7aa) and sputnik (cad23) that lack functional mechanotransduction were resistant to cisplatin-induced hair cell death. Using a fluorescent analog of cisplatin, we found that chemical or genetic inhibition of mechanotransduction prevented its uptake. These findings demonstrate that cisplatin-induced hair cell death is dependent on functional mechanotransduction in the zebrafish lateral line.

  17. Functional mechanotransduction is required for cisplatin-induced hair cell death in the zebrafish lateral line

    PubMed Central

    Thomas, Andrew J.; Hailey, Dale W.; Stawicki, Tamara M.; Wu, Patricia; Coffin, Allison B.; Rubel, Edwin W.; Raible, David W.; Simon, Julian A.; Ou, Henry C.

    2013-01-01

    Cisplatin, one of the most commonly used anti-cancer drugs, is known to cause inner ear hair cell damage and hearing loss. Despite much investigation into mechanisms of cisplatin-induced hair cell death, little is known about the mechanism whereby cisplatin is selectively toxic to hair cells. Using hair cells of the zebrafish lateral line, we found that chemical inhibition of mechanotransduction with quinine and EGTA protected against cisplatin-induced hair cell death. Furthermore, we found that the zebrafish mutants mariner (myo7aa) and sputnik (cad23) that lack functional mechanotransduction were resistant to cisplatin-induced hair cell death. Using a fluorescent analogue of cisplatin, we found that chemical or genetic inhibition of mechanotransduction prevented its uptake. These findings demonstrate that cisplatin-induced hair cell death is dependent on functional mechanotransduction in the zebrafish lateral line. PMID:23467357

  18. E2F4 Promotes Neuronal Regeneration and Functional Recovery after Spinal Cord Injury in Zebrafish

    PubMed Central

    Sasagawa, Shota; Nishimura, Yuhei; Hayakawa, Yuka; Murakami, Soichiro; Ashikawa, Yoshifumi; Yuge, Mizuki; Okabe, Shiko; Kawaguchi, Koki; Kawase, Reiko; Tanaka, Toshio

    2016-01-01

    Mammals exhibit poor recovery after spinal cord injury (SCI), whereas non-mammalian vertebrates exhibit significant spontaneous recovery after SCI. The mechanisms underlying this difference have not been fully elucidated; therefore, the purpose of this study was to investigate these mechanisms. Using comparative transcriptome analysis, we demonstrated that genes related to cell cycle were significantly enriched in the genes specifically dysregulated in zebrafish SCI. Most of the cell cycle-related genes dysregulated in zebrafish SCI were down-regulated, possibly through activation of e2f4. Using a larval zebrafish model of SCI, we demonstrated that the recovery of locomotive function and neuronal regeneration after SCI were significantly inhibited in zebrafish treated with an E2F4 inhibitor. These results suggest that activation of e2f4 after SCI may be responsible, at least in part, for the significant recovery in zebrafish. This provides novel insight into the lack of recovery after SCI in mammals and informs potential therapeutic strategies. PMID:27242526

  19. Zebrafish: A Model for the Study of Toxicants Affecting Muscle Development and Function

    PubMed Central

    Dubińska-Magiera, Magda; Daczewska, Małgorzata; Lewicka, Anna; Migocka-Patrzałek, Marta; Niedbalska-Tarnowska, Joanna; Jagla, Krzysztof

    2016-01-01

    The rapid progress in medicine, agriculture, and allied sciences has enabled the development of a large amount of potentially useful bioactive compounds, such as drugs and pesticides. However, there is another side of this phenomenon, which includes side effects and environmental pollution. To avoid or minimize the uncontrollable consequences of using the newly developed compounds, researchers seek a quick and effective means of their evaluation. In achieving this goal, the zebrafish (Danio rerio) has proven to be a highly useful tool, mostly because of its fast growth and development, as well as the ability to absorb the molecules diluted in water through its skin and gills. In this review, we focus on the reports concerning the application of zebrafish as a model for assessing the impact of toxicants on skeletal muscles, which share many structural and functional similarities among vertebrates, including zebrafish and humans. PMID:27869769

  20. Temporal cohesion of the structural, functional and molecular characteristics of the developing zebrafish heart.

    PubMed

    Matrone, Gianfranco; Wilson, Kathryn S; Mullins, John J; Tucker, Carl S; Denvir, Martin A

    2015-06-01

    Heart formation is a complex, dynamic and highly coordinated process of molecular, morphogenetic and functional factors with each interacting and contributing to formation of the mature organ. Cardiac abnormalities in early life can be lethal in mammals but not in the zebrafish embryo which has been widely used to study the developing heart. While early cardiac development in the zebrafish has been well characterized, functional changes during development and how these relate to architectural, cellular and molecular aspects of development have not been well described previously. To address this we have carefully characterised cardiac structure, function, cardiomyocyte proliferation and cardiac-specific gene expression between 48 and 120 hpf in the zebrafish. We show that the zebrafish heart increases in volume and changes shape significantly between 48 and 72 hpf accompanied by a 40% increase in cardiomyocyte number. Between 96 and 120 hpf, while external heart expansion slows, there is rapid formation of a mature and extensive trabecular network within the ventricle chamber. While ejection fraction does not change during the course of development other determinants of contractile function increase significantly particularly between 72 and 96 hpf leading to an increase in cardinal vein blood flow. This study has revealed a number of novel aspects of cardiac developmental dynamics with striking temporal orchestration of structure and function within the first few days of development. These changes are associated with changes in expression of developmental and maturational genes. This study provides important insights into the complex temporal relationship between structure and function of the developing zebrafish heart. Copyright © 2015 International Society of Differentiation. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  1. Seeing the whole picture: A comprehensive imaging approach to functional mapping of circuits in behaving zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Feierstein, C E; Portugues, R; Orger, M B

    2015-06-18

    In recent years, the zebrafish has emerged as an appealing model system to tackle questions relating to the neural circuit basis of behavior. This can be attributed not just to the growing use of genetically tractable model organisms, but also in large part to the rapid advances in optical techniques for neuroscience, which are ideally suited for application to the small, transparent brain of the larval fish. Many characteristic features of vertebrate brains, from gross anatomy down to particular circuit motifs and cell-types, as well as conserved behaviors, can be found in zebrafish even just a few days post fertilization, and, at this early stage, the physical size of the brain makes it possible to analyze neural activity in a comprehensive fashion. In a recent study, we used a systematic and unbiased imaging method to record the pattern of activity dynamics throughout the whole brain of larval zebrafish during a simple visual behavior, the optokinetic response (OKR). This approach revealed the broadly distributed network of neurons that were active during the behavior and provided insights into the fine-scale functional architecture in the brain, inter-individual variability, and the spatial distribution of behaviorally relevant signals. Combined with mapping anatomical and functional connectivity, targeted electrophysiological recordings, and genetic labeling of specific populations, this comprehensive approach in zebrafish provides an unparalleled opportunity to study complete circuits in a behaving vertebrate animal. Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  2. Novel approaches to determine contractile function of the isolated adult zebrafish ventricular cardiac myocyte.

    PubMed

    Dvornikov, Alexey V; Dewan, Sukriti; Alekhina, Olga V; Pickett, F Bryan; de Tombe, Pieter P

    2014-05-01

    The zebrafish (Danio rerio) has been used extensively in cardiovascular biology, but mainly in the study of heart development. The relative ease of its genetic manipulation may indicate the suitability of this species as a cost-effective model system for the study of cardiac contractile biology. However, whether the zebrafish heart is an appropriate model system for investigations pertaining to mammalian cardiac contractile structure-function relationships remains to be resolved. Myocytes were isolated from adult zebrafish hearts by enzymatic digestion, attached to carbon rods, and twitch force and intracellular Ca(2+) were measured. We observed the modulation of twitch force, but not of intracellular Ca(2+), by both extracellular [Ca(2+)] and sarcomere length. In permeabilized cells/myofibrils, we found robust myofilament length-dependent activation. Moreover, modulation of myofilament activation-relaxation and force redevelopment kinetics by varied Ca(2+) activation levels resembled that found previously in mammalian myofilaments. We conclude that the zebrafish is a valid model system for the study of cardiac contractile structure-function relationships.

  3. RNA splicing regulated by RBFOX1 is essential for cardiac function in zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Frese, Karen S; Meder, Benjamin; Keller, Andreas; Just, Steffen; Haas, Jan; Vogel, Britta; Fischer, Simon; Backes, Christina; Matzas, Mark; Köhler, Doreen; Benes, Vladimir; Katus, Hugo A; Rottbauer, Wolfgang

    2015-08-15

    Alternative splicing is one of the major mechanisms through which the proteomic and functional diversity of eukaryotes is achieved. However, the complex nature of the splicing machinery, its associated splicing regulators and the functional implications of alternatively spliced transcripts are only poorly understood. Here, we investigated the functional role of the splicing regulator rbfox1 in vivo using the zebrafish as a model system. We found that loss of rbfox1 led to progressive cardiac contractile dysfunction and heart failure. By using deep-transcriptome sequencing and quantitative real-time PCR, we show that depletion of rbfox1 in zebrafish results in an altered isoform expression of several crucial target genes, such as actn3a and hug. This study underlines that tightly regulated splicing is necessary for unconstrained cardiac function and renders the splicing regulator rbfox1 an interesting target for investigation in human heart failure and cardiomyopathy. © 2015. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  4. Important role of endocannabinoid signaling in the development of functional vision and locomotion in zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Martella, Andrea; Sepe, Rosa M; Silvestri, Cristoforo; Zang, Jingjing; Fasano, Giulia; Carnevali, Oliana; De Girolamo, Paolo; Neuhauss, Stephan C F; Sordino, Paolo; Di Marzo, Vincenzo

    2016-12-01

    The developmental role of the endocannabinoid system still remains to be fully understood. Here, we report the presence of a complete endocannabinoid system during zebrafish development and show that the genes that code for enzymes that catalyze the anabolism and catabolism (mgll and dagla) of the endocannabinoid, 2-AG (2-arachidonoylglycerol), as well as 2-AG main receptor in the brain, cannabinoid receptor type 1, are coexpressed in defined regions of axonal growth. By using morpholino-induced transient knockdown of the zebrafish Daglα homolog and its pharmacologic rescue, we suggest that synthesis of 2-AG is implicated in the control of axon formation in the midbrain-hindbrain region and that animals that lack Daglα display abnormal physiological behaviors in tests that measure stereotyped movement and motion perception. Our results suggest that the well-established role for 2-AG in axonal outgrowth has implications for the control of vision and movement in zebrafish and, thus, is likely common to all vertebrates.-Martella, A., Sepe, R. M., Silvestri, C., Zang, J., Fasano, G., Carnevali, O., De Girolamo, P., Neuhauss, S. C. F., Sordino, P., Di Marzo, V. Important role of endocannabinoid signaling in the development of functional vision and locomotion in zebrafish. © FASEB.

  5. Acute administration of THC impairs spatial but not associative memory function in zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Ruhl, Tim; Prinz, Nicole; Oellers, Nadine; Seidel, Nathan Ian; Jonas, Annika; Albayram, Onder; Bilkei-Gorzo, Andras; von der Emde, Gerhard

    2014-10-01

    The present study examined the effect of acute administration of endocannabinoid receptor CB1 ligand ∆-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) on intracellular signalling in the brain and retrieval from two different memory systems in the zebrafish (Danio rerio). First, fish were treated with THC and changes in the phosphorylation level of mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinases Akt and Erk in the brain were determined 1 h after drug treatment. Next, animals of a second group learned in a two-alternative choice paradigm to discriminate between two colours, whereas a third group solved a spatial cognition task in an open-field maze by use of an ego-allocentric strategy. After memory acquisition and consolidation, animals were pharmacologically treated using the treatment regime as in the first group and then tested again for memory retrieval. We found an enhanced Erk but not Akt phosphorylation suggesting that THC treatment specifically activated Erk signalling in the zebrafish telencephalon. While CB1 agonist THC did not affect behavioural performance of animals in the colour discrimination paradigm, spatial memory was significantly impaired. The effect of THC on spatial learning is probably specific, since neither motor activity nor anxiety-related behaviour was influenced by the drug treatment. That indicates a striking influence of the endocannabinoid system (ECS) on spatial cognition in zebrafish. The results are very coincident with reports on mammals, demonstrating that the ECS is functional highly conserved during vertebrate evolution. We further conclude that the zebrafish provides a promising model organism for ongoing research on the ECS.

  6. Cftr controls lumen expansion and function of Kupffer’s vesicle in zebrafish

    PubMed Central

    Navis, Adam; Marjoram, Lindsay; Bagnat, Michel

    2013-01-01

    Regulated fluid secretion is crucial for the function of most organs. In vertebrates, the chloride channel cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) is a master regulator of fluid secretion. Although the biophysical properties of CFTR have been well characterized in vitro, little is known about its in vivo role during development. Here, we investigated the function of Cftr during zebrafish development by generating several cftr mutant alleles using TAL effector nucleases. We found that loss of cftr function leads to organ laterality defects. In zebrafish, left-right (LR) asymmetry requires cilia-driven fluid flow within the lumen of Kupffer’s vesicle (KV). Using live imaging we found that KV morphogenesis is disrupted in cftr mutants. Loss of Cftr-mediated fluid secretion impairs KV lumen expansion leading to defects in organ laterality. Using bacterial artificial chromosome recombineering, we generated transgenic fish expressing functional Cftr fusion proteins with fluorescent tags under the control of the cftr promoter. The transgenes completely rescued the cftr mutant phenotype. Live imaging of these transgenic lines showed that Cftr is localized to the apical membrane of the epithelial cells in KV during lumen formation. Pharmacological stimulation of Cftr-dependent fluid secretion led to an expansion of the KV lumen. Conversely, inhibition of ion gradient formation impaired KV lumen inflation. Interestingly, cilia formation and motility in KV were not affected, suggesting that fluid secretion and flow are independently controlled in KV. These findings uncover a new role for cftr in KV morphogenesis and function during zebrafish development. PMID:23487313

  7. Function-driven discovery of disease genes in zebrafish using an integrated genomics big data resource.

    PubMed

    Shim, Hongseok; Kim, Ji Hyun; Kim, Chan Yeong; Hwang, Sohyun; Kim, Hyojin; Yang, Sunmo; Lee, Ji Eun; Lee, Insuk

    2016-11-16

    Whole exome sequencing (WES) accelerates disease gene discovery using rare genetic variants, but further statistical and functional evidence is required to avoid false-discovery. To complement variant-driven disease gene discovery, here we present function-driven disease gene discovery in zebrafish (Danio rerio), a promising human disease model owing to its high anatomical and genomic similarity to humans. To facilitate zebrafish-based function-driven disease gene discovery, we developed a genome-scale co-functional network of zebrafish genes, DanioNet (www.inetbio.org/danionet), which was constructed by Bayesian integration of genomics big data. Rigorous statistical assessment confirmed the high prediction capacity of DanioNet for a wide variety of human diseases. To demonstrate the feasibility of the function-driven disease gene discovery using DanioNet, we predicted genes for ciliopathies and performed experimental validation for eight candidate genes. We also validated the existence of heterozygous rare variants in the candidate genes of individuals with ciliopathies yet not in controls derived from the UK10K consortium, suggesting that these variants are potentially involved in enhancing the risk of ciliopathies. These results showed that an integrated genomics big data for a model animal of diseases can expand our opportunity for harnessing WES data in disease gene discovery. © The Author(s) 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Nucleic Acids Research.

  8. Zebrafish Meis functions to stabilize Pbx proteins and regulate hindbrain patterning.

    PubMed

    Waskiewicz, A J; Rikhof, H A; Hernandez, R E; Moens, C B

    2001-11-01

    Homeodomain-containing Hox proteins regulate segmental identity in Drosophila in concert with two partners known as Extradenticle (Exd) and Homothorax (Hth). These partners are themselves DNA-binding, homeodomain proteins, and probably function by revealing the intrinsic specificity of Hox proteins. Vertebrate orthologs of Exd and Hth, known as Pbx and Meis (named for a myeloid ecotropic leukemia virus integration site), respectively, are encoded by multigene families and are present in multimeric complexes together with vertebrate Hox proteins. Previous results have demonstrated that the zygotically encoded Pbx4/Lazarus (Lzr) protein is required for segmentation of the zebrafish hindbrain and proper expression and function of Hox genes. We demonstrate that Meis functions in the same pathway as Pbx in zebrafish hindbrain development, as expression of a dominant-negative mutant Meis results in phenotypes that are remarkably similar to that of lzr mutants. Surprisingly, expression of Meis protein partially rescues the lzr(-) phenotype. Lzr protein levels are increased in embryos overexpressing Meis and are reduced for lzr mutants that cannot bind to Meis. This implies a mechanism whereby Meis rescues lzr mutants by stabilizing maternally encoded Lzr. Our results define two functions of Meis during zebrafish hindbrain segmentation: that of a DNA-binding partner of Pbx proteins, and that of a post-transcriptional regulator of Pbx protein levels.

  9. In vivo imaging of zebrafish digestive organ function using multiple quenched fluorescent reporters.

    PubMed

    Hama, Kotaro; Provost, Elayne; Baranowski, Timothy C; Rubinstein, Amy L; Anderson, Jennifer L; Leach, Steven D; Farber, Steven A

    2009-02-01

    Optical clarity of larvae makes the zebrafish ideal for real-time analyses of vertebrate organ function through the use of fluorescent reporters of enzymatic activities. A key function of digestive organs is to couple the generation of enzymes with mechanical processes that enable nutrient availability and absorption. However, it has been extremely difficult, and in many cases not possible, to directly observe digestive processes in a live vertebrate. Here we describe a new method to visualize intestinal protein and lipid processing simultaneously in live zebrafish larvae using a quenched fluorescent protein (EnzChek) and phospholipid (PED6). By employing these reagents, we found that wild-type larvae exhibit significant variation in intestinal phospholipase and protease activities within a group but display a strong correlation between the activities within individuals. Furthermore, we found that pancreas function is essential for larval digestive protease activity but not for larval intestinal phospholipase activity. Although fat-free (ffr) mutant larvae were previously described to exhibit impaired lipid processes, we found they also had significantly reduced protease activity. Finally, we selected and evaluated compounds that were previously suggested to have altered phospholipase activity and are known or suspected to have inflammatory effects in the intestinal tract including nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and identified a compound that significantly increases intestinal phospholipid processing. Thus the multiple fluorescent reporter-based methodology facilitates the rapid analysis of digestive organ function in live zebrafish larvae.

  10. In vivo imaging of zebrafish digestive organ function using multiple quenched fluorescent reporters

    PubMed Central

    Hama, Kotaro; Provost, Elayne; Baranowski, Timothy C.; Rubinstein, Amy L.; Anderson, Jennifer L.; Leach, Steven D.; Farber, Steven A.

    2009-01-01

    Optical clarity of larvae makes the zebrafish ideal for real-time analyses of vertebrate organ function through the use of fluorescent reporters of enzymatic activities. A key function of digestive organs is to couple the generation of enzymes with mechanical processes that enable nutrient availability and absorption. However, it has been extremely difficult, and in many cases not possible, to directly observe digestive processes in a live vertebrate. Here we describe a new method to visualize intestinal protein and lipid processing simultaneously in live zebrafish larvae using a quenched fluorescent protein (EnzChek) and phospholipid (PED6). By employing these reagents, we found that wild-type larvae exhibit significant variation in intestinal phospholipase and protease activities within a group but display a strong correlation between the activities within individuals. Furthermore, we found that pancreas function is essential for larval digestive protease activity but not for larval intestinal phospholipase activity. Although fat-free (ffr) mutant larvae were previously described to exhibit impaired lipid processes, we found they also had significantly reduced protease activity. Finally, we selected and evaluated compounds that were previously suggested to have altered phospholipase activity and are known or suspected to have inflammatory effects in the intestinal tract including nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and identified a compound that significantly increases intestinal phospholipid processing. Thus the multiple fluorescent reporter-based methodology facilitates the rapid analysis of digestive organ function in live zebrafish larvae. PMID:19056761

  11. Functionally conserved cis-regulatory elements of COL18A1 identified through zebrafish transgenesis.

    PubMed

    Kague, Erika; Bessling, Seneca L; Lee, Josephine; Hu, Gui; Passos-Bueno, Maria Rita; Fisher, Shannon

    2010-01-15

    Type XVIII collagen is a component of basement membranes, and expressed prominently in the eye, blood vessels, liver, and the central nervous system. Homozygous mutations in COL18A1 lead to Knobloch Syndrome, characterized by ocular defects and occipital encephalocele. However, relatively little has been described on the role of type XVIII collagen in development, and nothing is known about the regulation of its tissue-specific expression pattern. We have used zebrafish transgenesis to identify and characterize cis-regulatory sequences controlling expression of the human gene. Candidate enhancers were selected from non-coding sequence associated with COL18A1 based on sequence conservation among mammals. Although these displayed no overt conservation with orthologous zebrafish sequences, four regions nonetheless acted as tissue-specific transcriptional enhancers in the zebrafish embryo, and together recapitulated the major aspects of col18a1 expression. Additional post-hoc computational analysis on positive enhancer sequences revealed alignments between mammalian and teleost sequences, which we hypothesize predict the corresponding zebrafish enhancers; for one of these, we demonstrate functional overlap with the orthologous human enhancer sequence. Our results provide important insight into the biological function and regulation of COL18A1, and point to additional sequences that may contribute to complex diseases involving COL18A1. More generally, we show that combining functional data with targeted analyses for phylogenetic conservation can reveal conserved cis-regulatory elements in the large number of cases where computational alignment alone falls short. Copyright 2009 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. From zebrafish to mammal: functional evolution of prestin, the motor protein of cochlear outer hair cells.

    PubMed

    Tan, Xiaodong; Pecka, Jason L; Tang, Jie; Okoruwa, Oseremen E; Zhang, Qian; Beisel, Kirk W; He, David Z Z

    2011-01-01

    Prestin is the motor protein of cochlear outer hair cells. It belongs to a distinct anion transporter family called solute carrier protein 26A, or SLC26A. Members of this family serve two fundamentally distinct functions. Although most members transport different anion substrates across a variety of epithelia, prestin (SLC26A5) is unique, functioning as a voltage-dependent motor protein. Recent evidence suggests that prestin orthologs from zebrafish and chicken are electrogenic divalent/chloride anion exchangers/transporters with no motor function. These studies appear to suggest that prestin was evolved from an anion transporter. We examined the motor and transport functions of prestin and its orthologs from four different species in the vertebrate lineage, to gain insights of how these two physiological functions became distinct. Somatic motility, voltage-dependent nonlinear capacitance (NLC), and transporter function were measured in transfected human embryonic kidney (HEK) cells using voltage-clamp and anion uptake techniques. Zebrafish and chicken prestins both exhibited weak NLC, with peaks significantly shifted in the depolarization (right) direction. This was contrasted by robust NLC with peaks left shifted in the platypus and gerbil. The platypus and gerbil prestins retained little transporter function compared with robust anion transport capacities in the zebrafish and chicken orthologs. Somatic motility was detected only in the platypus and gerbil prestins. There appears to be an inverse relationship between NLC and anion transport functions, whereas motor function appears to have emerged only in mammalian prestin. Our results suggest that motor function is an innovation of therian prestin and is concurrent with diminished transporter capabilities.

  13. Loss of col8a1a Function during Zebrafish Embryogenesis Results in Congenital Vertebral Malformations

    PubMed Central

    Gray, Ryan S.; Wilm, Thomas; Smith, Jeff; Bagnat, Michel; Dale, Rodney M.; Topczewski, Jacek; Johnson, Stephen L.; Solnica-Krezel, Lilianna

    2014-01-01

    Congenital vertebral malformations (CVM) occur in 1 in 1,000 live births and in many cases can cause spinal deformities, such as scoliosis, and result in disability and distress of affected individuals. Many severe forms of the disease, such as spondylocostal dystostosis, are recessive monogenic traits affecting somitogenesis, however the etiologies of the majority of CVM cases remain undetermined. Here we demonstrate that morphological defects of the notochord in zebrafish can generate congenital-type spine defects. We characterize three recessive zebrafish leviathan/col8a1a mutant alleles (m531, vu41, vu105) that disrupt collagen type VIII alpha1a (col8a1a), and cause folding of the embryonic notochord and consequently adult vertebral column malformations. Furthermore, we provide evidence that a transient loss of col8a1a function or inhibition of Lysyl oxidases with drugs during embryogenesis was sufficient to generate vertebral fusions and scoliosis in the adult spine. Using periodic imaging of individual zebrafish, we correlate focal notochord defects of the embryo with vertebral malformations (VM) in the adult. Finally, we show that bends and kinks in the notochord can lead to aberrant apposition of osteoblasts normally confined to well-segmented areas of the developing vertebral bodies. Our results afford a novel mechanism for the formation of VM, independent of defects of somitogenesis, resulting from aberrant bone deposition at regions of misshapen notochord tissue. PMID:24333517

  14. Functional behavior and reproduction in androgenic sex reversed zebrafish (Danio rerio).

    PubMed

    Larsen, Mia G; Baatrup, Erik

    2010-08-01

    Endocrine-disrupting chemicals released into natural watercourses may cause biased sex ratios by sex reversal in fish populations. The present study investigated the androgenic sex reversal of zebrafish (Danio rerio) exposed to the androgenic compound 17beta-trenbolone (TB) and whether sex-changed females would revert to the female phenotype after cessation of TB exposure. 17beta-Trenbolone is a metabolite of trenbolone acetate, an anabolic steroid used as a growth promoter in beef cattle. 17beta-Trenbolone in runoff from cattle feedlots may reach concentrations that affect fish sexual development. Zebrafish were exposed to a concentration of 20 ng/L TB in a flow-through system for five months from egg until sexual maturity. This resulted in an all-male population. It was further found that all these phenotypic males displayed normal male courtship behavior and were able to reproduce successfully, implying that the sex reversal was complete and functional. None of the phenotypic males developed into females after six months in clean water, demonstrating that androgenic sex reversal of zebrafish is irreversible. Copyright 2010 SETAC

  15. Loss of col8a1a function during zebrafish embryogenesis results in congenital vertebral malformations.

    PubMed

    Gray, Ryan S; Wilm, Thomas P; Smith, Jeff; Bagnat, Michel; Dale, Rodney M; Topczewski, Jacek; Johnson, Stephen L; Solnica-Krezel, Lilianna

    2014-02-01

    Congenital vertebral malformations (CVM) occur in 1 in 1000 live births and in many cases can cause spinal deformities, such as scoliosis, and result in disability and distress of affected individuals. Many severe forms of the disease, such as spondylocostal dystostosis, are recessive monogenic traits affecting somitogenesis, however the etiologies of the majority of CVM cases remain undetermined. Here we demonstrate that morphological defects of the notochord in zebrafish can generate congenital-type spine defects. We characterize three recessive zebrafish leviathan/col8a1a mutant alleles ((m531, vu41, vu105)) that disrupt collagen type VIII alpha1a (col8a1a), and cause folding of the embryonic notochord and consequently adult vertebral column malformations. Furthermore, we provide evidence that a transient loss of col8a1a function or inhibition of Lysyl oxidases with drugs during embryogenesis was sufficient to generate vertebral fusions and scoliosis in the adult spine. Using periodic imaging of individual zebrafish, we correlate focal notochord defects of the embryo with vertebral malformations (VM) in the adult. Finally, we show that bends and kinks in the notochord can lead to aberrant apposition of osteoblasts normally confined to well-segmented areas of the developing vertebral bodies. Our results afford a novel mechanism for the formation of VM, independent of defects of somitogenesis, resulting from aberrant bone deposition at regions of misshapen notochord tissue. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. C2orf71a/pcare1 is important for photoreceptor outer segment morphogenesis and visual function in zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Corral-Serrano, Julio C; Messchaert, Muriël; Dona, Margo; Peters, Theo A; Kamminga, Leonie M; van Wijk, Erwin; Collin, Rob W J

    2018-06-26

    Mutations in C2orf71 are causative for autosomal recessive retinitis pigmentosa and occasionally cone-rod dystrophy. We have recently discovered that the protein encoded by this gene is important for modulation of the ciliary membrane through the recruitment of an actin assembly module, and have therefore renamed the gene to PCARE (photoreceptor cilium actin regulator). Here, we report on the identification of two copies of the c2orf71/pcare gene in zebrafish, pcare1 and pcare2. To study the role of the gene most similar to human PCARE, pcare1, we have generated a stable pcare1 mutant zebrafish model (designated pcare1 rmc100/rmc100 ) in which the coding sequence was disrupted using CRISPR/Cas9 technology. Retinas of both embryonic (5 dpf) and adult (6 mpf) pcare1 rmc100/rmc100 zebrafish display a clear disorganization of photoreceptor outer segments, resembling the phenotype observed in Pcare -/- mice. Optokinetic response and visual motor response measurements indicated visual impairment in pcare1 rmc100/rmc100 zebrafish larvae at 5 dpf. In addition, electroretinogram measurements showed decreased b-wave amplitudes in pcare1 rmc100/rmc100 zebrafish as compared to age- and strain-matched wild-type larvae, indicating a defect in the transretinal current. Altogether, our data show that lack of pcare1 causes a retinal phenotype in zebrafish and indicate that the function of the PCARE gene is conserved across species.

  17. Functional Analysis of Nuclear Estrogen Receptors in Zebrafish Reproduction by Genome Editing Approach.

    PubMed

    Lu, Huijie; Cui, Yong; Jiang, Liwen; Ge, Wei

    2017-07-01

    Estrogens signal through both nuclear and membrane receptors with most reported effects being mediated via the nuclear estrogen receptors (nERs). Although much work has been reported on nERs in the zebrafish, there is a lack of direct genetic evidence for their functional roles and importance in reproduction. To address this issue, we undertook this study to disrupt all three nERs in the zebrafish, namely esr1 (ERα), esr2a (ERβII), and esr2b (ERβI), by the genome-editing technology clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats and its associated nuclease (CRISPR/Cas9). Using this loss-of-function genetic approach, we successfully created three mutant zebrafish lines with each nER knocked out. In addition, we also generated all possible double and triple knockouts of the three nERs. The phenotypes of these mutants in reproduction were analyzed in all single, double, and triple nER knockouts in both females and males. Surprisingly, all three single nER mutant fish lines display normal reproductive development and function in both females and males, suggesting functional redundancy among these nERs. Further analysis of double and triple knockouts showed that nERs, especially Esr2a and Esr2b, were essential for female reproduction, and loss of these two nERs led to an arrest of folliculogenesis at previtellogenic stage II followed by sex reversal from female to male. In addition, the current study also revealed a unique role for Esr2a in follicle cell proliferation and transdifferentiation, follicle growth, and chorion formation. Taken together, this study provides the most comprehensive genetic analysis for differential functions of esr1, esr2a, and esr2b in fish reproduction. Copyright © 2017 Endocrine Society.

  18. Fast functional imaging of multiple brain regions in intact zebrafish larvae using selective plane illumination microscopy.

    PubMed

    Panier, Thomas; Romano, Sebastián A; Olive, Raphaël; Pietri, Thomas; Sumbre, Germán; Candelier, Raphaël; Debrégeas, Georges

    2013-01-01

    The optical transparency and the small dimensions of zebrafish at the larval stage make it a vertebrate model of choice for brain-wide in-vivo functional imaging. However, current point-scanning imaging techniques, such as two-photon or confocal microscopy, impose a strong limit on acquisition speed which in turn sets the number of neurons that can be simultaneously recorded. At 5 Hz, this number is of the order of one thousand, i.e., approximately 1-2% of the brain. Here we demonstrate that this limitation can be greatly overcome by using Selective-plane Illumination Microscopy (SPIM). Zebrafish larvae expressing the genetically encoded calcium indicator GCaMP3 were illuminated with a scanned laser sheet and imaged with a camera whose optical axis was oriented orthogonally to the illumination plane. This optical sectioning approach was shown to permit functional imaging of a very large fraction of the brain volume of 5-9-day-old larvae with single- or near single-cell resolution. The spontaneous activity of up to 5,000 neurons was recorded at 20 Hz for 20-60 min. By rapidly scanning the specimen in the axial direction, the activity of 25,000 individual neurons from 5 different z-planes (approximately 30% of the entire brain) could be simultaneously monitored at 4 Hz. Compared to point-scanning techniques, this imaging strategy thus yields a ≃20-fold increase in data throughput (number of recorded neurons times acquisition rate) without compromising the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR). The extended field of view offered by the SPIM method allowed us to directly identify large scale ensembles of neurons, spanning several brain regions, that displayed correlated activity and were thus likely to participate in common neural processes. The benefits and limitations of SPIM for functional imaging in zebrafish as well as future developments are briefly discussed.

  19. A Systematic Survey of Expression and Function of Zebrafish frizzled Genes

    PubMed Central

    Nikaido, Masataka; Law, Edward W. P.; Kelsh, Robert N.

    2013-01-01

    Wnt signaling is crucial for the regulation of numerous processes in development. Consistent with this, the gene families for both the ligands (Wnts) and receptors (Frizzleds) are very large. Surprisingly, while we have a reasonable understanding of the Wnt ligands likely to mediate specific Wnt-dependent processes, the corresponding receptors usually remain to be elucidated. Taking advantage of the zebrafish model's excellent genomic and genetic properties, we undertook a comprehensive analysis of the expression patterns of frizzled (fzd) genes in zebrafish. To explore their functions, we focused on testing their requirement in several developmental events known to be regulated by Wnt signaling, convergent extension movements of gastrulation, neural crest induction, and melanocyte specification. We found fourteen distinct fzd genes in the zebrafish genome. Systematic analysis of their expression patterns between 1-somite and 30 hours post-fertilization revealed complex, dynamic and overlapping expression patterns. This analysis demonstrated that only fzd3a, fzd9b, and fzd10 are expressed in the dorsal neural tube at stages corresponding to the timing of melanocyte specification. Surprisingly, however, morpholino knockdown of these, alone or in combination, gave no indication of reduction of melanocytes, suggesting the important involvement of untested fzds or another type of Wnt receptor in this process. Likewise, we found only fzd7b and fzd10 expressed at the border of the neural plate at stages appropriate for neural crest induction. However, neural crest markers were not reduced by knockdown of these receptors. Instead, these morpholino knockdown studies showed that fzd7a and fzd7b work co-operatively to regulate convergent extension movement during gastrulation. Furthermore, we show that the two fzd7 genes function together with fzd10 to regulate epiboly movements and mesoderm differentiation. PMID:23349976

  20. Toxicity of single-wall carbon nanotubes functionalized with polyethylene glycol in zebrafish (Danio rerio) embryos.

    PubMed

    Girardi, Felipe A; Bruch, Gisele E; Peixoto, Carolina S; Dal Bosco, Lidiane; Sahoo, Sangram K; Gonçalves, Carla O F; Santos, Adelina P; Furtado, Clascídia A; Fantini, Cristiano; Barros, Daniela M

    2017-02-01

    Single-wall carbon nanotubes functionalized with polyethylene glycol (SWCNT-PEG) are promising materials for biomedical applications such as diagnostic devices and controlled drug-release systems. However, several questions about their toxicological profile remain unanswered. Thus, the aim of this study was to investigate the action of SWCNT-PEG in Danio rerio zebrafish embryos at the molecular, physiological and morphological levels. The SWCNT used in this study were synthesized by the high-pressure carbon monoxide process, purified and then functionalized with distearoyl phosphatidylethanolamine block copolymer-PEG (molecular weight 2 kDa). The characterization process was carried out with low-resolution transmission electron microscopy, thermogravimetric analysis and Raman spectroscopy. Individual zebrafish embryos were exposed to the SWCNT-PEG. Toxic effects occurred only at the highest concentration tested (1 ppm) and included high mortality rates, delayed hatching and decreased total larval length. For all the concentrations tested, the alkaline comet assay revealed no genotoxicity, and Raman spectroscopy measurements on the histological slices revealed no intracellular nanotubes. The results shown here demonstrate that SWCNT-PEG has low toxicity in zebrafish embryos, but more studies are needed to understand what mechanisms are involved. However, the presence of residual metals is possibly among the primary mechanisms responsible for the toxic effects observed, because the purification process was not able to remove all metal contamination, as demonstrated by the thermogravimetric analysis. More attention must be given to the toxicity of these nanomaterials before they are used in biomedical applications. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  1. Modeling mixtures of thyroid gland function disruptors in a vertebrate alternative model, the zebrafish eleutheroembryo

    SciT

    Thienpont, Benedicte; Barata, Carlos; Raldúa, Demetrio, E-mail: drpqam@cid.csic.es

    2013-06-01

    Maternal thyroxine (T4) plays an essential role in fetal brain development, and even mild and transitory deficits in free-T4 in pregnant women can produce irreversible neurological effects in their offspring. Women of childbearing age are daily exposed to mixtures of chemicals disrupting the thyroid gland function (TGFDs) through the diet, drinking water, air and pharmaceuticals, which has raised the highest concern for the potential additive or synergic effects on the development of mild hypothyroxinemia during early pregnancy. Recently we demonstrated that zebrafish eleutheroembryos provide a suitable alternative model for screening chemicals impairing the thyroid hormone synthesis. The present study usedmore » the intrafollicular T4-content (IT4C) of zebrafish eleutheroembryos as integrative endpoint for testing the hypotheses that the effect of mixtures of TGFDs with a similar mode of action [inhibition of thyroid peroxidase (TPO)] was well predicted by a concentration addition concept (CA) model, whereas the response addition concept (RA) model predicted better the effect of dissimilarly acting binary mixtures of TGFDs [TPO-inhibitors and sodium-iodide symporter (NIS)-inhibitors]. However, CA model provided better prediction of joint effects than RA in five out of the six tested mixtures. The exception being the mixture MMI (TPO-inhibitor)-KClO{sub 4} (NIS-inhibitor) dosed at a fixed ratio of EC{sub 10} that provided similar CA and RA predictions and hence it was difficult to get any conclusive result. There results support the phenomenological similarity criterion stating that the concept of concentration addition could be extended to mixture constituents having common apical endpoints or common adverse outcomes. - Highlights: • Potential synergic or additive effect of mixtures of chemicals on thyroid function. • Zebrafish as alternative model for testing the effect of mixtures of goitrogens. • Concentration addition seems to predict better the effect

  2. High-frequency dual mode pulsed wave Doppler imaging for monitoring the functional regeneration of adult zebrafish hearts

    PubMed Central

    Kang, Bong Jin; Park, Jinhyoung; Kim, Jieun; Kim, Hyung Ham; Lee, Changyang; Hwang, Jae Youn; Lien, Ching-Ling; Shung, K. Kirk

    2015-01-01

    Adult zebrafish is a well-known small animal model for studying heart regeneration. Although the regeneration of scars made by resecting the ventricular apex has been visualized with histological methods, there is no adequate imaging tool for tracking the functional recovery of the damaged heart. For this reason, high-frequency Doppler echocardiography using dual mode pulsed wave Doppler, which provides both tissue Doppler (TD) and Doppler flow in a same cardiac cycle, is developed with a 30 MHz high-frequency array ultrasound imaging system. Phantom studies show that the Doppler flow mode of the dual mode is capable of measuring the flow velocity from 0.1 to 15 cm s−1 with high accuracy (p-value = 0.974 > 0.05). In the in vivo study of zebrafish, both TD and Doppler flow signals were simultaneously obtained from the zebrafish heart for the first time, and the synchronized valve motions with the blood flow signals were identified. In the longitudinal study on the zebrafish heart regeneration, the parameters for diagnosing the diastolic dysfunction, for example, E/Em < 10, E/A < 0.14 for wild-type zebrafish, were measured, and the type of diastolic dysfunction caused by the amputation was found to be similar to the restrictive filling. The diastolic function was fully recovered within four weeks post-amputation. PMID:25505135

  3. In vivo imaging of cardiac development and function in zebrafish using light sheet microscopy.

    PubMed

    Weber, Michael; Huisken, Jan

    2015-01-01

    Detailed studies of heart development and function are crucial for our understanding of cardiac failures and pave the way for better diagnostics and treatment. However, the constant motion and close incorporation into the cardiovascular system prevent in vivo studies of the living, unperturbed heart. The complementary strengths of the zebrafish model and light sheet microscopy provide a useful platform to fill this gap. High-resolution images of the embryonic vertebrate heart are now recorded from within the living animal: deep inside the unperturbed heart we can follow cardiac contractions and measure action potentials and calcium transients. Three-dimensional reconstructions of the entire beating heart with cellular resolution give new insights into its ever-changing morphology and facilitate studies into how individual cells form the complex cardiac network. In addition, cardiac dynamics and robustness are now examined with targeted optical manipulation. Overall, the combination of zebrafish and light sheet microscopy represents a promising addition for cardiac research and opens the door to a better understanding of heart function and development.

  4. Developmental suppression of schizophrenia-associated miR-137 alters sensorimotor function in zebrafish

    PubMed Central

    Giacomotto, J; Carroll, A P; Rinkwitz, S; Mowry, B; Cairns, M J; Becker, T S

    2016-01-01

    The neurodevelopmentally regulated microRNA miR-137 was strongly implicated as risk locus for schizophrenia in the most recent genome wide association study coordinated by the Psychiatric Genome Consortium (PGC). This molecule is highly conserved in vertebrates enabling the investigation of its function in the developing zebrafish. We utilized this model system to achieve overexpression and suppression of miR-137, both transiently and stably through transgenesis. While miR-137 overexpression was not associated with an observable specific phenotype, downregulation by antisense morpholino and/or transgenic expression of miR-sponge RNA induced significant impairment of both embryonic and larval touch-sensitivity without compromising overall anatomical development. We observed miR-137 expression and activity in sensory neurons including Rohon–Beard neurons and dorsal root ganglia, two neuronal cell types that confer touch-sensitivity in normal zebrafish, suggesting a role of these cell types in the observed phenotype. The lack of obvious anatomical or histological pathology in these cells, however, suggested that subtle axonal network defects or a change in synaptic function and neural connectivity might be responsible for the behavioral phenotype rather than a change in the cellular morphology or neuroanatomy. PMID:27219344

  5. Functional genomics in zebrafish permits rapid characterization of novel platelet membrane proteins.

    PubMed

    O'Connor, Marie N; Salles, Isabelle I; Cvejic, Ana; Watkins, Nicholas A; Walker, Adam; Garner, Stephen F; Jones, Chris I; Macaulay, Iain C; Steward, Michael; Zwaginga, Jaap-Jan; Bray, Sarah L; Dudbridge, Frank; de Bono, Bernard; Goodall, Alison H; Deckmyn, Hans; Stemple, Derek L; Ouwehand, Willem H

    2009-05-07

    In this study, we demonstrate the suitability of the vertebrate Danio rerio (zebrafish) for functional screening of novel platelet genes in vivo by reverse genetics. Comparative transcript analysis of platelets and their precursor cell, the megakaryocyte, together with nucleated blood cell elements, endothelial cells, and erythroblasts, identified novel platelet membrane proteins with hitherto unknown roles in thrombus formation. We determined the phenotype induced by antisense morpholino oligonucleotide (MO)-based knockdown of 5 of these genes in a laser-induced arterial thrombosis model. To validate the model, the genes for platelet glycoprotein (GP) IIb and the coagulation protein factor VIII were targeted. MO-injected fish showed normal thrombus initiation but severely impaired thrombus growth, consistent with the mouse knockout phenotypes, and concomitant knockdown of both resulted in spontaneous bleeding. Knockdown of 4 of the 5 novel platelet proteins altered arterial thrombosis, as demonstrated by modified kinetics of thrombus initiation and/or development. We identified a putative role for BAMBI and LRRC32 in promotion and DCBLD2 and ESAM in inhibition of thrombus formation. We conclude that phenotypic analysis of MO-injected zebrafish is a fast and powerful method for initial screening of novel platelet proteins for function in thrombosis.

  6. Functional genomics in zebrafish permits rapid characterization of novel platelet membrane proteins

    PubMed Central

    O'Connor, Marie N.; Salles, Isabelle I.; Cvejic, Ana; Watkins, Nicholas A.; Walker, Adam; Garner, Stephen F.; Jones, Chris I.; Macaulay, Iain C.; Steward, Michael; Zwaginga, Jaap-Jan; Bray, Sarah L.; Dudbridge, Frank; de Bono, Bernard; Goodall, Alison H.; Stemple, Derek L.; Ouwehand, Willem H.

    2009-01-01

    In this study, we demonstrate the suitability of the vertebrate Danio rerio (zebrafish) for functional screening of novel platelet genes in vivo by reverse genetics. Comparative transcript analysis of platelets and their precursor cell, the megakaryocyte, together with nucleated blood cell elements, endothelial cells, and erythroblasts, identified novel platelet membrane proteins with hitherto unknown roles in thrombus formation. We determined the phenotype induced by antisense morpholino oligonucleotide (MO)–based knockdown of 5 of these genes in a laser-induced arterial thrombosis model. To validate the model, the genes for platelet glycoprotein (GP) IIb and the coagulation protein factor VIII were targeted. MO-injected fish showed normal thrombus initiation but severely impaired thrombus growth, consistent with the mouse knockout phenotypes, and concomitant knockdown of both resulted in spontaneous bleeding. Knockdown of 4 of the 5 novel platelet proteins altered arterial thrombosis, as demonstrated by modified kinetics of thrombus initiation and/or development. We identified a putative role for BAMBI and LRRC32 in promotion and DCBLD2 and ESAM in inhibition of thrombus formation. We conclude that phenotypic analysis of MO-injected zebrafish is a fast and powerful method for initial screening of novel platelet proteins for function in thrombosis. PMID:19109564

  7. Zebrafish pax5 regulates development of the utricular macula and vestibular function.

    PubMed

    Kwak, Su-Jin; Vemaraju, Shruti; Moorman, Stephen J; Zeddies, David; Popper, Arthur N; Riley, Bruce B

    2006-11-01

    The zebrafish otic vesicle initially forms with only two sensory epithelia, the utricular and saccular maculae, which primarily mediate vestibular and auditory function, respectively. Here, we test the role of pax5, which is preferentially expressed in the utricular macula. Morpholino knockdown of pax5 disrupts vestibular function but not hearing. Neurons of the statoacoustic ganglion (SAG) develop normally. Utricular hair cells appear to form normally but a variable number subsequently undergo apoptosis and are extruded from the otic vesicle. Dendrites of the SAG persist in the utricle but become disorganized after hair cell loss. Hair cells in the saccule develop and survive normally. Otic expression of pax5 requires pax2a and fgf3, mutations in which cause vestibular defects, albeit by distinct mechanisms. Thus, pax5 works in conjunction with fgf3 and pax2a to establish and/or maintain the utricular macula and is essential for vestibular function. (c) 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  8. Zebrafish heart as a model to study the integrative autonomic control of pacemaker function

    PubMed Central

    Stoyek, Matthew R.; Quinn, T. Alexander; Croll, Roger P.

    2016-01-01

    The cardiac pacemaker sets the heart's primary rate, with pacemaker discharge controlled by the autonomic nervous system through intracardiac ganglia. A fundamental issue in understanding the relationship between neural activity and cardiac chronotropy is the identification of neuronal populations that control pacemaker cells. To date, most studies of neurocardiac control have been done in mammalian species, where neurons are embedded in and distributed throughout the heart, so they are largely inaccessible for whole-organ, integrative studies. Here, we establish the isolated, innervated zebrafish heart as a novel alternative model for studies of autonomic control of heart rate. Stimulation of individual cardiac vagosympathetic nerve trunks evoked bradycardia (parasympathetic activation) and tachycardia (sympathetic activation). Simultaneous stimulation of both vagosympathetic nerve trunks evoked a summative effect. Effects of nerve stimulation were mimicked by direct application of cholinergic and adrenergic agents. Optical mapping of electrical activity confirmed the sinoatrial region as the site of origin of normal pacemaker activity and identified a secondary pacemaker in the atrioventricular region. Strong vagosympathetic nerve stimulation resulted in a shift in the origin of initial excitation from the sinoatrial pacemaker to the atrioventricular pacemaker. Putative pacemaker cells in the sinoatrial and atrioventricular regions expressed adrenergic β2 and cholinergic muscarinic type 2 receptors. Collectively, we have demonstrated that the zebrafish heart contains the accepted hallmarks of vertebrate cardiac control, establishing this preparation as a viable model for studies of integrative physiological control of cardiac function by intracardiac neurons. PMID:27342878

  9. Zebrafish hox paralogue group 2 genes function redundantly as selector genes to pattern the second pharyngeal arch.

    PubMed

    Hunter, Michael P; Prince, Victoria E

    2002-07-15

    The pharyngeal arches are one of the defining features of the vertebrates, with the first arch forming the mandibles of the jaw and the second forming jaw support structures. The cartilaginous elements of each arch are formed from separate migratory neural crest cell streams, which derive from the dorsal aspect of the neural tube. The second and more posterior crest streams are characterized by specific Hox gene expression. The zebrafish has a larger overall number of Hox genes than the tetrapod vertebrates, as the result of a duplication event in its lineage. However, in both zebrafish and mouse, there are just two members of Hox paralogue group 2 (PG2): Hoxa2 and Hoxb2. Here, we show that morpholino-mediated "knock-down" of both zebrafish Hox PG2 genes results in major defects in second pharyngeal arch cartilages, involving replacement of ventral elements with a mirror-image duplication of first arch structures, and accompanying changes to pharyngeal musculature. In the mouse, null mutants of Hoxa2 have revealed that this single Hox gene is required for normal second arch patterning. By contrast, loss-of-function of either zebrafish Hox PG2 gene individually has no phenotypic consequence, showing that these two genes function redundantly to confer proper pattern to the second pharyngeal arch. We have also used hoxb1a mis-expression to induce localized ectopic expression of zebrafish Hox PG2 genes in the first arch; using this strategy, we find that ectopic expression of either Hox PG2 gene can confer second arch identity onto first arch structures, suggesting that the zebrafish Hox PG2 genes act as "selector genes." 2002 Elsevier Science (USA).

  10. Costimulatory Function of Cd58/Cd2 Interaction in Adaptive Humoral Immunity in a Zebrafish Model.

    PubMed

    Shao, Tong; Shi, Wei; Zheng, Jia-Yu; Xu, Xiao-Xiao; Lin, Ai-Fu; Xiang, Li-Xin; Shao, Jian-Zhong

    2018-01-01

    CD58 and CD2 have long been known as a pair of reciprocal adhesion molecules involved in the immune modulations of CD8 + T and NK-mediated cellular immunity in humans and several other mammals. However, the functional roles of CD58 and CD2 in CD4 + T-mediated adaptive humoral immunity remain poorly defined. Moreover, the current functional observations of CD58 and CD2 were mainly acquired from in vitro assays, and in vivo investigation is greatly limited due to the absence of a Cd58 homology in murine models. In this study, we identified cd58 and cd2 homologs from the model species zebrafish ( Danio rerio ). These two molecules share conserved structural features to their mammalian counterparts. Functionally, cd58 and cd2 were significantly upregulated on antigen-presenting cells and Cd4 + T cells upon antigen stimulation. Blockade or knockdown of Cd58 and Cd2 dramatically impaired the activation of antigen-specific Cd4 + T and mIgM + B cells, followed by the inhibition of antibody production and host defense against bacterial infections. These results indicate that CD58/CD2 interaction was required for the full activation of CD4 + T-mediated adaptive humoral immunity. The interaction of Cd58 with Cd2 was confirmed by co-immunoprecipitation and functional competitive assays by introducing a soluble Cd2 protein. This study highlights a new costimulatory mechanism underlying the regulatory network of adaptive immunity and makes zebrafish an attractive model organism for the investigation of CD58/CD2-mediated immunology and disorders. It also provides a cross-species understanding of the evolutionary history of costimulatory signals from fish to mammals as a whole.

  11. Differential Toxicity of mDia Formin-Directed Functional Agonists and Antagonists in Developing Zebrafish.

    PubMed

    LeCorgne, Hunter; Tudosie, Andrew M; Lavik, Kari; Su, Robin; Becker, Kathryn N; Moore, Sara; Walia, Yashna; Wisner, Alexander; Koehler, Daniel; Alberts, Arthur S; Williams, Frederick E; Eisenmann, Kathryn M

    2018-01-01

    The mammalian Diaphanous-related (mDia) formins are cytoskeletal regulators that assemble and, in some cases, bundle filamentous actin (F-actin), as well as stabilize microtubules. The development of small molecule antagonists and agonists that interrogate mDia formin function has allowed us to investigate the roles of formins in disease states. A small molecule inhibitor of FH2 domain (SMIFH2) inhibits mDia-dependent actin dynamics and abrogates tumor cell migration and cell division in vitro and ex vivo tissue explants. mDia formin activation with small molecule intramimics IMM01/02 and mDia2-DAD peptides inhibited glioblastoma motility and invasion in vitro and ex vivo rat brain slices. However, SMIFH2, IMMs, and mDia2 DAD efficacy in vivo remains largely unexplored and potential toxicity across a range of developmental phenotypes has not been thoroughly characterized. In this study, we performed an in vivo screen of early life-stage toxicity in Danio rerio zebrafish embryos 2 days post-fertilization (dpf) in response to SMIFH2, IMM01/02, and mDia2 DAD. SMIFH2 at concentrations ≥5-10 μM induced significant defects in developing zebrafish, including shorter body lengths, tail curvature and defective tail cellularity, craniofacial malformations, pericardial edema, absent and/or compromised vasculature function and flow, depressed heart rates and increased mortality. Conversely, IMM and mDia2 DAD peptides were minimally toxic at concentrations up to 10-20 and 50 μM, respectively. SMIFH2's therapeutic potential may therefore be limited by its substantial in vivo toxicity at functional concentrations. mDia formin agonism with IMMs and mDia2 DADs may therefore be a more effective and less toxic anti-invasive therapeutic approach.

  12. Differential Toxicity of mDia Formin-Directed Functional Agonists and Antagonists in Developing Zebrafish

    PubMed Central

    LeCorgne, Hunter; Tudosie, Andrew M.; Lavik, Kari; Su, Robin; Becker, Kathryn N.; Moore, Sara; Walia, Yashna; Wisner, Alexander; Koehler, Daniel; Alberts, Arthur S.; Williams, Frederick E.; Eisenmann, Kathryn M.

    2018-01-01

    The mammalian Diaphanous-related (mDia) formins are cytoskeletal regulators that assemble and, in some cases, bundle filamentous actin (F-actin), as well as stabilize microtubules. The development of small molecule antagonists and agonists that interrogate mDia formin function has allowed us to investigate the roles of formins in disease states. A small molecule inhibitor of FH2 domain (SMIFH2) inhibits mDia-dependent actin dynamics and abrogates tumor cell migration and cell division in vitro and ex vivo tissue explants. mDia formin activation with small molecule intramimics IMM01/02 and mDia2-DAD peptides inhibited glioblastoma motility and invasion in vitro and ex vivo rat brain slices. However, SMIFH2, IMMs, and mDia2 DAD efficacy in vivo remains largely unexplored and potential toxicity across a range of developmental phenotypes has not been thoroughly characterized. In this study, we performed an in vivo screen of early life-stage toxicity in Danio rerio zebrafish embryos 2 days post-fertilization (dpf) in response to SMIFH2, IMM01/02, and mDia2 DAD. SMIFH2 at concentrations ≥5–10 μM induced significant defects in developing zebrafish, including shorter body lengths, tail curvature and defective tail cellularity, craniofacial malformations, pericardial edema, absent and/or compromised vasculature function and flow, depressed heart rates and increased mortality. Conversely, IMM and mDia2 DAD peptides were minimally toxic at concentrations up to 10–20 and 50 μM, respectively. SMIFH2's therapeutic potential may therefore be limited by its substantial in vivo toxicity at functional concentrations. mDia formin agonism with IMMs and mDia2 DADs may therefore be a more effective and less toxic anti-invasive therapeutic approach. PMID:29692731

  13. Early development of the zebrafish pronephros and analysis of mutations affecting pronephric function.

    PubMed

    Drummond, I A; Majumdar, A; Hentschel, H; Elger, M; Solnica-Krezel, L; Schier, A F; Neuhauss, S C; Stemple, D L; Zwartkruis, F; Rangini, Z; Driever, W; Fishman, M C

    1998-12-01

    The zebrafish pronephric kidney provides a simplified model of nephron development and epithelial cell differentiation which is amenable to genetic analysis. The pronephros consists of two nephrons with fused glomeruli and paired pronephric tubules and ducts. Nephron formation occurs after the differentiation of the pronephric duct with both the glomeruli and tubules being derived from a nephron primordium. Fluorescent dextran injection experiments demonstrate that vascularization of the zebrafish pronephros and the onset of glomerular filtration occurs between 40 and 48 hpf. We isolated fifteen recessive mutations that affect development of the pronephros. All have visible cysts in place of the pronephric tubule at 2-2.5 days of development. Mutants were grouped in three classes: (1) a group of twelve mutants with defects in body axis curvature and manifesting the most rapid and severe cyst formation involving the glomerulus, tubule and duct, (2) the fleer mutation with distended glomerular capillary loops and cystic tubules, and (3) the mutation pao pao tang with a normal glomerulus and cysts limited to the pronephric tubules. double bubble was analyzed as a representative of mutations that perturb the entire length of the pronephros and body axis curvature. Cyst formation begins in the glomerulus at 40 hpf at the time when glomerular filtration is established suggesting a defect associated with the onset of pronephric function. Basolateral membrane protein targeting in the pronephric duct epithelial cells is also severely affected, suggesting a failure in terminal epithelial cell differentiation and alterations in electrolyte transport. These studies reveal the similarity of normal pronephric development to kidney organogenesis in all vertebrates and allow for a genetic dissection of genes needed to establish the earliest renal function.

  14. Zebrafish neurofibromatosis type 1 genes have redundant functions in tumorigenesis and embryonic development

    PubMed Central

    Shin, Jimann; Padmanabhan, Arun; de Groh, Eric D.; Lee, Jeong-Soo; Haidar, Sam; Dahlberg, Suzanne; Guo, Feng; He, Shuning; Wolman, Marc A.; Granato, Michael; Lawson, Nathan D.; Wolfe, Scot A.; Kim, Seok-Hyung; Solnica-Krezel, Lilianna; Kanki, John P.; Ligon, Keith L.; Epstein, Jonathan A.; Look, A. Thomas

    2012-01-01

    SUMMARY Neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) is a common, dominantly inherited genetic disorder that results from mutations in the neurofibromin 1 (NF1) gene. Affected individuals demonstrate abnormalities in neural-crest-derived tissues that include hyperpigmented skin lesions and benign peripheral nerve sheath tumors. NF1 patients also have a predisposition to malignancies including juvenile myelomonocytic leukemia (JMML), optic glioma, glioblastoma, schwannoma and malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors (MPNSTs). In an effort to better define the molecular and cellular determinants of NF1 disease pathogenesis in vivo, we employed targeted mutagenesis strategies to generate zebrafish harboring stable germline mutations in nf1a and nf1b, orthologues of NF1. Animals homozygous for loss-of-function alleles of nf1a or nf1b alone are phenotypically normal and viable. Homozygous loss of both alleles in combination generates larval phenotypes that resemble aspects of the human disease and results in larval lethality between 7 and 10 days post fertilization. nf1-null larvae demonstrate significant central and peripheral nervous system defects. These include aberrant proliferation and differentiation of oligodendrocyte progenitor cells (OPCs), dysmorphic myelin sheaths and hyperplasia of Schwann cells. Loss of nf1 contributes to tumorigenesis as demonstrated by an accelerated onset and increased penetrance of high-grade gliomas and MPNSTs in adult nf1a+/−; nf1b−/−; p53e7/e7 animals. nf1-null larvae also demonstrate significant motor and learning defects. Importantly, we identify and quantitatively analyze a novel melanophore phenotype in nf1-null larvae, providing the first animal model of the pathognomonic pigmentation lesions of NF1. Together, these findings support a role for nf1a and nf1b as potent tumor suppressor genes that also function in the development of both central and peripheral glial cells as well as melanophores in zebrafish. PMID:22773753

  15. FAS/FASL are dysregulated in chordoma and their loss-of-function impairs zebrafish notochord formation

    PubMed Central

    Libera, Laura; Boari, Nicola; Mortini, Pietro; Bellipanni, Gianfranco; Giordano, Antonio; Cotelli, Franco; Riva, Paola

    2014-01-01

    Chordoma is a rare malignant tumor that recapitulates the notochord phenotype and is thought to derive from notochord remnants not correctly regressed during development. Apoptosis is necessary for the proper notochord development in vertebrates, and the apoptotic pathway mediated by Fas and Fasl has been demonstrated to be involved in notochord cells regression. This study was conducted to investigate the expression of FAS/FASL pathway in a cohort of skull base chordomas and to analyze the role of fas/fasl homologs in zebrafish notochord formation. FAS/FASL expression was found to be dysregulated in chordoma leading to inactivation of the downstream Caspases in the samples analyzed. Both fas and fasl were specifically expressed in zebrafish notochord sorted cells. fas and fasl loss-of-function mainly resulted in larvae with notochord multi-cell-layer jumps organization, larger vacuolated notochord cells, defects in the peri-notochordal sheath structure and in vertebral mineralization. Interestingly, we observed the persistent expression of ntla and col2a1a, the zebrafish homologs of the human T gene and COL2A1 respectively, which are specifically up-regulated in chordoma. These results demonstrate for the first time the dysregulation of FAS/FASL in chordoma and their role in notochord formation in the zebrafish model, suggesting their possible implication in chordoma onset. PMID:25071022

  16. FAS/FASL are dysregulated in chordoma and their loss-of-function impairs zebrafish notochord formation.

    PubMed

    Ferrari, Luca; Pistocchi, Anna; Libera, Laura; Boari, Nicola; Mortini, Pietro; Bellipanni, Gianfranco; Giordano, Antonio; Cotelli, Franco; Riva, Paola

    2014-07-30

    Chordoma is a rare malignant tumor that recapitulates the notochord phenotype and is thought to derive from notochord remnants not correctly regressed during development. Apoptosis is necessary for the proper notochord development in vertebrates, and the apoptotic pathway mediated by Fas and Fasl has been demonstrated to be involved in notochord cells regression. This study was conducted to investigate the expression of FAS/FASL pathway in a cohort of skull base chordomas and to analyze the role of fas/fasl homologs in zebrafish notochord formation. FAS/FASL expression was found to be dysregulated in chordoma leading to inactivation of the downstream Caspases in the samples analyzed. Both fas and fasl were specifically expressed in zebrafish notochord sorted cells. fas and fasl loss-of-function mainly resulted in larvae with notochord multi-cell-layer jumps organization, larger vacuolated notochord cells, defects in the peri-notochordal sheath structure and in vertebral mineralization. Interestingly, we observed the persistent expression of ntla and col2a1a, the zebrafish homologs of the human T gene and COL2A1 respectively, which are specifically up-regulated in chordoma. These results demonstrate for the first time the dysregulation of FAS/FASL in chordoma and their role in notochord formation in the zebrafish model, suggesting their possible implication in chordoma onset.

  17. Identification of Chemical Vascular Disruptors During Development Using An Integrative Predictive Toxicity Model and Zebrafish and in Vitro Functional Angiogenesis Assays.

    EPA Science Inventory

    Identification of chemical vascular disruptors during development using an integrative predictive toxicity model and zebrafish and in vitro functional angiogenesis assays Chemically-induced vascular toxicity during embryonic development can result in a wide range of adverse pre...

  18. Cavin4b/Murcb Is Required for Skeletal Muscle Development and Function in Zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Housley, Michael P; Njaine, Brian; Ricciardi, Filomena; Stone, Oliver A; Hölper, Soraya; Krüger, Marcus; Kostin, Sawa; Stainier, Didier Y R

    2016-06-01

    Skeletal muscles provide metazoans with the ability to feed, reproduce and avoid predators. In humans, a heterogeneous group of genetic diseases, termed muscular dystrophies (MD), lead to skeletal muscle dysfunction. Mutations in the gene encoding Caveolin-3, a principal component of the membrane micro-domains known as caveolae, cause defects in muscle maintenance and function; however it remains unclear how caveolae dysfunction underlies MD pathology. The Cavin family of caveolar proteins can form membrane remodeling oligomers and thus may also impact skeletal muscle function. Changes in the distribution and function of Cavin4/Murc, which is predominantly expressed in striated muscles, have been reported to alter caveolae structure through interaction with Caveolin-3. Here, we report the generation and phenotypic analysis of murcb mutant zebrafish, which display impaired swimming capacity, skeletal muscle fibrosis and T-tubule abnormalities during development. To understand the mechanistic importance of Murc loss of function, we assessed Caveolin-1 and 3 localization and found it to be abnormal. We further identified an in vivo function for Murc in Erk signaling. These data link Murc with developmental defects in T-tubule formation and progressive muscle dysfunction, thereby providing a new candidate for the etiology of muscular dystrophy.

  19. Cavin4b/Murcb Is Required for Skeletal Muscle Development and Function in Zebrafish

    PubMed Central

    Housley, Michael P.; Njaine, Brian; Ricciardi, Filomena; Stone, Oliver A.; Hölper, Soraya; Krüger, Marcus; Kostin, Sawa; Stainier, Didier Y. R.

    2016-01-01

    Skeletal muscles provide metazoans with the ability to feed, reproduce and avoid predators. In humans, a heterogeneous group of genetic diseases, termed muscular dystrophies (MD), lead to skeletal muscle dysfunction. Mutations in the gene encoding Caveolin-3, a principal component of the membrane micro-domains known as caveolae, cause defects in muscle maintenance and function; however it remains unclear how caveolae dysfunction underlies MD pathology. The Cavin family of caveolar proteins can form membrane remodeling oligomers and thus may also impact skeletal muscle function. Changes in the distribution and function of Cavin4/Murc, which is predominantly expressed in striated muscles, have been reported to alter caveolae structure through interaction with Caveolin-3. Here, we report the generation and phenotypic analysis of murcb mutant zebrafish, which display impaired swimming capacity, skeletal muscle fibrosis and T-tubule abnormalities during development. To understand the mechanistic importance of Murc loss of function, we assessed Caveolin-1 and 3 localization and found it to be abnormal. We further identified an in vivo function for Murc in Erk signaling. These data link Murc with developmental defects in T-tubule formation and progressive muscle dysfunction, thereby providing a new candidate for the etiology of muscular dystrophy. PMID:27294373

  20. 8-Oxoguanine DNA glycosylase 1 (ogg1) maintains the function of cardiac progenitor cells during heart formation in zebrafish

    SciT

    Yan, Lifeng; Key Laboratory of Modern Toxicology of Ministry of Education, School of Public Health, Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing 210029; Zhou, Yong

    Genomic damage may devastate the potential of progenitor cells and consequently impair early organogenesis. We found that ogg1, a key enzyme initiating the base-excision repair, was enriched in the embryonic heart in zebrafish. So far, little is known about DNA repair in cardiogenesis. Here, we addressed the critical role of ogg1 in cardiogenesis for the first time. ogg1 mainly expressed in the anterior lateral plate mesoderm (ALPM), the primary heart tube, and subsequently the embryonic myocardium by in situ hybridisation. Loss of ogg1 resulted in severe cardiac morphogenesis and functional abnormalities, including the short heart length, arrhythmia, decreased cardiomyocytes andmore » nkx2.5{sup +} cardiac progenitor cells. Moreover, the increased apoptosis and repressed proliferation of progenitor cells caused by ogg1 deficiency might contribute to the heart phenotype. The microarray analysis showed that the expression of genes involved in embryonic heart tube morphogenesis and heart structure were significantly changed due to the lack of ogg1. Among those, foxh1 is an important partner of ogg1 in the cardiac development in response to DNA damage. Our work demonstrates the requirement of ogg1 in cardiac progenitors and heart development in zebrafish. These findings may be helpful for understanding the aetiology of congenital cardiac deficits. - Highlights: • A key DNA repair enzyme ogg1 is expressed in the embryonic heart in zebrafish. • We found that ogg1 is essential for normal cardiac morphogenesis in zebrafish. • The production of embryonic cardiomyocytes requires appropriate ogg1 expression. • Ogg1 critically regulated proliferation of cardiac progenitor cells in zebrafish. • foxh1 is a partner of ogg1 in the cardiac development in response to DNA damage.« less

  1. Turning gene function ON and OFF using sense and antisense photo-morpholinos in zebrafish

    PubMed Central

    Tallafuss, Alexandra; Gibson, Dan; Morcos, Paul; Li, Yongfu; Seredick, Steve; Eisen, Judith; Washbourne, Philip

    2012-01-01

    To understand the molecular mechanisms of development it is essential to be able to turn genes on and off at will and in a spatially restricted fashion. Morpholino oligonucleotides (MOs) are very common tools used in several model organisms with which it is possible to block gene expression. Recently developed photo-activated MOs allow control over the onset of MO activity. However, deactivation of photo-cleavable MO activity has remained elusive. Here, we describe photo-cleavable MOs with which it is possible to activate or de-activate MO function by UV exposure in a temporal and spatial manner. We show, using several different genes as examples, that it is possible to turn gene expression on or off both in the entire zebrafish embryo and in single cells. We use these tools to demonstrate the sufficiency of no tail expression as late as tailbud stage to drive medial precursor cells towards the notochord cell fate. As a broader approach for the use of photo-cleavable MOs, we show temporal control over gal4 function, which has many potential applications in multiple transgenic lines. We demonstrate temporal manipulation of Gal4 transgene expression in only primary motoneurons and not secondary motoneurons, heretofore impossible with conventional transgenic approaches. In another example, we follow and analyze neural crest cells that regained sox10 function after deactivation of a photo-cleavable sox10-MO at different time points. Our results suggest that sox10 function might not be critical during neural crest formation. PMID:22492359

  2. Systematic discovery of novel ciliary genes through functional genomics in the zebrafish

    PubMed Central

    Choksi, Semil P.; Babu, Deepak; Lau, Doreen; Yu, Xianwen; Roy, Sudipto

    2014-01-01

    Cilia are microtubule-based hair-like organelles that play many important roles in development and physiology, and are implicated in a rapidly expanding spectrum of human diseases, collectively termed ciliopathies. Primary ciliary dyskinesia (PCD), one of the most prevalent of ciliopathies, arises from abnormalities in the differentiation or motility of the motile cilia. Despite their biomedical importance, a methodical functional screen for ciliary genes has not been carried out in any vertebrate at the organismal level. We sought to systematically discover novel motile cilia genes by identifying the genes induced by Foxj1, a winged-helix transcription factor that has an evolutionarily conserved role as the master regulator of motile cilia biogenesis. Unexpectedly, we find that the majority of the Foxj1-induced genes have not been associated with cilia before. To characterize these novel putative ciliary genes, we subjected 50 randomly selected candidates to a systematic functional phenotypic screen in zebrafish embryos. Remarkably, we find that over 60% are required for ciliary differentiation or function, whereas 30% of the proteins encoded by these genes localize to motile cilia. We also show that these genes regulate the proper differentiation and beating of motile cilia. This collection of Foxj1-induced genes will be invaluable for furthering our understanding of ciliary biology, and in the identification of new mutations underlying ciliary disorders in humans. PMID:25139857

  3. From Whole-Brain Data to Functional Circuit Models: The Zebrafish Optomotor Response.

    PubMed

    Naumann, Eva A; Fitzgerald, James E; Dunn, Timothy W; Rihel, Jason; Sompolinsky, Haim; Engert, Florian

    2016-11-03

    Detailed descriptions of brain-scale sensorimotor circuits underlying vertebrate behavior remain elusive. Recent advances in zebrafish neuroscience offer new opportunities to dissect such circuits via whole-brain imaging, behavioral analysis, functional perturbations, and network modeling. Here, we harness these tools to generate a brain-scale circuit model of the optomotor response, an orienting behavior evoked by visual motion. We show that such motion is processed by diverse neural response types distributed across multiple brain regions. To transform sensory input into action, these regions sequentially integrate eye- and direction-specific sensory streams, refine representations via interhemispheric inhibition, and demix locomotor instructions to independently drive turning and forward swimming. While experiments revealed many neural response types throughout the brain, modeling identified the dimensions of functional connectivity most critical for the behavior. We thus reveal how distributed neurons collaborate to generate behavior and illustrate a paradigm for distilling functional circuit models from whole-brain data. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. Loss of function of C9orf72 causes motor deficits in a zebrafish model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Ciura, Sorana; Lattante, Serena; Le Ber, Isabelle; Latouche, Morwena; Tostivint, Hervé; Brice, Alexis; Kabashi, Edor

    2013-08-01

    To define the role that repeat expansions of a GGGGCC hexanucleotide sequence of the C9orf72 gene play in the pathogenesis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD). A genetic model for ALS was developed to determine whether loss of function of the zebrafish orthologue of C9orf72 (zC9orf72) leads to abnormalities in neuronal development. C9orf72 mRNA levels were quantified in brain and lymphoblasts derived from FTLD and ALS/FTLD patients and in zebrafish. Knockdown of the zC9orf72 was performed using 2 specific antisense morpholino oligonucleotides to block transcription. Quantifications of spontaneous swimming and tactile escape response, as well as measurements of axonal projections from the spinal cord, were performed. Significantly decreased expression of C9orf72 transcripts in brain and lymphoblasts was found in sporadic FTLD and ALS/FTLD patients with normal-size or expanded hexanucleotide repeats. The zC9orf72 is selectively expressed in the developing nervous system at developmental stages. Loss of function of the zC9orf72 transcripts causes both behavioral and cellular deficits related to locomotion without major morphological abnormalities. These deficits were rescued upon overexpression of human C9orf72 mRNA transcripts. Our results indicate C9orf72 haploinsufficiency could be a contributing factor in the spectrum of ALS/FTLD neurodegenerative disorders. Loss of function of the zebrafish orthologue of zC9orf72 expression in zebrafish is associated with axonal degeneration of motor neurons that can be rescued by expressing human C9orf72 mRNA, highlighting the specificity of the induced phenotype. These results reveal a pathogenic consequence of decreased C9orf72 levels, supporting a loss of function mechanism of disease. © 2013 American Neurological Association.

  5. Functional and molecular features of the calmodulin-interacting protein IQCG required for haematopoiesis in zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Chen, Li-Ting; Liang, Wen-Xue; Chen, Shuo; Li, Ren-Ke; Tan, Jue-Ling; Xu, Peng-Fei; Luo, Liu-Fei; Wang, Lei; Yu, Shan-He; Meng, Guoyu; Li, Keqin Kathy; Liu, Ting-Xi; Chen, Zhu; Chen, Sai-Juan

    2014-05-02

    We previously reported a fusion protein NUP98-IQCG in an acute leukaemia, which functions as an aberrant regulator of transcriptional expression, yet the structure and function of IQCG have not been characterized. Here we use zebrafish to investigate the role of iqcg in haematopoietic development, and find that the numbers of haematopoietic stem cells and multilineage-differentiated cells are reduced in iqcg-deficient embryos. Mechanistically, IQCG binds to calmodulin (CaM) and acts as a molecule upstream of CaM-dependent kinase IV (CaMKIV). Crystal structures of complexes between CaM and IQ domain of IQCG reveal dual CaM-binding footprints in this motif, and provide a structural basis for a higher CaM-IQCG affinity when deprived of calcium. The results collectively allow us to understand IQCG-mediated calcium signalling in haematopoiesis, and propose a model in which IQCG stores CaM at low cytoplasmic calcium concentrations, and releases CaM to activate CaMKIV when calcium level rises.

  6. Asynchronous oscillations of two zebrafish CLOCK partners reveal differential clock control and function

    PubMed Central

    Cermakian, Nicolas; Whitmore, David; Foulkes, Nicholas S.; Sassone-Corsi, Paolo

    2000-01-01

    Most clock genes encode transcription factors that interact to elicit cooperative control of clock function. Using a two-hybrid system approach, we have isolated two different partners of zebrafish (zf) CLOCK, which are similar to the mammalian BMAL1 (brain and muscle arylhydrocarbon receptor nuclear translocator-like protein 1). The two homologs, zfBMAL1 and zfBMAL2, contain conserved basic helix–loop–helix-PAS (Period-Arylhydrocarbon receptor-Singleminded) domains but diverge in the carboxyl termini, thus bearing different transcriptional activation potential. As for zfClock, the expression of both zfBmals oscillates in most tissues in the animal. However, in many tissues, the peak, levels, and kinetics of expression are different between the two genes and for the same gene from tissue to tissue. These results support the existence of independent peripheral oscillators and suggest that zfBMAL1 and zfBMAL2 may exert distinct circadian functions, interacting differentially with zfCLOCK at various times in different tissues. Our findings also indicate that multiple controls may be exerted by the central clock and/or that peripheral oscillators can differentially interpret central clock signals. PMID:10760301

  7. Dopaminergic Neurons Controlling Anterior Pituitary Functions: Anatomy and Ontogenesis in Zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Fontaine, Romain; Affaticati, Pierre; Bureau, Charlotte; Colin, Ingrid; Demarque, Michaël; Dufour, Sylvie; Vernier, Philippe; Yamamoto, Kei; Pasqualini, Catherine

    2015-08-01

    Dopaminergic (DA) neurons located in the preoptico-hypothalamic region of the brain exert a major neuroendocrine control on reproduction, growth, and homeostasis by regulating the secretion of anterior pituitary (or adenohypophysis) hormones. Here, using a retrograde tract tracing experiment, we identified the neurons playing this role in the zebrafish. The DA cells projecting directly to the anterior pituitary are localized in the most anteroventral part of the preoptic area, and we named them preoptico-hypophyseal DA (POHDA) neurons. During development, these neurons do not appear before 72 hours postfertilization (hpf) and are the last dopaminergic cell group to differentiate. We found that the number of neurons in this cell population continues to increase throughout life proportionally to the growth of the fish. 5-Bromo-2'-deoxyuridine incorporation analysis suggested that this increase is due to continuous neurogenesis and not due to a phenotypic change in already-existing neurons. Finally, expression profiles of several genes (foxg1a, dlx2a, and nr4a2a/b) were different in the POHDA compared with the adjacent suprachiasmatic DA neurons, suggesting that POHDA neurons develop as a distinct DA cell population in the preoptic area. This study offers some insights into the regional identity of the preoptic area and provides the first bases for future functional genetic studies on the development of DA neurons controlling anterior pituitary functions.

  8. Cell cycle progression is required for zebrafish somite morphogenesis but not segmentation clock function

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Lixia; Kendrick, Christina; Jülich, Dörthe; Holley, Scott A.

    2010-01-01

    Summary Cell division, differentiation and morphogenesis are coordinated during embryonic development and frequently in disarray in pathologies such as cancer. Here, we present a zebrafish mutant that ceases mitosis at the beginning of gastrulation, but undergoes axis elongation and develops blood, muscle and a beating heart. We identify the mutation as being in early mitotic inhibitor 1 (emi1), a negative regulator of the Anaphase Promoting Complex, and utilize the mutant to examine the role of the cell cycle in somitogenesis. The mutant phenotype indicates that axis elongation during the segmentation period is substantially driven by cell migration. We find that the segmentation clock, which regulates somitogenesis, functions normally in the absence of cell cycle progression and observe that mitosis is a modest source of noise for the clock. Somite morphogenesis involves the epithelialization of the somite border cells around a core of mesenchyme. As in wild-type embryos, somite boundary cells are polarized along a Fibronectin matrix in emi1−/−. The mutants also display evidence of segment polarity. However, in the absence of a normal cell cycle, somites appear to hyper-epithelialize as the internal mesenchymal cells exit the core of the somite after initial boundary formation. Thus, cell cycle progression is not required during the segmentation period for segmentation clock function but is necessary for normal segmental arrangement of epithelial borders and internal mesenchymal cells. PMID:18480162

  9. Attenuated BMP1 Function Compromises Osteogenesis, Leading to Bone Fragility in Humans and Zebrafish

    PubMed Central

    Asharani, P.V.; Keupp, Katharina; Semler, Oliver; Wang, Wenshen; Li, Yun; Thiele, Holger; Yigit, Gökhan; Pohl, Esther; Becker, Jutta; Frommolt, Peter; Sonntag, Carmen; Altmüller, Janine; Zimmermann, Katharina; Greenspan, Daniel S.; Akarsu, Nurten A.; Netzer, Christian; Schönau, Eckhard; Wirth, Radu; Hammerschmidt, Matthias; Nürnberg, Peter; Wollnik, Bernd; Carney, Thomas J.

    2012-01-01

    Bone morphogenetic protein 1 (BMP1) is an astacin metalloprotease with important cellular functions and diverse substrates, including extracellular-matrix proteins and antagonists of some TGFβ superfamily members. Combining whole-exome sequencing and filtering for homozygous stretches of identified variants, we found a homozygous causative BMP1 mutation, c.34G>C, in a consanguineous family affected by increased bone mineral density and multiple recurrent fractures. The mutation is located within the BMP1 signal peptide and leads to impaired secretion and an alteration in posttranslational modification. We also characterize a zebrafish bone mutant harboring lesions in bmp1a, demonstrating conservation of BMP1 function in osteogenesis across species. Genetic, biochemical, and histological analyses of this mutant and a comparison to a second, similar locus reveal that Bmp1a is critically required for mature-collagen generation, downstream of osteoblast maturation, in bone. We thus define the molecular and cellular bases of BMP1-dependent osteogenesis and show the importance of this protein for bone formation and stability. PMID:22482805

  10. Macrophage-expressed perforins mpeg1 and mpeg1.2 have an anti-bacterial function in zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Benard, Erica L; Racz, Peter I; Rougeot, Julien; Nezhinsky, Alexander E; Verbeek, Fons J; Spaink, Herman P; Meijer, Annemarie H

    2015-01-01

    Macrophage-expressed gene 1 (MPEG1) encodes an evolutionarily conserved protein with a predicted membrane attack complex/perforin domain associated with host defence against invading pathogens. In vertebrates, MPEG1/perforin-2 is an integral membrane protein of macrophages, suspected to be involved in the killing of intracellular bacteria by pore-forming activity. Zebrafish have 3 copies of MPEG1; 2 are expressed in macrophages, whereas the third could be a pseudogene. The mpeg1 and mpeg1.2 genes show differential regulation during infection of zebrafish embryos with the bacterial pathogens Mycobacterium marinum and Salmonella typhimurium. While mpeg1 is downregulated during infection with both pathogens, mpeg1.2 is infection inducible. Upregulation of mpeg1.2 is partially dependent on the presence of functional Mpeg1 and requires the Toll-like receptor adaptor molecule MyD88 and the transcription factor NFκB. Knockdown of mpeg1 alters the immune response to M. marinum infection and results in an increased bacterial burden. In Salmonella typhimurium infection, both mpeg1 and mpeg1.2 knockdown increase the bacterial burdens, but mpeg1 morphants show increased survival times. The combined results of these two in vivo infection models support the anti-bacterial function of the MPEG1/perforin-2 family and indicate that the intricate cross-regulation of the two mpeg1 copies aids the zebrafish host in combatting infection of various pathogens. © 2014 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  11. FOREBRAIN AND HINDBRAIN DEVELOPMENT IN ZEBRAFISH IS SENSITIVE TO ETHANOL EXPOSURE INVOLVING AGRIN, FGF AND SONIC HEDGEHOG FUNCTION

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Chengjin; Ojiaku, Princess; Cole, Gregory J.

    2014-01-01

    BACKGROUND Ethanol is a teratogen that affects numerous developmental processes in the nervous system, which includes development and survival of GABAergic and glutamatergic neurons. Possible molecular mechanisms accounting for ethanol’s effects on nervous system development include perturbed fibroblast growth factor (Fgf) and Sonic hedgehog (Shh) signaling. In zebrafish, forebrain GABAergic neuron development is dependent on Fgf19 and Shh signaling. The present study was conducted to test the hypothesis that ethanol affects GABAergic and glutamatergic neuron development by disrupting Fgf, Shh, and agrin function. METHODS Zebrafish embryos were exposed to varying concentrations of ethanol during a range of developmental stages, in the absence or presence of morpholino oligonucleotides (MOs) that disrupt agrin or Shh function. In situ hybridization was employed to analyze glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD1) gene expression, as well as markers of glutamatergic neurons. RESULTS Acute ethanol exposure results in marked reduction in GAD1 gene expression in forebrain and hindbrain, and reduction of glutamatergic neuronal markers in hindbrain. Subthreshold ethanol exposure, combined with agrin or Shh MO treatment, produces a similar diminution in expression of markers for GABAergic and glutamatergic neurons. Consistent with the ethanol effects on Fgf and Shh pathways, Fgf19, Fgf8 or Shh mRNA overexpression rescues ethanol-induced decreases in GAD1 and atonal1a gene expression. CONCLUSIONS These studies demonstrate that GABAergic and glutamatergic neuron development in zebrafish forebrain or cerebellum is sensitive to ethanol exposure, and provides additional evidence that a signaling pathway involving agrin, Fgfs and Shh may be a critical target of ethanol exposure during zebrafish embryogenesis. PMID:23184466

  12. A functional Bucky ball-GFP transgene visualizes germ plasm in living zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Riemer, Stephan; Bontems, Franck; Krishnakumar, Pritesh; Gömann, Jasmin; Dosch, Roland

    2015-01-01

    In many animals, the germline is specified by maternal RNA-granules termed germ plasm. The correct localization of germ plasm during embryogenesis is therefore crucial for the specification of germ cells. In zebrafish, we previously identified Bucky ball (Buc) as a key regulator of germ plasm formation. Here, we used a Buc antibody to describe its continuous germ plasm localization. Moreover, we generated a transgenic Buc-GFP line for live imaging, which visualizes germ plasm from its assembly during oogenesis up to the larval stages. Live imaging of Buc-GFP generated stunning movies, as they highlighted the dynamic details of germ plasm movements. Moreover, we discovered that Buc was still detected in primordial germ cells 2 days after fertilization. Interestingly, the transgene rescued buc mutants demonstrating genetically that the Buc-GFP fusion protein is functional. These results show that Buc-GFP exerts all biochemical interactions essential for germline development and highlight the potential of this line to analyze the molecular regulation of germ plasm formation. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. Functional architecture of an optic flow-responsive area that drives horizontal eye movements in zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Kubo, Fumi; Hablitzel, Bastian; Dal Maschio, Marco; Driever, Wolfgang; Baier, Herwig; Arrenberg, Aristides B

    2014-03-19

    Animals respond to whole-field visual motion with compensatory eye and body movements in order to stabilize both their gaze and position with respect to their surroundings. In zebrafish, rotational stimuli need to be distinguished from translational stimuli to drive the optokinetic and the optomotor responses, respectively. Here, we systematically characterize the neural circuits responsible for these operations using a combination of optogenetic manipulation and in vivo calcium imaging during optic flow stimulation. By recording the activity of thousands of neurons within the area pretectalis (APT), we find four bilateral pairs of clusters that process horizontal whole-field motion and functionally classify eleven prominent neuron types with highly selective response profiles. APT neurons are prevalently direction selective, either monocularly or binocularly driven, and hierarchically organized to distinguish between rotational and translational optic flow. Our data predict a wiring diagram of a neural circuit tailored to drive behavior that compensates for self-motion. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. Zebrafish scarb2a insertional mutant reveals a novel function for the Scarb2/Limp2 receptor in notochord development.

    PubMed

    Diaz-Tellez, Abigail; Zampedri, Cecilia; Ramos-Balderas, Jose L; García-Hernández, Fernando; Maldonado, Ernesto

    2016-04-01

    Scarb2 or Limp2 belong to a subfamily of Scavenger receptors described as lysosomal transmembrane glycosylated receptors, that are mutated in the human syndrome AMRF (action myoclonus-renal failure). The zebrafish insertional mutant scarb2a(hi1463Tg) has notochord defects, the notochord is a defining feature of chordates running along the center of the longitudinal axis and it is essential for forming the spinal column in all vertebrates. There are three paralogous scarb2 genes in zebrafish; scarb2a, scarb2b, and scarb2c. Both Scarb2a and Scarb2b proteins lack the classical di-leucine motif. We found that scarb2a(hi1463Tg) homozygous zebrafish embryos have a null mutation impairing vacuole formation in the notochord and simultaneously disrupting proper formation of the basement membrane resulting in its thickening at the ventral side of the notochord, which may be the cause for the anomalous upward bending observed in the trunk. Through whole-mount in situ hybridization, we detected scarb2a mRNA expression in the notochord and in the brain early in development. However, it is puzzling that scarb2a notochord mRNA expression is short-lived in the presumptive notochord and precedes the complete differentiation of the notochord. This work describes a novel function for the Scarb2 receptor as an essential glycoprotein for notochord development. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  15. Wnt1 and wnt10b function redundantly at the zebrafish midbrain-hindbrain boundary.

    PubMed

    Lekven, Arne C; Buckles, Gerri R; Kostakis, Nicholas; Moon, Randall T

    2003-02-15

    Wnt signals have been shown to be involved in multiple steps of vertebrate neural patterning, yet the relative contributions of individual Wnts to the process of brain regionalization is poorly understood. Wnt1 has been shown in the mouse to be required for the formation of the midbrain and the anterior hindbrain, but this function of wnt1 has not been explored in other model systems. Further, wnt1 is part of a Wnt cluster conserved in all vertebrates comprising wnt1 and wnt10b, yet the function of wnt10b during embryogenesis has not been explored. Here, we report that in zebrafish wnt10b is expressed in a pattern overlapping extensively with that of wnt1. We have generated a deficiency allele for these closely linked loci and performed morpholino antisense oligo knockdown to show that wnt1 and wnt10b provide partially redundant functions in the formation of the midbrain-hindbrain boundary (MHB). When both loci are deleted, the expression of pax2.1, en2, and her5 is lost in the ventral portion of the MHB beginning at the 8-somite stage. However, wnt1 and wnt10b are not required for the maintenance of fgf8, en3, wnt8b, or wnt3a expression. Embryos homozygous for the wnt1-wnt10b deficiency display a mild MHB phenotype, but are sensitized to reductions in either Pax2.1 or Fgf8; that is, in combination with mutant alleles of either of these loci, the morphological MHB is lost. Thus, wnt1 and wnt10b are required to maintain threshold levels of Pax2.1 and Fgf8 at the MHB. Copyright 2003 Elsevier Science (USA)

  16. Rapid Recovery of Visual Function Associated with Blue Cone Ablation in Zebrafish

    PubMed Central

    Hagerman, Gordon F.; Noel, Nicole C. L.; Cao, Sylvia Y.; DuVal, Michèle G.; Oel, A. Phillip; Allison, W. Ted

    2016-01-01

    Hurdles in the treatment of retinal degeneration include managing the functional rewiring of surviving photoreceptors and integration of any newly added cells into the remaining second-order retinal neurons. Zebrafish are the premier genetic model for such questions, and we present two new transgenic lines allowing us to contrast vision loss and recovery following conditional ablation of specific cone types: UV or blue cones. The ablation of each cone type proved to be thorough (killing 80% of cells in each intended cone class), specific, and cell-autonomous. We assessed the loss and recovery of vision in larvae via the optomotor behavioural response (OMR). This visually mediated behaviour decreased to about 5% or 20% of control levels following ablation of UV or blue cones, respectively (P<0.05). We further assessed ocular photoreception by measuring the effects of UV light on body pigmentation, and observed that photoreceptor deficits and recovery occurred (p<0.01) with a timeline coincident to the OMR results. This corroborated and extended previous conclusions that UV cones are required photoreceptors for modulating body pigmentation, addressing assumptions that were unavoidable in previous experiments. Functional vision recovery following UV cone ablation was robust, as measured by both assays, returning to control levels within four days. In contrast, robust functional recovery following blue cone ablation was unexpectedly rapid, returning to normal levels within 24 hours after ablation. Ablation of cones led to increased proliferation in the retina, though the rapid recovery of vision following blue cone ablation was demonstrated to not be mediated by blue cone regeneration. Thus rapid visual recovery occurs following ablation of some, but not all, cone subtypes, suggesting an opportunity to contrast and dissect the sources and mechanisms of outer retinal recovery during cone photoreceptor death and regeneration. PMID:27893779

  17. Etiology and functional validation of gastrointestinal motility dysfunction in a zebrafish model of CHARGE syndrome.

    PubMed

    Cloney, Kellie; Steele, Shelby L; Stoyek, Matthew R; Croll, Roger P; Smith, Frank M; Prykhozhij, Sergey V; Brown, Mary M; Midgen, Craig; Blake, Kim; Berman, Jason N

    2018-06-01

    CHARGE syndrome is linked to autosomal-dominant mutations in the CHD7 gene and results in a number of physiological and structural abnormalities, including heart defects, hearing and vision loss, and gastrointestinal (GI) problems. Of these challenges, GI problems have a profound impact throughout an individual's life, resulting in increased morbidity and mortality. A homolog of CHD7 has been identified in the zebrafish, the loss of which recapitulates many of the features of the human disease. Using a morpholino chd7 knockdown model complemented by a chd7 null mutant zebrafish line, we examined GI structure, innervation, and motility in larval zebrafish. Loss of chd7 resulted in physically smaller GI tracts with normal epithelial and muscular histology, but decreased and disorganized vagal projections, particularly in the foregut. chd7 morphant larvae had significantly less ability to empty their GI tract of gavaged fluorescent beads, and this condition was only minimally improved by the prokinetic agents, domperidone and erythromycin, in keeping with mixed responses to these agents in patients with CHARGE syndrome. The conserved genetics and transparency of the zebrafish have provided new insights into the consequences of chd7 gene dysfunction on the GI system and cranial nerve patterning. These findings highlight the opportunity of the zebrafish to serve as a preclinical model for studying compounds that may improve GI motility in individuals with CHARGE syndrome. © 2018 Federation of European Biochemical Societies.

  18. Disruption of zebrafish cyclin G-associated kinase (GAK) function impairs the expression of Notch-dependent genes during neurogenesis and causes defects in neuronal development

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background The J-domain-containing protein auxilin, a critical regulator in clathrin-mediated transport, has been implicated in Drosophila Notch signaling. To ask if this role of auxilin is conserved and whether auxilin has additional roles in development, we have investigated the functions of auxilin orthologs in zebrafish. Results Like mammals, zebrafish has two distinct auxilin-like molecules, auxilin and cyclin G-associated kinase (GAK), differing in their domain structures and expression patterns. Both zebrafish auxilin and GAK can functionally substitute for the Drosophila auxilin, suggesting that they have overlapping molecular functions. Still, they are not completely redundant, as morpholino-mediated knockdown of the ubiquitously expressed GAK alone can increase the specification of neuronal cells, a known Notch-dependent process, and decrease the expression of Her4, a Notch target gene. Furthermore, inhibition of GAK function caused an elevated level of apoptosis in neural tissues, resulting in severe degeneration of neural structures. Conclusion In support of the notion that endocytosis plays important roles in Notch signaling, inhibition of zebrafish GAK function affects embryonic neuronal cell specification and Her4 expression. In addition, our analysis suggests that zebrafish GAK has at least two functions during the development of neural tissues: an early Notch-dependent role in neuronal patterning and a late role in maintaining the survival of neural cells. PMID:20082716

  19. Zebrafish Housing Systems: A Review of Basic Operating Principles and Considerations for Design and Functionality

    PubMed Central

    Lawrence, Christian; Mason, Timothy

    2015-01-01

    The strategies for housing zebrafish used in biomedical research have evolved considerably over the past three decades. To keep pace with the rapid expansion and development of the zebrafish model system, the field has generally moved from keeping fish at the level of aquarium hobbyist to that of industrialized, recirculating aquaculture. Numerous commercial system vendors now offer increasingly sophisticated housing systems based on design principles that maximize the number of animals that can be housed in a given space footprint, and they are thus able to support large and diverse research programs. This review is designed to provide managers, lab animal veterinarians, investigators, and other parties responsible for care and use of these animals with a comprehensive overview of the basic operating and design principles of zebrafish housing systems. This information can be used to help plan the construction of new facilities and/or the upgrade and maintenance of existing operations. PMID:23382349

  20. Zebrafish models for functional and toxicological screening of nanoscale drug delivery systems: promoting preclinical applications

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Keon Yong; Jang, Gun Hyuk; Byun, Cho Hyun; Jeun, Minhong

    2017-01-01

    Preclinical screening with animal models is an important initial step in clinical translation of new drug delivery systems. However, establishing efficacy, biodistribution, and biotoxicity of complex, multicomponent systems in small animal models can be expensive and time-consuming. Zebrafish models represent an alternative for preclinical studies for nanoscale drug delivery systems. These models allow easy optical imaging, large sample size, and organ-specific studies, and hence an increasing number of preclinical studies are employing zebrafish models. In this review, we introduce various models and discuss recent studies of nanoscale drug delivery systems in zebrafish models. Also in the end, we proposed a guideline for the preclinical trials to accelerate the progress in this field. PMID:28515222

  1. Zebrafish housing systems: a review of basic operating principles and considerations for design and functionality.

    PubMed

    Lawrence, Christian; Mason, Timothy

    2012-01-01

    The strategies for housing zebrafish used in biomedical research have evolved considerably over the past three decades. To keep pace with the rapid expansion and development of the zebrafish model system, the field has generally moved from keeping fish at the level of aquarium hobbyist to that of industrialized, recirculating aquaculture. Numerous commercial system vendors now offer increasingly sophisticated housing systems based on design principles that maximize the number of animals that can be housed in a given space footprint, and they are thus able to support large and diverse research programs. This review is designed to provide managers, lab animal veterinarians, investigators, and other parties responsible for care and use of these animals with a comprehensive overview of the basic operating and design principles of zebrafish housing systems. This information can be used to help plan the construction of new facilities and/or the upgrade and maintenance of existing operations.

  2. Zebrafish models for functional and toxicological screening of nanoscale drug delivery systems: promoting preclinical applications.

    PubMed

    Lee, Keon Yong; Jang, Gun Hyuk; Byun, Cho Hyun; Jeun, Minhong; Searson, Peter C; Lee, Kwan Hyi

    2017-06-30

    Preclinical screening with animal models is an important initial step in clinical translation of new drug delivery systems. However, establishing efficacy, biodistribution, and biotoxicity of complex, multicomponent systems in small animal models can be expensive and time-consuming. Zebrafish models represent an alternative for preclinical studies for nanoscale drug delivery systems. These models allow easy optical imaging, large sample size, and organ-specific studies, and hence an increasing number of preclinical studies are employing zebrafish models. In this review, we introduce various models and discuss recent studies of nanoscale drug delivery systems in zebrafish models. Also in the end, we proposed a guideline for the preclinical trials to accelerate the progress in this field. © 2017 The Author(s).

  3. Zebrafish fgf3 and fgf8 encode redundant functions required for otic placode induction.

    PubMed

    Phillips, B T; Bolding, K; Riley, B B

    2001-07-15

    Members of the fibroblast growth factor (FGF) family of peptide ligands have been implicated in otic placode induction in several vertebrate species. Here, we have functionally analyzed the roles of fgf3 and fgf8 in zebrafish otic development. The role of fgf8 was assessed by analyzing acerebellar (ace) mutants. fgf3 function was disrupted by injecting embryos with antisense morpholino oligomers (MO) specifically designed to block translation of fgf3 transcripts. Disruption of either fgf3 or fgf8 causes moderate reduction in the size of the otic vesicle. Injection of fgf3-MO into ace/ace mutants causes much more severe reduction or complete loss of otic tissue. Moreover, preplacode cells fail to express pax8 and pax2.1, indicating disruption of early stages of otic induction in fgf3-depleted ace/ace mutants. Both fgf3 and fgf8 are normally expressed in the germring by 50% epiboly and are induced in the primordium of rhombomere 4 by 80% epibloy. In addition, fgf3 is expressed during the latter half of gastrulation in the prechordal plate and paraxial cephalic mesendoderm, tissues that either pass beneath or persist near the prospective otic ectoderm. Conditions that alter the pattern of expression of fgf3 and/or fgf8 cause corresponding changes in otic induction. Loss of maternal and zygotic one-eyed pinhead (oep) does not alter expression of fgf3 or fgf8 in the hindbrain, but ablates mesendodermal sources of fgf signaling and delays otic induction by several hours. Conversely, treatment of wild-type embryos with retinoic acid greatly expands the periotic domains of expression of fgf3, fgf8, and pax8 and leads to formation of supernumerary and ectopic otic vesicles. These data support the hypothesis that fgf3 and fgf8 cooperate during the latter half of gastrulation to induce differentiation of otic placodes. Copyright 2001 Academic Press.

  4. Functional Characterization of G12, a Gene Required for Mitotic Progression during Gastrulation in Zebrafish

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Reinsch, Sigrid; Conway, Gregory; Dalton, Bonnie P. (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    In a differential RNA display screen we have isolated a zebrafish gene, G12, for which homologs can only be found in DNA databases for vertebrates, but not invertebrates. This suggests that this is a gene required specifically in vertebrates. G12 expression is upregulated at mid-blastula transition (MBT). Morpholino inactivation of this gene by injection into 1-cell embryos results in mitotic defects and apoptosis shortly after MBT. Nuclei in morpholino treated embryos also display segregation defects. We have characterized the localization of this gene as a GFP fusion in live and fixed embryos. Overexpression of G12-GFP is non-toxic. Animals retain GFP expression for at least 7 days with no developmental defects, Interestingly in these animals G12-GFP is never detectable in blood cells though blood is present. In the deep cells of early embryos, G 12GFP is localized to nuclei and cytoskeletal elements in interphase and to the centrosome and spindle apparatus during mitosis. In the EVL, G12-GFP shows additional localization to the cell periphery, especially in mitosis. In the yolk syncytium, G12-GFP again localizes to nuclei and strongly to cytoplasmic microtubules of migrating nuclei at the YSL margin. Morpholinc, injection specifically into the YSL after cellularization blocks epiboly and nuclei of the YSL show mitotic defects while deep cells show no mitotic defects and continue to divide. Rescue experiments in which morpholino and G12-GFP RNA are co-injected indicate partial rescue by the G12-GFP. The rescue is cell autonomous; that is, regions of the embryo with higher G12-GFP expression show fewer mitotic defects. Spot 14, the human bomolog of G12, has been shown to be amplified in aggressive breast tumors. This finding, along with our functional and morphological data suggest that G12 and spot 14 are vertebrate-specific and may function either as mitotic checkpoints or as structural components of the spindle apparatus.

  5. Pharmacological Analysis of Ionotropic Glutamate Receptor Function in Neuronal Circuits of the Zebrafish Olfactory Bulb

    PubMed Central

    Tabor, Rico; Friedrich, Rainer W.

    2008-01-01

    Although synaptic functions of ionotropic glutamate receptors in the olfactory bulb have been studied in vitro, their roles in pattern processing in the intact system remain controversial. We therefore examined the functions of ionotropic glutamate receptors during odor processing in the intact olfactory bulb of zebrafish using pharmacological manipulations. Odor responses of mitral cells and interneurons were recorded by electrophysiology and 2-photon Ca2+ imaging. The combined blockade of AMPA/kainate and NMDA receptors abolished odor-evoked excitation of mitral cells. The blockade of AMPA/kainate receptors alone, in contrast, increased the mean response of mitral cells and decreased the mean response of interneurons. The blockade of NMDA receptors caused little or no change in the mean responses of mitral cells and interneurons. However, antagonists of both receptor types had diverse effects on the magnitude and time course of individual mitral cell and interneuron responses and, thus, changed spatio-temporal activity patterns across neuronal populations. Oscillatory synchronization was abolished or reduced by AMPA/kainate and NMDA receptor antagonists, respectively. These results indicate that (1) interneuron responses depend mainly on AMPA/kainate receptor input during an odor response, (2) interactions among mitral cells and interneurons regulate the total olfactory bulb output activity, (3) AMPA/kainate receptors participate in the synchronization of odor-dependent neuronal ensembles, and (4) ionotropic glutamate receptor-containing synaptic circuits shape odor-specific patterns of olfactory bulb output activity. These mechanisms are likely to be important for the processing of odor-encoding activity patterns in the olfactory bulb. PMID:18183297

  6. Optogenetics in a transparent animal: circuit function in the larval zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Portugues, Ruben; Severi, Kristen E; Wyart, Claire; Ahrens, Misha B

    2013-02-01

    Optogenetic tools can be used to manipulate neuronal activity in a reversible and specific manner. In recent years, such methods have been applied to uncover causal relationships between activity in specified neuronal circuits and behavior in the larval zebrafish. In this small, transparent, genetic model organism, noninvasive manipulation and monitoring of neuronal activity with light is possible throughout the nervous system. Here we review recent work in which these new tools have been applied to zebrafish, and discuss some of the existing challenges of these approaches. Copyright © 2012. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  7. Functional analysis of the zebrafish ortholog of HMGCS1 reveals independent functions for cholesterol and isoprenoids in craniofacial development

    PubMed Central

    Hernandez, Jose A.; Gonzalez, Cesar G.

    2017-01-01

    There are 8 different human syndromes caused by mutations in the cholesterol synthesis pathway. A subset of these disorders such as Smith-Lemli-Opitz disorder, are associated with facial dysmorphia. However, the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying such facial deficits are not fully understood, primarily because of the diverse functions associated with the cholesterol synthesis pathway. Recent evidence has demonstrated that mutation of the zebrafish ortholog of HMGCR results in orofacial clefts. Here we sought to expand upon these data, by deciphering the cholesterol dependent functions of the cholesterol synthesis pathway from the cholesterol independent functions. Moreover, we utilized loss of function analysis and pharmacological inhibition to determine the extent of sonic hedgehog (Shh) signaling in animals with aberrant cholesterol and/or isoprenoid synthesis. Our analysis confirmed that mutation of hmgcs1, which encodes the first enzyme in the cholesterol synthesis pathway, results in craniofacial abnormalities via defects in cranial neural crest cell differentiation. Furthermore targeted pharmacological inhibition of the cholesterol synthesis pathway revealed a novel function for isoprenoid synthesis during vertebrate craniofacial development. Mutation of hmgcs1 had no effect on Shh signaling at 2 and 3 days post fertilization (dpf), but did result in a decrease in the expression of gli1, a known Shh target gene, at 4 dpf, after morphological deficits in craniofacial development and chondrocyte differentiation were observed in hmgcs1 mutants. These data raise the possibility that deficiencies in cholesterol modulate chondrocyte differentiation by a combination of Shh independent and Shh dependent mechanisms. Moreover, our results describe a novel function for isoprenoids in facial development and collectively suggest that cholesterol regulates craniofacial development through versatile mechanisms. PMID:28686747

  8. Noonan syndrome gain-of-function mutations in NRAS cause zebrafish gastrulation defects

    PubMed Central

    Runtuwene, Vincent; van Eekelen, Mark; Overvoorde, John; Rehmann, Holger; Yntema, Helger G.; Nillesen, Willy M.; van Haeringen, Arie; van der Burgt, Ineke; Burgering, Boudewijn; den Hertog, Jeroen

    2011-01-01

    SUMMARY Noonan syndrome is a relatively common developmental disorder that is characterized by reduced growth, wide-set eyes and congenital heart defects. Noonan syndrome is associated with dysregulation of the Ras–mitogen-activated-protein-kinase (MAPK) signaling pathway. Recently, two mutations in NRAS were reported to be associated with Noonan syndrome, T50I and G60E. Here, we report a mutation in NRAS, resulting in an I24N amino acid substitution, that we identified in an individual bearing typical Noonan syndrome features. The I24N mutation activates N-Ras, resulting in enhanced downstream signaling. Expression of N-Ras-I24N, N-Ras-G60E or the strongly activating mutant N-Ras-G12V, which we included as a positive control, results in developmental defects in zebrafish embryos, demonstrating that these activating N-Ras mutants are sufficient to induce developmental disorders. The defects in zebrafish embryos are reminiscent of symptoms in individuals with Noonan syndrome and phenocopy the defects that other Noonan-syndrome-associated genes induce in zebrafish embryos. MEK inhibition completely rescued the activated N-Ras-induced phenotypes, demonstrating that these defects are mediated exclusively by Ras-MAPK signaling. In conclusion, mutations in NRAS from individuals with Noonan syndrome activated N-Ras signaling and induced developmental defects in zebrafish embryos, indicating that activating mutations in NRAS cause Noonan syndrome. PMID:21263000

  9. Functional Assays and Alternative Species: Using Larval Zebrafish in Developmental Neurotoxicity Screening

    EPA Science Inventory

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is developing and evaluating methods to screen and prioritize large numbers of chemicals for developmental toxicity. Towards this goal, we are exploring methods to detect developmental neurotoxicants in very young larval zebrafish. We have...

  10. Chronic vitamin E deficiency impairs cognitive function in adult zebrafish via dysregulation of brain lipids and energy metabolism.

    PubMed

    McDougall, Melissa; Choi, Jaewoo; Magnusson, Kathy; Truong, Lisa; Tanguay, Robert; Traber, Maret G

    2017-11-01

    Zebrafish (Danio rerio) are a recognized model for studying the pathogenesis of cognitive deficits and the mechanisms underlying behavioral impairments, including the consequences of increased oxidative stress within the brain. The lipophilic antioxidant vitamin E (α-tocopherol; VitE) has an established role in neurological health and cognitive function, but the biological rationale for this action remains unknown. In the present study, we investigated behavioral perturbations due to chronic VitE deficiency in adult zebrafish fed from 45 days to 18-months of age diets that were either VitE-deficient (E-) or VitE-sufficient (E+). We hypothesized that E- zebrafish would display cognitive impairments associated with elevated lipid peroxidation and metabolic disruptions in the brain. Quantified VitE levels at 18-months in E- brains (5.7 ± 0.1 nmol/g tissue) were ~20-times lower than in E+ (122.8 ± 1.1; n = 10/group). Using assays of both associative (avoidance conditioning) and non-associative (habituation) learning, we found E- vs E+ fish were learning impaired. These functional deficits occurred concomitantly with the following observations in adult E- brains: decreased concentrations of and increased peroxidation of polyunsaturated fatty acids (especially docosahexaenoic acid, DHA), altered brain phospholipid and lysophospholipid composition, as well as perturbed energy (glucose/ketone), phosphatidylcholine and choline/methyl-donor metabolism. Collectively, these data suggest that chronic VitE deficiency leads to neurological dysfunction through multiple mechanisms that become dysregulated secondary to VitE deficiency. Apparently, the E- animals alter their metabolism to compensate for the VitE deficiency, but these compensatory mechanisms are insufficient to maintain cognitive function. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. Sept7b is essential for pronephric function and development of left-right asymmetry in zebrafish embryogenesis.

    PubMed

    Dash, Surjya Narayan; Lehtonen, Eero; Wasik, Anita A; Schepis, Antonino; Paavola, Jere; Panula, Pertti; Nelson, W James; Lehtonen, Sanna

    2014-04-01

    The conserved septin family of filamentous small GTPases plays important roles in mitosis, cell migration and cell morphogenesis by forming scaffolds and diffusion barriers. Recent studies in cultured cells in vitro indicate that a septin complex of septin 2, 7 and 9 is required for ciliogenesis and cilia function, but septin function in ciliogenesis in vertebrate organs in vivo is not understood. We show that sept7b is expressed in ciliated cells in different tissues during early zebrafish development. Knockdown of sept7b by using morpholino antisense oligonucleotides caused misorientation of basal bodies and cilia, reduction of apical actin and the shortening of motile cilia in Kupffer's vesicle and pronephric tubules. This resulted in pericardial and yolk sac edema, body axis curvature and hydrocephaly. Notably, in sept7b morphants we detected strong left-right asymmetry defects in the heart and lateral plate mesoderm (situs inversus), reduced fluid flow in the kidney, the formation of kidney cysts and loss of glomerular filtration barrier function. Thus, sept7b is essential during zebrafish development for pronephric function and ciliogenesis, and loss of expression of sept7b results in defects that resemble human ciliopathies.

  12. Rapid functional analysis of computationally complex rare human IRF6 gene variants using a novel zebrafish model.

    PubMed

    Li, Edward B; Truong, Dawn; Hallett, Shawn A; Mukherjee, Kusumika; Schutte, Brian C; Liao, Eric C

    2017-09-01

    Large-scale sequencing efforts have captured a rapidly growing catalogue of genetic variations. However, the accurate establishment of gene variant pathogenicity remains a central challenge in translating personal genomics information to clinical decisions. Interferon Regulatory Factor 6 (IRF6) gene variants are significant genetic contributors to orofacial clefts. Although approximately three hundred IRF6 gene variants have been documented, their effects on protein functions remain difficult to interpret. Here, we demonstrate the protein functions of human IRF6 missense gene variants could be rapidly assessed in detail by their abilities to rescue the irf6 -/- phenotype in zebrafish through variant mRNA microinjections at the one-cell stage. The results revealed many missense variants previously predicted by traditional statistical and computational tools to be loss-of-function and pathogenic retained partial or full protein function and rescued the zebrafish irf6 -/- periderm rupture phenotype. Through mRNA dosage titration and analysis of the Exome Aggregation Consortium (ExAC) database, IRF6 missense variants were grouped by their abilities to rescue at various dosages into three functional categories: wild type function, reduced function, and complete loss-of-function. This sensitive and specific biological assay was able to address the nuanced functional significances of IRF6 missense gene variants and overcome many limitations faced by current statistical and computational tools in assigning variant protein function and pathogenicity. Furthermore, it unlocked the possibility for characterizing yet undiscovered human IRF6 missense gene variants from orofacial cleft patients, and illustrated a generalizable functional genomics paradigm in personalized medicine.

  13. Exercise-Induced Hypertrophic and Oxidative Signaling Pathways and Myokine Expression in Fast Muscle of Adult Zebrafish

    PubMed Central

    Rovira, Mireia; Arrey, Gerard; Planas, Josep V.

    2017-01-01

    Skeletal muscle is a plastic tissue that undergoes cellular and metabolic adaptations under conditions of increased contractile activity such as exercise. Using adult zebrafish as an exercise model, we previously demonstrated that swimming training stimulates hypertrophy and vascularization of fast muscle fibers, consistent with the known muscle growth-promoting effects of exercise and with the resulting increased aerobic capacity of this tissue. Here we investigated the potential involvement of factors and signaling mechanisms that could be responsible for exercise-induced fast muscle remodeling in adult zebrafish. By subjecting zebrafish to swimming-induced exercise, we observed an increase in the activity of mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) and Mef2 protein levels in fast muscle. We also observed an increase in the protein levels of the mitotic marker phosphorylated histone H3 that correlated with an increase in the protein expression levels of Pax7, a satellite-like cell marker. Furthermore, the activity of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) was also increased by exercise, in parallel with an increase in the mRNA expression levels of pgc1α and also of pparda, a β-oxidation marker. Changes in the mRNA expression levels of slow and fast myosin markers further supported the notion of an exercise-induced aerobic phenotype in zebrafish fast muscle. The mRNA expression levels of il6, il6r, apln, aplnra and aplnrb, sparc, decorin and igf1, myokines known in mammals to be produced in response to exercise and to signal through mTOR/AMPK pathways, among others, were increased in fast muscle of exercised zebrafish. These results support the notion that exercise increases skeletal muscle growth and myogenesis in adult zebrafish through the coordinated activation of the mTOR-MEF2 and AMPK-PGC1α signaling pathways. These results, coupled with altered expression of markers for oxidative metabolism and fast-to-slow fiber-type switch, also suggest improved aerobic

  14. Cynodon dactylon and Sida acuta extracts impact on the function of the cardiovascular system in zebrafish embryos.

    PubMed

    Kannan, Rajaretinam Rajesh; Vincent, Samuel Gnana Prakash

    2012-03-01

    The aim of the present study was to screen cardioactive herbs from Western Ghats of India. The heart beat rate (HBR) and blood flow during systole and diastole were tested in zebrafish embryos. We found that Cynodon dactylon (C. dactylon) induced increases in the HBR in zebrafish embryos with a HBR of (3.968±0.344) beats/s, which was significantly higher than that caused by betamethosone [(3.770±0.344) beats/s]. The EC50 value of C. dactylon was 3.738 µg/mL. The methanolic extract of Sida acuta (S. acuta) led to decreases in the HBR in zebrafish embryos [(1.877±0.079) beats/s], which was greater than that caused by nebivolol (positive control). The EC50 value of Sida acuta was 1.195 µg/mL. The untreated embryos had a HBR of (2.685±0.160) beats/s at 3 d post fertilization (dpf). The velocities of blood flow during the cardiac cycle were (2,291.667±72.169) µm/s for the control, (4,250±125.000) µm/s for C. dactylon and (1,083.333±72.169) µm/s for S. acuta. The LC50 values were 32.6 µg/mL for C. dactylon and 20.9 µg/mL for S. acuta. In addition, the extracts exhibited no chemical genetic effects in the drug dosage range tested. In conclusion, we developed an assay that can measure changes in cardiac function in response to herbal small molecules and determine the cardiogenic effects by microvideography.

  15. Episodic swimming in the larval zebrafish is generated by a spatially distributed spinal network with modular functional organization

    PubMed Central

    Wiggin, Timothy D.; Anderson, Tatiana M.; Eian, John; Peck, Jack H.

    2012-01-01

    Despite the diverse methods vertebrates use for locomotion, there is evidence that components of the locomotor central pattern generator (CPG) are conserved across species. When zebrafish begin swimming early in development, they perform short episodes of activity separated by periods of inactivity. Within these episodes, the trunk flexes with side-to-side alternation and the traveling body wave progresses rostrocaudally. To characterize the distribution of the swimming CPG along the rostrocaudal axis, we performed transections of the larval zebrafish spinal cord and induced fictive swimming using N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA). In both intact and spinalized larvae, bursting is found throughout the rostrocaudal extent of the spinal cord, and the properties of fictive swimming observed were dependent on the concentration of NMDA. We isolated series of contiguous spinal segments by performing multiple spinal transections on the same larvae. Although series from all regions of the spinal cord have the capacity to produce bursts, the capacity to produce organized episodes of fictive swimming has a rostral bias: in the rostral spinal cord, only 12 contiguous body segments are necessary, whereas 23 contiguous body segments are necessary in the caudal spinal cord. Shorter series of segments were often active but produced either continuous rhythmic bursting or sporadic, nonrhythmic bursting. Both episodic and continuous bursting alternated between the left and right sides of the body and showed rostrocaudal progression, demonstrating the functional dissociation of the circuits responsible for episodic structure and fine burst timing. These findings parallel results in mammalian locomotion, and we propose a hierarchical model of the larval zebrafish swimming CPG. PMID:22572943

  16. A non-canonical function of telomerase RNA in the regulation of developmental myelopoiesis in zebrafish

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alcaraz-Pérez, Francisca; García-Castillo, Jesús; García-Moreno, Diana; López-Muñoz, Azucena; Anchelin, Monique; Angosto, Diego; Zon, Leonard I.; Mulero, Victoriano; Cayuela, María L.

    2014-02-01

    Dyskeratosis congenita (DC) is an inherited disorder with mutations affecting telomerase or telomeric proteins. DC patients usually die of bone marrow failure. Here we show that genetic depletion of the telomerase RNA component (TR) in the zebrafish results in impaired myelopoiesis, despite normal development of haematopoietic stem cells (HSCs). The neutropenia caused by TR depletion is independent of telomere length and telomerase activity. Genetic analysis shows that TR modulates the myeloid-erythroid fate decision by controlling the levels of the master myeloid and erythroid transcription factors spi1 and gata1, respectively. The alteration in spi1 and gata1 levels occurs through stimulation of gcsf and mcsf. Our model of TR deficiency in the zebrafish illuminates the non-canonical roles of TR, and could establish therapeutic targets for DC.

  17. Rac2 Functions in Both Neutrophils and Macrophages To Mediate Motility and Host Defense in Larval Zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Rosowski, Emily E; Deng, Qing; Keller, Nancy P; Huttenlocher, Anna

    2016-12-15

    Leukocyte motility is required for host defense responses. Rac-family Rho GTPases are implicated in leukocyte function; however, the distinct roles of different Rac isoforms in host defense in vivo have remained unclear. In this study, we generated Rac2-deficient zebrafish using transcription activator-like effector nucleases to directly compare the role of Rac2 in vivo in neutrophils and macrophages in motility and the response to infection. This zebrafish larval model is highly amenable to live imaging of leukocyte behavior, and we report that in rac2 -/- larvae both neutrophils and macrophages are defective in basic motility, leading to impaired responses to localized wounds or infections. rac2 -/- larvae are highly susceptible to infection with Pseudomonas aeruginosa, which can be almost fully rescued by ectopic expression of either Rac2 or Rac1 specifically in neutrophils, indicating that these isoforms have partially overlapping functions in vivo. Rescue of Rac2 expression specifically in macrophages also confers resistance to Pseudomonas infection, highlighting an important role for Rac2 in this leukocyte population as well. Surprisingly, in contrast to neutrophils expressing a Rac2 dominant inhibitory human disease mutation, rac2 -/- neutrophils do not have altered polarity or mobilization from hematopoietic tissue, suggesting that a different Rac isoform, such as Rac1, also contributes to these phenotypes in vivo. Copyright © 2016 by The American Association of Immunologists, Inc.

  18. Cannabinoid modulation of zebrafish fear learning and its functional analysis investigated by c-Fos expression.

    PubMed

    Ruhl, Tim; Zeymer, Malou; von der Emde, Gerhard

    2017-02-01

    It has been shown that zebrafish fear learning proceeds in the same way as reported for rodents. However, in zebrafish fear learning it is possible to substitute the use of electric shocks as unconditioned stimulus and utilize the inborn fear responses to the alarm substance Schreckstoff, instead. The skin extract Schreckstoff elicits typical fear reactions such as preferred bottom dwelling, swimming in a tighter shoal, erratic movements and freezing. This natural fear behavior can be transferred from Schreckstoff to any other sensory stimulus by associative conditioning (fear learning). We presented Schreckstoff simultaneously with a red light stimulus and tested the effectiveness of fear learning during memory retrieval. The two brain regions known to be relevant for learning in zebrafish are the medial and the lateral pallium of the dorsal telencephalon, both containing rich expressions of the endocannabinoid receptor CB1. To test the influence of the zebrafish endocannabinoid system on fear acquisition learning, an experimental group of ten fish was pretreated with the CB1 receptor agonist THC (Δ 9 -tetrahydrocannabinol; 100nM for 1h). We found that CB1 activation significantly inhibited acquisition of fear learning, possibly by impairing stimulus encoding processes in pallial areas. This was supported by analyzes of c-Fos expression in the brains of experimental animals. Schreckstoff exposure during fear acquisition learning and memory retrieval during red light presentation increased the number of labelled cells in pallial structures, but in no other brain region investigated (e.g. striatum, thalamus, and habenula). THC administration before fear conditioning significantly decreased c-Fos expression in these structures to a level similar to the control group without Schreckstoff experience, suggesting that Schreckstoff induced fear learning requires brain circuits restricted mainly to pallial regions of the dorsal telencephalon. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier

  19. Functional conservation of a forebrain enhancer from the elephant shark (Callorhinchus milii ) in zebrafish and mice.

    PubMed

    MacDonald, Ryan B; Debiais-Thibaud, Mélanie; Martin, Kyle; Poitras, Luc; Tay, Boon-Hui; Venkatesh, Byrappa; Ekker, Marc

    2010-05-26

    The phylogenetic position of the elephant shark (Callorhinchus milii ) is particularly relevant to study the evolution of genes and gene regulation in vertebrates. Here we examine the evolution of Dlx homeobox gene regulation during vertebrate embryonic development with a particular focus on the forebrain. We first identified the elephant shark sequence orthologous to the URE2 cis -regulatory element of the mouse Dlx1/Dlx2 locus (herein named CmURE2). We then conducted a comparative study of the sequence and enhancer activity of CmURE2 with that of orthologous regulatory sequences from zebrafish and mouse. The CmURE2 sequence shows a high percentage of identity with its mouse and zebrafish counterparts but is overall more similar to mouse URE2 (MmURE2) than to zebrafish URE2 (DrURE2). In transgenic zebrafish and mouse embryos, CmURE2 displayed enhancer activity in the forebrain that overlapped with that of DrURE2 and MmURE2. However, we detected notable differences in the activity of the three sequences in the diencephalon. Outside of the forebrain, CmURE2 shows enhancer activity in areas such as the pharyngeal arches and dorsal root ganglia where its' counterparts are also active. Our transgenic assays show that part of the URE2 enhancer activity is conserved throughout jawed vertebrates but also that new characteristics have evolved in the different groups. Our study demonstrates that the elephant shark is a useful outgroup to study the evolution of regulatory mechanisms in vertebrates and to address how changes in the sequence of cis -regulatory elements translate into changes in their regulatory activity.

  20. FAF1, a Gene that Is Disrupted in Cleft Palate and Has Conserved Function in Zebrafish

    PubMed Central

    Ghassibe-Sabbagh, Michella; Desmyter, Laurence; Langenberg, Tobias; Claes, Filip; Boute, Odile; Bayet, Bénédicte; Pellerin, Philippe; Hermans, Karlien; Backx, Liesbeth; Mansilla, Maria Adela; Imoehl, Sandra; Nowak, Stefanie; Ludwig, Kerstin U.; Baluardo, Carlotta; Ferrian, Melissa; Mossey, Peter A.; Noethen, Markus; Dewerchin, Mieke; François, Geneviève; Revencu, Nicole; Vanwijck, Romain; Hecht, Jacqueline; Mangold, Elisabeth; Murray, Jeffrey; Rubini, Michele; Vermeesch, Joris R.; Poirel, Hélène A.; Carmeliet, Peter; Vikkula, Miikka

    2011-01-01

    Cranial neural crest (CNC) is a multipotent migratory cell population that gives rise to most of the craniofacial bones. An intricate network mediates CNC formation, epithelial-mesenchymal transition, migration along distinct paths, and differentiation. Errors in these processes lead to craniofacial abnormalities, including cleft lip and palate. Clefts are the most common congenital craniofacial defects. Patients have complications with feeding, speech, hearing, and dental and psychological development. Affected by both genetic predisposition and environmental factors, the complex etiology of clefts remains largely unknown. Here we show that Fas-associated factor-1 (FAF1) is disrupted and that its expression is decreased in a Pierre Robin family with an inherited translocation. Furthermore, the locus is strongly associated with cleft palate and shows an increased relative risk. Expression studies show that faf1 is highly expressed in zebrafish cartilages during embryogenesis. Knockdown of zebrafish faf1 leads to pharyngeal cartilage defects and jaw abnormality as a result of a failure of CNC to differentiate into and express cartilage-specific markers, such as sox9a and col2a1. Administration of faf1 mRNA rescues this phenotype. Our findings therefore identify FAF1 as a regulator of CNC differentiation and show that it predisposes humans to cleft palate and is necessary for lower jaw development in zebrafish. PMID:21295280

  1. Intradiencephalon injection of histamine inhibited the recovery of locomotor function of spinal cord injured zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Huang, Shu-Bing; Zhao, Hou-De; Wang, Lin-Fang; Sun, Meng-Fei; Zhu, Ying-Li; Wu, Yi-Bo; Xu, Yi-Da; Peng, Shi-Xiao; Cui, Chun; Shen, Yan-Qin

    2017-07-29

    Human spinal cord injury (SCI) usually causes irreversible disability beneath the injured site due to poor neural regeneration. On the contrary, zebrafish show significant regenerative ability after SCI, thus is usually worked as an animal model for studying neuroregeneration. Most of the previous SCI studies focused on the local site of SCI, the supraspinal-derived signals were rarely mentioned. Here we showed that intradiencephalon injection of histamine (HA) inhibited the locomotor recovery in adult zebrafish post-SCI. Immunofluorescence results showed that intradiencephalon HA administration increased the activated microglia 3 days post injury (dpi), promoted the proliferation of radial glial cells at 7 dpi and affected the morphology of radial glial cells at 11 dpi. Furthermore, quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) results showed that intradiencephalon HA administration also reduced the expression of neurotrophic factors including brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and insulin-like growth factor1 (IGF-1) at the lesion site, however, had no effect on the expression of pro-inflammatory factors such as TNF-alpha and IL-1 beta. Hence, our data suggested that exogenous intradiencephalon HA retarded locomotor recovery in spinal cord injured zebrafish via modulating the repair microenvironment. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. Molecular and functional characterization of the scavenger receptor CD36 in zebrafish and common carp.

    PubMed

    Fink, Inge R; Benard, Erica L; Hermsen, Trudi; Meijer, Annemarie H; Forlenza, Maria; Wiegertjes, Geert F

    2015-02-01

    CD36 is a scavenger receptor which has been studied closely in mammals where it is expressed by many different cell types and plays a role in highly diverse processes, both homeostatic and pathologic. It is among other things important in the innate immune system, in angiogenesis, and in clearance of apoptotic cells, and it is also involved in lipid metabolism and atherosclerosis. Recently, in the cephalochordate amphioxus a primitive CD36 family member was described, which was present before the divergence of CD36 from other scavenger receptor B family members, SCARB1 and SCARB2. Not much is known on the Cd36 molecule in teleost fish. We therefore studied Cd36 in both zebrafish and common carp, two closely related cyprinid fish species. Whereas a single cd36 gene is present in zebrafish, carp has two cd36 genes, and all show conserved synteny compared to mammalian CD36. The gene expression of carp cd36 is high in brain, ovary and testis but absent in immune organs. Although in mammals CD36 expression in erythrocytes, monocytes and macrophages is high, gene expression studies in leukocyte subtypes of adult carp and zebrafish larvae, including thrombocytes and macrophages provided no indication for any substantial expression of cd36 in immune cell types. Surprisingly, analysis of the cd36 promoter region does show the presence of several binding sites for transcription factors known to regulate immune responses. Overexpression of carp cd36 locates the receptor on the cell surface of mammalian cell lines consistent with the predicted topology of cyprinid Cd36 with a large extracellular domain, two transmembrane domains, and short cytoplasmic tails at both ends. Gene expression of cd36 is down-regulated during infection of zebrafish with Mycobacterium marinum, whereas knockdown of cd36 in zebrafish larvae led to higher bacterial burden upon such infection. We discuss the putative role for Cd36 in immune responses of fish in the context of other members of the

  3. Effects of prolonged exposure to perchlorate on thyroid and reproductive function in zebrafish

    Mukhi, S.; Patino, R.

    2007-01-01

    The objectives of this study were to determine the effects of prolonged exposure to perchlorate on (1) thyroid status and reproductive performance of adult zebrafish (Danio rerio) and (2) F1 embryo survival and early larval development. Using a static-renewal procedure, mixed sex populations of adult zebrafish were exposed to 0, 10, and 100 mg/l nominal concentrations of waterborne perchlorate for 10 weeks. Thyroid histology was qualitatively assessed, and females and males were separated and further exposed to their respective treatments for six additional weeks. Eight females in each tank replicate (n = 3) were paired weekly with four males from the same respective treatment, and packed-egg (spawn) volume (PEV) was measured each of the last five weeks. At least once during weeks 14-16 of exposure, other end points measured included fertilization rate, fertilized egg diameter, hatching rate, standard length, and craniofacial development of 4-day-postfertilization larvae and thyroid hormone content of 3.5-h embryos and of exposed mothers. At 10 weeks of exposure, perchlorate at both concentrations caused thyroidal hypertrophy and colloid depletion. A marked reduction in PEV was observed toward the end of the 6-week spawning period, but fertilization and embryo hatching rates were unaffected. Fertilized egg diameter and larval length were increased by parental exposure to perchlorate. Larval head depth was unaffected but the forward protrusion of the lower jaw-associated cartilage complexes, Meckel's and ceratohyal, was decreased. Exposure to both concentrations of perchlorate inhibited whole-body thyroxine content in mothers and embryos, but triiodothyronine content was unchanged. In conclusion, prolonged exposure of adult zebrafish to perchlorate not only disrupts their thyroid endocrine system but also impairs reproduction and influences early F1 development. ?? 2007 Oxford University Press.

  4. Quantification of larval zebrafish motor function in multiwell plates using open-source MATLAB applications.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Yangzhong; Cattley, Richard T; Cario, Clinton L; Bai, Qing; Burton, Edward A

    2014-07-01

    This article describes a method to quantify the movements of larval zebrafish in multiwell plates, using the open-source MATLAB applications LSRtrack and LSRanalyze. The protocol comprises four stages: generation of high-quality, flatly illuminated video recordings with exposure settings that facilitate object recognition; analysis of the resulting recordings using tools provided in LSRtrack to optimize tracking accuracy and motion detection; analysis of tracking data using LSRanalyze or custom MATLAB scripts; and implementation of validation controls. The method is reliable, automated and flexible, requires <1 h of hands-on work for completion once optimized and shows excellent signal:noise characteristics. The resulting data can be analyzed to determine the following: positional preference; displacement, velocity and acceleration; and duration and frequency of movement events and rest periods. This approach is widely applicable to the analysis of spontaneous or stimulus-evoked zebrafish larval neurobehavioral phenotypes resulting from a broad array of genetic and environmental manipulations, in a multiwell plate format suitable for high-throughput applications.

  5. Distinct Functions of Different scl Isoforms in Zebrafish Definitive Hematopoietic Stem Cell Initiation and Maintenance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lan, Yahui

    2011-07-01

    The establishment of entire blood system relies on the multi-potent hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs), thus identifying the molecular mechanism in HSC generation is of importance for not only complementing the fundamental knowledge in stem cell biology, but also providing insights to the regenerative therapies. Recent researches have documented the formation of nascent HSCs through a direct transition from ventral aortic endothelium, named as endothelial hematopoietic transition (EHT) process. However, the precise genetic program engaged in this process remains largely elusive. The transcription factor scl plays pivotal and conserved roles in embryonic and adult hematopoiesis from teleosts to mammals. Our lab have previously identified a new truncated scl isoform, scl-beta, which is indispensible for the specification of HSCs in the ventral wall of dorsal aorta (VDA), the zebrafish equivalent of mammalian fetal hematopoietic organ. Here we observe that, by combining time-lapse confocal imaging of transgenic zebrafish and genetic epistasis analysis, scl-beta is expressed in a subset of ventral aortic endothelial cells and critical for their forthcoming transformation to hemogenic endothelium; in contrast, runx1 is required downstream to govern the successful egress of the hemogenic endothelial cells to become naive HSCs. In addition, the traditional known full-length scl-alpha isoform is firstly evidenced to be required for the maintenance or survival of newly formed HSCs in VDA. Collectively our data has established the genetic hierarchy controlling discrete steps in the consecutive process of HSC formation from endothelial cells and further development in VDA.

  6. Galanin regulates blood glucose level in the zebrafish: a morphological and functional study.

    PubMed

    Podlasz, P; Jakimiuk, A; Chmielewska-Krzesinska, M; Kasica, N; Nowik, N; Kaleczyc, J

    2016-01-01

    The present study has demonstrated the galaninergic innervation of the endocrine pancreas including sources of the galaninergic nerve fibers, and the influence of galanin receptor agonists on blood glucose level in the zebrafish. For the first time, a very abundant galaninergic innervation of the endocrine pancreas during development is shown, from the second day post-fertilization to adulthood. The fibers originated from ganglia consisting of galanin-IR, non-adrenergic (non-sensory) neurons located rostrally to the pancreatic tissue. The ganglia were found on the dorsal side of the initial part of the anterior intestinal segment, close to the intestinal branch of the vagus nerve. The galanin-IR neurons did not show immunoreactivity for applied antibodies against tyrosine hydroxylase, choline acetyltransferase, and vesicular acetylcholine transporter. Intraperitoneal injections of galanin analog NAX 5055 resulted in a statistically significant increase in the blood glucose level. Injections of another galanin receptor agonist, galnon, also caused a rise in blood glucose level; however, it was not statistically significant. The present findings suggest that, like in mammals, in the zebrafish galanin is involved in the regulation of blood glucose level. However, further studies are needed to elucidate the exact mechanism of the galanin action.

  7. A Zebrafish Loss-of-Function Model for Human CFAP53 Mutations Reveals Its Specific Role in Laterality Organ Function.

    PubMed

    Noël, Emily S; Momenah, Tarek S; Al-Dagriri, Khalid; Al-Suwaid, Abdulrahman; Al-Shahrani, Safar; Jiang, Hui; Willekers, Sven; Oostveen, Yara Y; Chocron, Sonja; Postma, Alex V; Bhuiyan, Zahurul A; Bakkers, Jeroen

    2016-02-01

    Establishing correct left-right asymmetry during embryonic development is crucial for proper asymmetric positioning of the organs. Congenital heart defects, such as dextrocardia, transposition of the arteries, and inflow or outflow tract malformations, comprise some of the most common birth defects and may be attributed to incorrect establishment of body laterality. Here, we identify new patients with dextrocardia who have mutations in CFAP53, a coiled-coil domain containing protein. To elucidate the mechanism by which CFAP53 regulates embryonic asymmetry, we used genome editing to generate cfap53 zebrafish mutants. Zebrafish cfap53 mutants have specific defects in organ laterality and randomization of asymmetric gene expression. We show that cfap53 is required for cilia rotation specifically in Kupffer's vesicle, the zebrafish laterality organ, providing a mechanism by which patients with CFAP53 mutations develop dextrocardia and heterotaxy, and confirming previous evidence that left-right asymmetry in humans is regulated through cilia-driven fluid flow in a laterality organ. © 2015 WILEY PERIODICALS, INC.

  8. Functional visualization and disruption of targeted genes using CRISPR/Cas9-mediated eGFP reporter integration in zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Ota, Satoshi; Taimatsu, Kiyohito; Yanagi, Kanoko; Namiki, Tomohiro; Ohga, Rie; Higashijima, Shin-Ichi; Kawahara, Atsuo

    2016-10-11

    The CRISPR/Cas9 complex, which is composed of a guide RNA (gRNA) and the Cas9 nuclease, is useful for carrying out genome modifications in various organisms. Recently, the CRISPR/Cas9-mediated locus-specific integration of a reporter, which contains the Mbait sequence targeted using Mbait-gRNA, the hsp70 promoter and the eGFP gene, has allowed the visualization of the target gene expression. However, it has not been ascertained whether the reporter integrations at both targeted alleles cause loss-of-function phenotypes in zebrafish. In this study, we have inserted the Mbait-hs-eGFP reporter into the pax2a gene because the disruption of pax2a causes the loss of the midbrain-hindbrain boundary (MHB) in zebrafish. In the heterozygous Tg[pax2a-hs:eGFP] embryos, MHB formed normally and the eGFP expression recapitulated the endogenous pax2a expression, including the MHB. We observed the loss of the MHB in homozygous Tg[pax2a-hs:eGFP] embryos. Furthermore, we succeeded in integrating the Mbait-hs-eGFP reporter into an uncharacterized gene epdr1. The eGFP expression in heterozygous Tg[epdr1-hs:eGFP] embryos overlapped the epdr1 expression, whereas the distribution of eGFP-positive cells was disorganized in the MHB of homozygous Tg[epdr1-hs:eGFP] embryos. We propose that the locus-specific integration of the Mbait-hs-eGFP reporter is a powerful method to investigate both gene expression profiles and loss-of-function phenotypes.

  9. Functional visualization and disruption of targeted genes using CRISPR/Cas9-mediated eGFP reporter integration in zebrafish

    PubMed Central

    Ota, Satoshi; Taimatsu, Kiyohito; Yanagi, Kanoko; Namiki, Tomohiro; Ohga, Rie; Higashijima, Shin-ichi; Kawahara, Atsuo

    2016-01-01

    The CRISPR/Cas9 complex, which is composed of a guide RNA (gRNA) and the Cas9 nuclease, is useful for carrying out genome modifications in various organisms. Recently, the CRISPR/Cas9-mediated locus-specific integration of a reporter, which contains the Mbait sequence targeted using Mbait-gRNA, the hsp70 promoter and the eGFP gene, has allowed the visualization of the target gene expression. However, it has not been ascertained whether the reporter integrations at both targeted alleles cause loss-of-function phenotypes in zebrafish. In this study, we have inserted the Mbait-hs-eGFP reporter into the pax2a gene because the disruption of pax2a causes the loss of the midbrain-hindbrain boundary (MHB) in zebrafish. In the heterozygous Tg[pax2a-hs:eGFP] embryos, MHB formed normally and the eGFP expression recapitulated the endogenous pax2a expression, including the MHB. We observed the loss of the MHB in homozygous Tg[pax2a-hs:eGFP] embryos. Furthermore, we succeeded in integrating the Mbait-hs-eGFP reporter into an uncharacterized gene epdr1. The eGFP expression in heterozygous Tg[epdr1-hs:eGFP] embryos overlapped the epdr1 expression, whereas the distribution of eGFP-positive cells was disorganized in the MHB of homozygous Tg[epdr1-hs:eGFP] embryos. We propose that the locus-specific integration of the Mbait-hs-eGFP reporter is a powerful method to investigate both gene expression profiles and loss-of-function phenotypes. PMID:27725766

  10. Thyroid hormone regulates muscle function during cold acclimation in zebrafish (Danio rerio).

    PubMed

    Little, Alexander G; Seebacher, Frank

    2013-09-15

    Thyroid hormone (TH) is a universal regulator of growth, development and metabolism during cold exposure in mammals. In zebrafish (Danio rerio), TH regulates locomotor performance and metabolism during cold acclimation. The influence of TH on locomotor performance may be via its effect on metabolism or, as has been shown in mammals, by modulating muscle phenotypes. Our aim was to determine whether TH influences muscle phenotypes in zebrafish, and whether this could explain changes in swimming capacity in response to thermal acclimation. We used propylthiouracil and iopanoic acid to induce hypothyroidism in zebrafish over a 3-week acclimation period to either 18 or 28°C. To verify that physiological changes following hypothyroid treatment were in fact due to the action of TH, we supplemented hypothyroid fish with 3,5-diiodothryronine (T2) or 3,5,3'-triiodothyronine (T3). Cold-acclimated fish had significantly greater sustained swimming performance (Ucrit) but not burst speed. Greater Ucrit was accompanied by increased tail beat frequency, but there was no change in tail beat amplitude. Hypothyroidism significantly decreased Ucrit and burst performance, as well as tail beat frequency and SERCA activity in cold-acclimated fish. However, myofibrillar ATPase activity increased in cold-acclimated hypothyroid fish. Hypothyroid treatment also decreased mRNA concentrations of myosin heavy chain fast isoforms and SERCA 1 isoform in cold-acclimated fish. SERCA 1 mRNA increased in warm-acclimated hypothyroid fish, and SERCA 3 mRNA decreased in both cold- and warm-acclimated hypothyroid fish. Supplementation with either T2 or T3 restored Ucrit, burst speed, tail beat frequency, SERCA activity and myosin heavy chain and SERCA 1 and 3 mRNA levels of hypothyroid fish back to control levels. We show that in addition to regulating development and metabolism in vertebrates, TH also regulates muscle physiology in ways that affect locomotor performance in fish. We suggest that the

  11. Social interactions elicit rapid shifts in functional connectivity in the social decision-making network of zebrafish

    PubMed Central

    Teles, Magda C.; Almeida, Olinda; Lopes, João S.; Oliveira, Rui F.

    2015-01-01

    According to the social decision-making (SDM) network hypothesis, SDM is encoded in a network of forebrain and midbrain structures in a distributed and dynamic fashion, such that the expression of a given social behaviour is better reflected by the overall profile of activation across the different loci rather than by the activity of a single node. This proposal has the implicit assumption that SDM relies on integration across brain regions, rather than on regional specialization. Here we tested the occurrence of functional localization and of functional connectivity in the SDM network. For this purpose we used zebrafish to map different social behaviour states into patterns of neuronal activity, as indicated by the expression of the immediate early genes c-fos and egr-1, across the SDM network. The results did not support functional localization, as some loci had similar patterns of activity associated with different social behaviour states, and showed socially driven changes in functional connectivity. Thus, this study provides functional support to the SDM network hypothesis and suggests that the neural context in which a given node of the network is operating (i.e. the state of its interconnected areas) is central to its functional relevance. PMID:26423839

  12. Social interactions elicit rapid shifts in functional connectivity in the social decision-making network of zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Teles, Magda C; Almeida, Olinda; Lopes, João S; Oliveira, Rui F

    2015-10-07

    According to the social decision-making (SDM) network hypothesis, SDM is encoded in a network of forebrain and midbrain structures in a distributed and dynamic fashion, such that the expression of a given social behaviour is better reflected by the overall profile of activation across the different loci rather than by the activity of a single node. This proposal has the implicit assumption that SDM relies on integration across brain regions, rather than on regional specialization. Here we tested the occurrence of functional localization and of functional connectivity in the SDM network. For this purpose we used zebrafish to map different social behaviour states into patterns of neuronal activity, as indicated by the expression of the immediate early genes c-fos and egr-1, across the SDM network. The results did not support functional localization, as some loci had similar patterns of activity associated with different social behaviour states, and showed socially driven changes in functional connectivity. Thus, this study provides functional support to the SDM network hypothesis and suggests that the neural context in which a given node of the network is operating (i.e. the state of its interconnected areas) is central to its functional relevance. © 2015 The Author(s).

  13. In vivo loss of function study reveals the short stature homeobox-containing (shox) gene plays indispensable roles in early embryonic growth and bone formation in zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Sawada, Rie; Kamei, Hiroyasu; Hakuno, Fumihiko; Takahashi, Shin-Ichiro; Shimizu, Toshiaki

    2015-02-01

    Congenital loss of the SHOX gene is considered to be a genetic cause of short stature phenotype in Turner syndrome and Leri-Weill dyschondrosteosis patients. Though SHOX expression initiates during early fetal development, little is known about the embryonic roles of SHOX. The evolutionary conservation of the zebrafish shox gene and the convenience of the early developmental stages for analyses make zebrafish a preferred model. Here, we characterized structure, expression, and developmental roles of zebrafish shox through a loss-of-function approach. We found a previously undiscovered Shox protein that has both a homeodomain and an OAR-domain in zebrafish. The shox transcript emerged during the segmentation period and it increased in later stages. The predominant domains of shox expression were mandibular arch, pectoral fin, anterior notochord, rhombencephalon, and mesencephalon, suggesting that Shox is involved in bone and neural development. Translational blockade of Shox mRNA by an antisense morpholino oligo delayed embryonic growth, which was restored by the co-overexpression of morpholino-resistant Shox mRNA. At later stages, impaired Shox expression markedly delayed the calcification process in the anterior vertebral column and craniofacial bones. Our data demonstrate evolutionarily conserved Shox plays roles in early embryonic growth and in later bone formation. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  14. Novel function of vitamin E in regulation of zebrafish (Danio rerio) brain lysophospholipids discovered using lipidomics

    PubMed Central

    Choi, Jaewoo; Leonard, Scott W.; Kasper, Katherine; McDougall, Melissa; Stevens, Jan F.; Tanguay, Robert L.; Traber, Maret G.

    2015-01-01

    We hypothesized that brains from vitamin E-deficient (E−) zebrafish (Danio rerio) would undergo increased lipid peroxidation because they contain highly polyunsaturated fatty acids, thus susceptible lipids could be identified. Brains from zebrafish fed for 9 months defined diets without (E−) or with (E+) added vitamin E (500 mg RRR-α-tocopheryl acetate per kilogram diet) were studied. Using an untargeted approach, 1-hexadecanoyl-2-docosahexaenoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine [DHA-PC 38:6, PC 16:0/22:6]was the lipid that showed the most significant and greatest fold-differences between groups. DHA-PC concentrations were approximately 1/3 lower in E− (4.3 ± 0.6 mg/g) compared with E+ brains (6.5 ± 0.9 mg/g, mean ± SEM, n = 10 per group, P = 0.04). Using lipidomics, 155 lipids in brain extracts were identified. Only four phospholipids (PLs) were different (P < 0.05) between groups; they were lower in E− brains and contained DHA with DHA-PC 38:6 at the highest abundances. Moreover, hydroxy-DHA-PC 38:6 was increased in E− brains (P = 0.0341) supporting the hypothesis of DHA peroxidation. More striking was the depletion in E− brains of nearly 60% of 19 different lysophospholipids (lysoPLs) (combined P = 0.0003), which are critical for membrane PL remodeling. Thus, E− brains contained fewer DHA-PLs, more hydroxy-DHA-PCs, and fewer lysoPLs, suggesting that lipid peroxidation depletes membrane DHA-PC and homeostatic mechanisms to repair the damage resulting in lysoPL depletion. PMID:25855633

  15. A Rapid CRISPR/Cas-based Mutagenesis Assay in Zebrafish for Identification of Genes Involved in Thyroid Morphogenesis and Function.

    PubMed

    Trubiroha, A; Gillotay, P; Giusti, N; Gacquer, D; Libert, F; Lefort, A; Haerlingen, B; De Deken, X; Opitz, R; Costagliola, S

    2018-04-04

    The foregut endoderm gives rise to several organs including liver, pancreas, lung and thyroid with important roles in human physiology. Understanding which genes and signalling pathways regulate their development is crucial for understanding developmental disorders as well as diseases in adulthood. We exploited unique advantages of the zebrafish model to develop a rapid and scalable CRISPR/Cas-based mutagenesis strategy aiming at the identification of genes involved in morphogenesis and function of the thyroid. Core elements of the mutagenesis assay comprise bi-allelic gene invalidation in somatic mutants, a non-invasive monitoring of thyroid development in live transgenic fish, complementary analyses of thyroid function in fixed specimens and quantitative analyses of mutagenesis efficiency by Illumina sequencing of individual fish. We successfully validated our mutagenesis-phenotyping strategy in experiments targeting genes with known functions in early thyroid morphogenesis (pax2a, nkx2.4b) and thyroid functional differentiation (duox, duoxa, tshr). We also demonstrate that duox and duoxa crispants phenocopy thyroid phenotypes previously observed in human patients with bi-allelic DUOX2 and DUOXA2 mutations. The proposed combination of efficient mutagenesis protocols, rapid non-invasive phenotyping and sensitive genotyping holds great potential to systematically characterize the function of larger candidate gene panels during thyroid development and is applicable to other organs and tissues.

  16. Zebrafish Melanoma.

    PubMed

    Kaufman, Charles K

    2016-01-01

    Melanoma skin cancer is a potentially deadly disease in humans and has remained extremely difficult to treat once it has metastasized. In just the last 10 years, a number of models of melanoma have been developed in the zebrafish that are biologically faithful to the human disease and have already yielded important insights into the fundamental biology of melanoma and offered new potential avenues for treatment. With the diversity and breadth of the molecular genetic tools available in the zebrafish, these melanoma models will continue to be refined and expanded upon to keep pace with the rapidly evolving field of melanoma biology.

  17. Combining Zebrafish and Mouse Models to Test the Function of Deubiquitinating Enzyme (Dubs) Genes in Development: Role of USP45 in the Retina.

    PubMed

    Toulis, Vasileios; Garanto, Alejandro; Marfany, Gemma

    2016-01-01

    Ubiquitination is a dynamic and reversible posttranslational modification. Much effort has been devoted to characterize the function of ubiquitin pathway genes in the cell context, but much less is known on their functional role in the development and maintenance of organs and tissues in the organism. In fact, several ubiquitin ligases and deubiquitinating enzymes (DUBs) are implicated in human pathological disorders, from cancer to neurodegeneration. The aim of our work is to explore the relevance of DUBs in retinal function in health and disease, particularly since some genes related to the ubiquitin or SUMO pathways cause retinal dystrophies, a group of rare diseases that affect 1:3000 individuals worldwide. We propose zebrafish as an extremely useful and informative genetic model to characterize the function of any particular gene in the retina, and thus complement the expression data from mouse. A preliminary characterization of gene expression in mouse retinas (RT-PCR and in situ hybridization) was performed to select particularly interesting genes, and we later replicated the experiments in zebrafish. As a proof of concept, we selected ups45 to be knocked down by morpholino injection in zebrafish embryos. Morphant phenotypic analysis showed moderate to severe eye morphological defects, with a defective formation of the retinal structures, therefore supporting the relevance of DUBs in the formation and differentiation of the vertebrate retina, and suggesting that genes encoding ubiquitin pathway enzymes are good candidates for causing hereditary retinal dystrophies.

  18. Gne depletion during zebrafish development impairs skeletal muscle structure and function.

    PubMed

    Daya, Alon; Vatine, Gad David; Becker-Cohen, Michal; Tal-Goldberg, Tzukit; Friedmann, Adam; Gothilf, Yoav; Du, Shao Jun; Mitrani-Rosenbaum, Stella

    2014-07-01

    GNE Myopathy is a rare recessively inherited neuromuscular disorder caused by mutations in the GNE gene, which codes for the key enzyme in the metabolic pathway of sialic acid synthesis. The process by which GNE mutations lead to myopathy is not well understood. By in situ hybridization and gne promoter-driven fluorescent transgenic fish generation, we have characterized the spatiotemporal expression pattern of the zebrafish gne gene and have shown that it is highly conserved compared with the human ortholog. We also show the deposition of maternal gne mRNA and maternal GNE protein at the earliest embryonic stage, emphasizing the critical role of gne in embryonic development. Injection of morpholino (MO)-modified antisense oligonucleotides specifically designed to knockdown gne, into one-cell embryos lead to a variety of phenotypic severity. Characterization of the gne knockdown morphants showed a significantly reduced locomotor activity as well as distorted muscle integrity, including a reduction in the number of muscle myofibers, even in mild or intermediate phenotype morphants. These findings were further confirmed by electron microscopy studies, where large gaps between sarcolemmas were visualized, although normal sarcomeric structures were maintained. These results demonstrate a critical novel role for gne in embryonic development and particularly in myofiber development, muscle integrity and activity. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  19. Mixtures, Metabolites, and Mechanisms: Understanding Toxicology Using Zebrafish

    PubMed Central

    Gamse, Joshua T.

    2016-01-01

    Abstract For more than 60 years, zebrafish have been used in toxicological studies. Due to their transparency, genetic tractability, and compatibility with high-throughput screens, zebrafish embryos are uniquely suited to study the effects of pharmaceuticals and environmental insults on embryonic development, organ formation and function, and reproductive success. This special issue of Zebrafish highlights the ways zebrafish are used to investigate the toxic effects of endocrine disruptors, pesticides, and heavy metals. PMID:27618129

  20. Mixtures, Metabolites, and Mechanisms: Understanding Toxicology Using Zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Gamse, Joshua T; Gorelick, Daniel A

    2016-10-01

    For more than 60 years, zebrafish have been used in toxicological studies. Due to their transparency, genetic tractability, and compatibility with high-throughput screens, zebrafish embryos are uniquely suited to study the effects of pharmaceuticals and environmental insults on embryonic development, organ formation and function, and reproductive success. This special issue of Zebrafish highlights the ways zebrafish are used to investigate the toxic effects of endocrine disruptors, pesticides, and heavy metals.

  1. Multiple functions of GABA A and GABA B receptors during pattern processing in the zebrafish olfactory bulb.

    PubMed

    Tabor, Rico; Yaksi, Emre; Friedrich, Rainer W

    2008-07-01

    gamma-Aminobutyric acid (GABA)ergic synapses are thought to play pivotal roles in the processing of activity patterns in the olfactory bulb (OB), but their functions have been difficult to study during odor responses in the intact system. We pharmacologically manipulated GABA(A) and GABA(B) receptors in the OB of zebrafish and analysed the effects on odor responses of the output neurons, the mitral cells (MCs), by electrophysiological recordings and temporally deconvolved two-photon Ca2+ imaging. The blockade of GABA(B) receptors enhanced presynaptic Ca2+ influx into afferent axon terminals, and changed the amplitude and time course of a subset of MC responses, indicating that GABA(B) receptors have a modulatory influence on OB output activity. The blockade of GABA(A) receptors induced epileptiform firing, enhanced excitatory responses and abolished fast oscillations in the local field potential. Moreover, the topological reorganization and decorrelation of MC activity patterns during the initial phase of the response was perturbed. These results indicate that GABA(A) receptor-containing circuits participate in the balance of excitation and inhibition, the regulation of total OB output activity, the synchronization of odor-dependent neuronal ensembles, and the reorganization of odor-encoding activity patterns. GABA(A) and GABA(B) receptors are therefore differentially involved in multiple functions of neuronal circuits in the OB.

  2. Distinct functional and temporal requirements for zebrafish Hdac1 during neural crest-derived craniofacial and peripheral neuron development.

    PubMed

    Ignatius, Myron S; Unal Eroglu, Arife; Malireddy, Smitha; Gallagher, Glen; Nambiar, Roopa M; Henion, Paul D

    2013-01-01

    The regulation of gene expression is accomplished by both genetic and epigenetic means and is required for the precise control of the development of the neural crest. In hdac1(b382) mutants, craniofacial cartilage development is defective in two distinct ways. First, fewer hoxb3a, dlx2 and dlx3-expressing posterior branchial arch precursors are specified and many of those that are consequently undergo apoptosis. Second, in contrast, normal numbers of progenitors are present in the anterior mandibular and hyoid arches, but chondrocyte precursors fail to terminally differentiate. In the peripheral nervous system, there is a disruption of enteric, DRG and sympathetic neuron differentiation in hdac1(b382) mutants compared to wildtype embryos. Specifically, enteric and DRG-precursors differentiate into neurons in the anterior gut and trunk respectively, while enteric and DRG neurons are rarely present in the posterior gut and tail. Sympathetic neuron precursors are specified in hdac1(b382) mutants and they undergo generic neuronal differentiation but fail to undergo noradrenergic differentiation. Using the HDAC inhibitor TSA, we isolated enzyme activity and temporal requirements for HDAC function that reproduce hdac1(b382) defects in craniofacial and sympathetic neuron development. Our study reveals distinct functional and temporal requirements for zebrafish hdac1 during neural crest-derived craniofacial and peripheral neuron development.

  3. Functional Assessment of Disease-Associated Regulatory Variants In Vivo Using a Versatile Dual Colour Transgenesis Strategy in Zebrafish

    PubMed Central

    Bhatia, Shipra; Gordon, Christopher T.; Foster, Robert G.; Melin, Lucie; Abadie, Véronique; Baujat, Geneviève; Vazquez, Marie-Paule; Amiel, Jeanne; Lyonnet, Stanislas; van Heyningen, Veronica; Kleinjan, Dirk A.

    2015-01-01

    Disruption of gene regulation by sequence variation in non-coding regions of the genome is now recognised as a significant cause of human disease and disease susceptibility. Sequence variants in cis-regulatory elements (CREs), the primary determinants of spatio-temporal gene regulation, can alter transcription factor binding sites. While technological advances have led to easy identification of disease-associated CRE variants, robust methods for discerning functional CRE variants from background variation are lacking. Here we describe an efficient dual-colour reporter transgenesis approach in zebrafish, simultaneously allowing detailed in vivo comparison of spatio-temporal differences in regulatory activity between putative CRE variants and assessment of altered transcription factor binding potential of the variant. We validate the method on known disease-associated elements regulating SHH, PAX6 and IRF6 and subsequently characterise novel, ultra-long-range SOX9 enhancers implicated in the craniofacial abnormality Pierre Robin Sequence. The method provides a highly cost-effective, fast and robust approach for simultaneously unravelling in a single assay whether, where and when in embryonic development a disease-associated CRE-variant is affecting its regulatory function. PMID:26030420

  4. Functional Investigation of a Non-coding Variant Associated with Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis in Zebrafish: Elevated Expression of the Ladybird Homeobox Gene Causes Body Axis Deformation

    PubMed Central

    Guo, Long; Yamashita, Hiroshi; Kou, Ikuyo; Takimoto, Aki; Meguro-Horike, Makiko; Horike, Shin-ichi; Sakuma, Tetsushi; Miura, Shigenori; Adachi, Taiji; Yamamoto, Takashi; Ikegawa, Shiro; Hiraki, Yuji; Shukunami, Chisa

    2016-01-01

    Previously, we identified an adolescent idiopathic scoliosis susceptibility locus near human ladybird homeobox 1 (LBX1) and FLJ41350 by a genome-wide association study. Here, we characterized the associated non-coding variant and investigated the function of these genes. A chromosome conformation capture assay revealed that the genome region with the most significantly associated single nucleotide polymorphism (rs11190870) physically interacted with the promoter region of LBX1-FLJ41350. The promoter in the direction of LBX1, combined with a 590-bp region including rs11190870, had higher transcriptional activity with the risk allele than that with the non-risk allele in HEK 293T cells. The ubiquitous overexpression of human LBX1 or either of the zebrafish lbx genes (lbx1a, lbx1b, and lbx2), but not FLJ41350, in zebrafish embryos caused body curvature followed by death prior to vertebral column formation. Such body axis deformation was not observed in transcription activator-like effector nucleases mediated knockout zebrafish of lbx1b or lbx2. Mosaic expression of lbx1b driven by the GATA2 minimal promoter and the lbx1b enhancer in zebrafish significantly alleviated the embryonic lethal phenotype to allow observation of the later onset of the spinal curvature with or without vertebral malformation. Deformation of the embryonic body axis by lbx1b overexpression was associated with defects in convergent extension, which is a component of the main axis-elongation machinery in gastrulating embryos. In embryos overexpressing lbx1b, wnt5b, a ligand of the non-canonical Wnt/planar cell polarity (PCP) pathway, was significantly downregulated. Injection of mRNA for wnt5b or RhoA, a key downstream effector of Wnt/PCP signaling, rescued the defective convergent extension phenotype and attenuated the lbx1b-induced curvature of the body axis. Thus, our study presents a novel pathological feature of LBX1 and its zebrafish homologs in body axis deformation at various stages of

  5. Developmental change in the function of movement systems: transition of the pectoral fins between respiratory and locomotor roles in zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Hale, Melina E

    2014-07-01

    An animal may experience strikingly different functional demands on its body's systems through development. One way of meeting those demands is with temporary, stage-specific adaptations. This strategy requires the animal to develop appropriate morphological states or physiological pathways that address transient functional demands as well as processes that transition morphology, physiology, and function to that of the mature form. Recent research on ray-finned (actinopterygian) fishes is a developmental transition in function of the pectoral fin, thereby providing an opportunity to examine how an organism copes with changes in the roles of its morphology between stages of its life history. As larvae, zebrafish alternate their pectoral fins in coordination with the body axis during slow swimming. The movements of their fins do not appear to contribute to the production of thrust or to stability but instead exchange fluid near the body for cutaneous respiration. The morphology of the larval fin includes a simple stage-specific endoskeletal disc overlaid by fan-shaped adductor and abductor muscles. In contrast, the musculoskeletal system of the mature fin consists of a suite of muscles and bones. Fins are extended laterally during slow swimming of the adult, without the distinct, high-amplitude left-right fin alternation of the larval fin. The morphological and functional transition of the pectoral fin occurs through juvenile development. Early in this period, at about 3 weeks post-fertilization, the gills take over respiratory function, presumably freeing the fins for other roles. Kinematic data suggest that the loss of respiratory function does not lead to a rapid switch in patterns of fin movement but rather that both morphology and movement transition gradually through the juvenile stage of development. Studies relating structure to function often focus on stable systems that are arguably well adapted for the roles they play. Examining how animals navigate

  6. Zebrafish models of BAG3 myofibrillar myopathy suggest a toxic gain of function leading to BAG3 insufficiency.

    PubMed

    Ruparelia, Avnika A; Oorschot, Viola; Vaz, Raquel; Ramm, Georg; Bryson-Richardson, Robert J

    2014-12-01

    Mutations in the co-chaperone Bcl2-associated athanogene 3 (BAG3) can cause myofibrillar myopathy (MFM), a childhood-onset progressive muscle disease, characterized by the formation of protein aggregates and myofibrillar disintegration. In contrast to other MFM-causing proteins, BAG3 has no direct structural role, but regulates autophagy and the degradation of misfolded proteins. To investigate the mechanism of disease in BAG3-related MFM, we expressed wild-type BAG3 or the dominant MFM-causing BAG3 (BAG3(P209L)) in zebrafish. Expression of the mutant protein results in the formation of aggregates that contain wild-type BAG3. Through the stimulation and inhibition of autophagy, we tested the prevailing hypothesis that impaired autophagic function is responsible for the formation of protein aggregates. Contrary to the existing theory, our studies reveal that inhibition of autophagy is not sufficient to induce protein aggregation. Expression of the mutant protein, however, did not induce myofibrillar disintegration and we therefore examined the effect of knocking down Bag3 function. Loss of Bag3 resulted in myofibrillar disintegration, but not in the formation of protein aggregates. Remarkably, BAG3(P209L) is able to rescue the myofibrillar disintegration phenotype, further demonstrating that its function is not impaired. Together, our knockdown and overexpression experiments identify a mechanism whereby BAG3(P209L) aggregates form, gradually reducing the pool of available BAG3, which eventually results in BAG3 insufficiency and myofibrillar disintegration. This mechanism is consistent with the childhood onset and progressive nature of MFM and suggests that reducing aggregation through enhanced degradation or inhibition of nucleation would be an effective therapy for this disease.

  7. Zebrafish as a Vertebrate Model System to Evaluate Effects of Environmental Toxicants on Cardiac Development and Function.

    PubMed

    Sarmah, Swapnalee; Marrs, James A

    2016-12-16

    Environmental pollution is a serious problem of the modern world that possesses a major threat to public health. Exposure to environmental pollutants during embryonic development is particularly risky. Although many pollutants have been verified as potential toxicants, there are new chemicals in the environment that need assessment. Heart development is an extremely sensitive process, which can be affected by environmentally toxic molecule exposure during embryonic development. Congenital heart defects are the most common life-threatening global health problems, and the etiology is mostly unknown. The zebrafish has emerged as an invaluable model to examine substance toxicity on vertebrate development, particularly on cardiac development. The zebrafish offers numerous advantages for toxicology research not found in other model systems. Many laboratories have used the zebrafish to study the effects of widespread chemicals in the environment on heart development, including pesticides, nanoparticles, and various organic pollutants. Here, we review the uses of the zebrafish in examining effects of exposure to external molecules during embryonic development in causing cardiac defects, including chemicals ubiquitous in the environment and illicit drugs. Known or potential mechanisms of toxicity and how zebrafish research can be used to provide mechanistic understanding of cardiac defects are discussed.

  8. Zebrafish as a Vertebrate Model System to Evaluate Effects of Environmental Toxicants on Cardiac Development and Function

    PubMed Central

    Sarmah, Swapnalee; Marrs, James A.

    2016-01-01

    Environmental pollution is a serious problem of the modern world that possesses a major threat to public health. Exposure to environmental pollutants during embryonic development is particularly risky. Although many pollutants have been verified as potential toxicants, there are new chemicals in the environment that need assessment. Heart development is an extremely sensitive process, which can be affected by environmentally toxic molecule exposure during embryonic development. Congenital heart defects are the most common life-threatening global health problems, and the etiology is mostly unknown. The zebrafish has emerged as an invaluable model to examine substance toxicity on vertebrate development, particularly on cardiac development. The zebrafish offers numerous advantages for toxicology research not found in other model systems. Many laboratories have used the zebrafish to study the effects of widespread chemicals in the environment on heart development, including pesticides, nanoparticles, and various organic pollutants. Here, we review the uses of the zebrafish in examining effects of exposure to external molecules during embryonic development in causing cardiac defects, including chemicals ubiquitous in the environment and illicit drugs. Known or potential mechanisms of toxicity and how zebrafish research can be used to provide mechanistic understanding of cardiac defects are discussed. PMID:27999267

  9. The zebrafish genome: a review and msx gene case study.

    PubMed

    Postlethwait, J H

    2006-01-01

    Zebrafish is one of several important teleost models for understanding principles of vertebrate developmental, molecular, organismal, genetic, evolutionary, and genomic biology. Efficient investigation of the molecular genetic basis of induced mutations depends on knowledge of the zebrafish genome. Principles of zebrafish genomic analysis, including gene mapping, ortholog identification, conservation of syntenies, genome duplication, and evolution of duplicate gene function are discussed here using as a case study the zebrafish msxa, msxb, msxc, msxd, and msxe genes, which together constitute zebrafish orthologs of tetrapod Msx1, Msx2, and Msx3. Genomic analysis suggests orthologs for this difficult to understand group of paralogs.

  10. Graded effects of unregulated smooth muscle myosin on intestinal architecture, intestinal motility and vascular function in zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Abrams, Joshua; Einhorn, Zev; Seiler, Christoph; Zong, Alan B; Sweeney, H Lee; Pack, Michael

    2016-05-01

    Smooth muscle contraction is controlled by the regulated activity of the myosin heavy chain ATPase (Myh11). Myh11 mutations have diverse effects in the cardiovascular, digestive and genitourinary systems in humans and animal models. We previously reported a recessive missense mutation, meltdown (mlt), which converts a highly conserved tryptophan to arginine (W512R) in the rigid relay loop of zebrafish Myh11. The mlt mutation disrupts myosin regulation and non-autonomously induces invasive expansion of the intestinal epithelium. Here, we report two newly identified missense mutations in the switch-1 (S237Y) and coil-coiled (L1287M) domains of Myh11 that fail to complement mlt Cell invasion was not detected in either homozygous mutant but could be induced by oxidative stress and activation of oncogenic signaling pathways. The smooth muscle defect imparted by the mlt and S237Y mutations also delayed intestinal transit, and altered vascular function, as measured by blood flow in the dorsal aorta. The cell-invasion phenotype induced by the three myh11 mutants correlated with the degree of myosin deregulation. These findings suggest that the vertebrate intestinal epithelium is tuned to the physical state of the surrounding stroma, which, in turn, governs its response to physiologic and pathologic stimuli. Genetic variants that alter the regulation of smooth muscle myosin might be risk factors for diseases affecting the intestine, vasculature, and other tissues that contain smooth muscle or contractile cells that express smooth muscle proteins, particularly in the setting of redox stress. © 2016. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  11. Zebrafish Model of NF1 for Structure-Function Analysis, Mechanisms of Glial Tumorigenesis, and Chemical Biology

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2014-05-01

    identify modulators of this important disease. 15. SUBJECT TERMS Neurofibromatosis ; learning and memory; glioma; MPNST 16. SECURITY CLASSIFICATION...12-13 Page 3 INTRODUCTION Neurofibromatosis type 1...result indicates that sox10 is highly expressed in high-grade gliomas and MPNSTs in our zebrafish model of type I neurofibromatosis . Figure 4. Sox10

  12. Using the Larval Zebrafish Locomotor Asssay in Functional Neurotoxicity Screening: Light Brightness and the Order of Stimulus Presentation Affect the Outcome

    EPA Science Inventory

    We are evaluating methods to screen/prioritize large numbers of chemicals using 6 day old zebrafish (Danio rerio) as an alternative model for detecting neurotoxic effects. Our behavioral testing paradigm simultaneously tests individual larval zebrafish under sequential light and...

  13. Zebrafish pancreas development.

    PubMed

    Tiso, Natascia; Moro, Enrico; Argenton, Francesco

    2009-11-27

    An accurate understanding of the molecular events governing pancreas development can have an impact on clinical medicine related to diabetes, obesity and pancreatic cancer, diseases with a high impact in public health. Until 1996, the main animal models in which pancreas formation and differentiation could be studied were mouse and, for some instances related to early development, chicken and Xenopus. Zebrafish has penetrated this field very rapidly offering a new model of investigation; by joining functional genomics, genetics and in vivo whole mount visualization, Danio rerio has allowed large scale and fine multidimensional analysis of gene functions during pancreas formation and differentiation.

  14. Involvement of zebrafish RIG-I in NF-κB and IFN signaling pathways: insights into functional conservation of RIG-I in antiviral innate immunity.

    PubMed

    Nie, Li; Zhang, Ying-sheng; Dong, Wei-ren; Xiang, Li-xin; Shao, Jian-zhong

    2015-01-01

    The retinoic acid-inducible gene I (RIG-I) is a critical sensor for host recognition of RNA virus infection and initiation of antiviral signaling pathways in mammals. However, data on the occurrence and functions of this molecule in lower vertebrates are limited. In this study, we characterized an RIG-I homolog (DrRIG-I) from zebrafish. Structurally, this DrRIG-I shares a number of conserved functional domains/motifs with its mammalian counterparts, namely, caspase activation and recruitment domain, DExD/H box, a helicase domain, and a C-terminal domain. Functionally, stimulation with DrRIG-I CARD in zebrafish embryos significantly activated the NF-κB and IFN signaling pathways, leading to the expression of TNF-α, IL-8 and IFN-induced Mx, ISG15, and viperin. However, knockdown of TRIM25 (a pivotal activator for RIG-I receptors) significantly suppressed the induced activation of IFN signaling. Results suggested the functional conservation of RIG-I receptors in the NF-κB and IFN signaling pathways between teleosts and mammals, providing a perspective into the evolutionary history of RIG-I-mediated antiviral innate immunity. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Development of utricular otoliths, but not saccular otoliths, is necessary for vestibular function and survival in zebrafish

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Riley, B. B.; Moorman, S. J.

    2000-01-01

    We have been studying the consequences of embryonic vestibular dysfunction caused by the monolith (mnl) mutation in zebrafish. mnl is a dominant mutation that specifically inhibits formation of utricular otoliths. However, briefly immobilizing mnl/mnl embryos in agarose with the otic vesicle orientated at certain angles selectively induces or prevents formation of utricular and/or saccular otoliths. With this noninvasive technique, we generated six phenotypic classes of mnl/mnl mutants, designated S-S, U-U, U-S, S-US, U-US, and US-US, depending on which otoliths are present on each side (U, utricular otolith; S, saccular otolith). All mnl/mnl larvae survived through day 10 of development. Thereafter, S-S larvae showed a rapid decline, probably because of starvation, and none survived to adulthood. Survival rates in all other classes of mnl/mnl larvae (those having at least one utricular otolith) were close to normal. The presence or absence of utricular otoliths also correlated with vestibular function during early larval development, as measured by three criteria: First, unlike wild-type larvae, S-S mutant larvae showed almost no detectable counter-rotation of the eyes when tilted tail up or tail down. Second, 95% of S-S mutant larvae never acquired the ability to maintain a balanced dorsal-up posture. Third, although most wild-type larvae responded to gentle prodding by swimming in a straight line, S-S larvae responded by swimming in rapid circles, showing sudden and frequent changes in direction ("zigzagging"), and/or rolling and spiraling. All other phenotypic classes of mnl/mnl larvae behaved normally in these assays. These data demonstrate that bilateral loss of utricular otoliths disrupts the ability to sense gravity, severely impairs balance and motor coordination, and is invariably lethal. The presence of a utricular otolith in at least one inner ear is necessary and sufficient for vestibular function and survival. In contrast, saccular otoliths are

  16. Zebrafish Model Systems for Developmental Neurobehavioral Toxicology

    PubMed Central

    Bailey, Jordan; Oliveri, Anthony; Levin, Edward D.

    2014-01-01

    Zebrafish offer many advantages that complement classic mammalian models for the study of normal development as well as for the teratogenic effects of exposure to hazardous compounds. The clear chorion and embryo of the zebrafish allow for continuous visualization of the anatomical changes associated with development, which, along with short maturation times and the capability of complex behavior, makes this model particularly useful for measuring changes to the developing nervous system. Moreover, the rich array of developmental, behavioral, and molecular benefits offered by the zebrafish have contributed to an increasing demand for the use of zebrafish in behavioral teratology. Essential for this endeavor has been the development of a battery of tests to evaluate a spectrum of behavior in zebrafish. Measures of sensorimotor plasticity, emotional function, cognition and social interaction have been used to characterize the persisting adverse effects of developmental exposure to a variety of chemicals including therapeutic drugs, drugs of abuse and environmental toxicants. In this review, we present and discuss such tests and data from a range of developmental neurobehavioral toxicology studies using zebrafish as a model. Zebrafish provide a key intermediate model between high throughput in vitro screens and the classic mammalian models as they have the accessibility of in vitro models and the complex functional capabilities of mammalian models. PMID:23723169

  17. Zebrafish model systems for developmental neurobehavioral toxicology.

    PubMed

    Bailey, Jordan; Oliveri, Anthony; Levin, Edward D

    2013-03-01

    Zebrafish offer many advantages that complement classic mammalian models for the study of normal development as well as for the teratogenic effects of exposure to hazardous compounds. The clear chorion and embryo of the zebrafish allow for continuous visualization of the anatomical changes associated with development, which, along with short maturation times and the capability of complex behavior, makes this model particularly useful for measuring changes to the developing nervous system. Moreover, the rich array of developmental, behavioral, and molecular benefits offered by the zebrafish have contributed to an increasing demand for the use of zebrafish in behavioral teratology. Essential for this endeavor has been the development of a battery of tests to evaluate a spectrum of behavior in zebrafish. Measures of sensorimotor plasticity, emotional function, cognition and social interaction have been used to characterize the persisting adverse effects of developmental exposure to a variety of chemicals including therapeutic drugs, drugs of abuse and environmental toxicants. In this review, we present and discuss such tests and data from a range of developmental neurobehavioral toxicology studies using zebrafish as a model. Zebrafish provide a key intermediate model between high throughput in vitro screens and the classic mammalian models as they have the accessibility of in vitro models and the complex functional capabilities of mammalian models. Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  18. Combination effects of AHR agonists and Wnt/β-catenin modulators in zebrafish embryos: Implications for physiological and toxicological AHR functions

    SciT

    Wincent, Emma; Institute of Environmental Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, 17177 Stockholm; Stegeman, John J.

    2015-04-15

    Wnt/β-catenin signaling regulates essential biological functions and acts in developmental toxicity of some chemicals. The aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR) is well-known to mediate developmental toxicity of persistent dioxin-like compounds (DLCs). Recent studies indicate a crosstalk between β-catenin and the AHR in some tissues. However the nature of this crosstalk in embryos is poorly known. We observed that zebrafish embryos exposed to the β-catenin inhibitor XAV939 display effects phenocopying those of the dioxin-like 3,3′,4,4′,5-pentachlorobiphenyl (PCB126). This led us to investigate the AHR interaction with β-catenin during development and ask whether developmental toxicity of DLCs involves antagonism of β-catenin signaling. We examinedmore » phenotypes and transcriptional responses in zebrafish embryos exposed to XAV939 or to a β-catenin activator, 1-azakenpaullone, alone or with AHR agonists, either PCB126 or 6-formylindolo[3,2-b]carbazole (FICZ). Alone 1-azakenpaullone and XAV939 both were embryo-toxic, and we found that in the presence of FICZ, the toxicity of 1-azakenpaullone decreased while the toxicity of XAV939 increased. This rescue of 1-azakenpaullone effects occurred in the time window of Ahr2-mediated toxicity and was reversed by morpholino-oligonucleotide knockdown of Ahr2. Regarding PCB126, addition of either 1-azakenpaullone or XAV939 led to lower mortality than with PCB126 alone but surviving embryos showed severe edemas. 1-Azakenpaullone induced transcription of β-catenin-associated genes, while PCB126 and FICZ blocked this induction. The data indicate a stage-dependent antagonism of β-catenin by Ahr2 in zebrafish embryos. We propose that the AHR has a physiological role in regulating β-catenin during development, and that this is one point of intersection linking toxicological and physiological AHR-governed processes.« less

  19. TALE factors use two distinct functional modes to control an essential zebrafish gene expression program.

    PubMed

    Ladam, Franck; Stanney, William; Donaldson, Ian J; Yildiz, Ozge; Bobola, Nicoletta; Sagerström, Charles G

    2018-06-18

    TALE factors are broadly expressed embryonically and known to function in complexes with transcription factors (TFs) like Hox proteins at gastrula/segmentation stages, but it is unclear if such generally expressed factors act by the same mechanism throughout embryogenesis. We identify a TALE-dependent gene regulatory network (GRN) required for anterior development and detect TALE occupancy associated with this GRN throughout embryogenesis. At blastula stages, we uncover a novel functional mode for TALE factors, where they occupy genomic DECA motifs with nearby NF-Y sites. We demonstrate that TALE and NF-Y form complexes and regulate chromatin state at genes of this GRN. At segmentation stages, GRN-associated TALE occupancy expands to include HEXA motifs near PBX:HOX sites. Hence, TALE factors control a key GRN, but utilize distinct DNA motifs and protein partners at different stages - a strategy that may also explain their oncogenic potential and may be employed by other broadly expressed TFs. © 2018, Ladam et al.

  20. Automated measurement of zebrafish larval movement

    PubMed Central

    Cario, Clinton L; Farrell, Thomas C; Milanese, Chiara; Burton, Edward A

    2011-01-01

    Abstract The zebrafish is a powerful vertebrate model that is readily amenable to genetic, pharmacological and environmental manipulations to elucidate the molecular and cellular basis of movement and behaviour. We report software enabling automated analysis of zebrafish movement from video recordings captured with cameras ranging from a basic camcorder to more specialized equipment. The software, which is provided as open-source MATLAB functions, can be freely modified and distributed, and is compatible with multiwell plates under a wide range of experimental conditions. Automated measurement of zebrafish movement using this technique will be useful for multiple applications in neuroscience, pharmacology and neuropsychiatry. PMID:21646414

  1. Automated measurement of zebrafish larval movement.

    PubMed

    Cario, Clinton L; Farrell, Thomas C; Milanese, Chiara; Burton, Edward A

    2011-08-01

    The zebrafish is a powerful vertebrate model that is readily amenable to genetic, pharmacological and environmental manipulations to elucidate the molecular and cellular basis of movement and behaviour. We report software enabling automated analysis of zebrafish movement from video recordings captured with cameras ranging from a basic camcorder to more specialized equipment. The software, which is provided as open-source MATLAB functions, can be freely modified and distributed, and is compatible with multiwell plates under a wide range of experimental conditions. Automated measurement of zebrafish movement using this technique will be useful for multiple applications in neuroscience, pharmacology and neuropsychiatry.

  2. A review of monoaminergic neuropsychopharmacology in zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Maximino, Caio; Herculano, Anderson Manoel

    2010-12-01

    Monoamine neurotransmitters are the major regulatory mechanisms in the vertebrate brain, involved in the adjustment of motivation, emotion, and cognition. The chemical anatomy of these systems is thought to be highly conserved in the brain of all vertebrates, including zebrafish. Recently, the development of behavioral assays in zebrafish allowed the neuropsychopharmacological investigation of these circuits and its functions. Here we review neuroanatomical, genetic, neurochemical, and psychopharmacological evidence regarding the roles of histaminergic, dopaminergic, noradrenergic, serotonergic, and melatonergic systems in this species. We conclude that, in spite of species differences, zebrafish are suitable for the investigation of neuropsychopharmacology of drugs that affect theses systems; nonetheless, more thorough validation of behavioral methods is still needed.

  3. Establishment of a Transgenic Zebrafish Line for Superficial Skin Ablation and Functional Validation of Apoptosis Modulators In Vivo

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Chi-Fang; Chu, Che-Yu; Chen, Te-Hao; Lee, Shyh-Jye; Shen, Chia-Ning; Hsiao, Chung-Der

    2011-01-01

    Background Zebrafish skin is composed of enveloping and basal layers which form a first-line defense system against pathogens. Zebrafish epidermis contains ionocytes and mucous cells that aid secretion of acid/ions or mucous through skin. Previous studies demonstrated that fish skin is extremely sensitive to external stimuli. However, little is known about the molecular mechanisms that modulate skin cell apoptosis in zebrafish. Methodology/Principal Findings This study aimed to create a platform to conduct conditional skin ablation and determine if it is possible to attenuate apoptotic stimuli by overexpressing potential apoptosis modulating genes in the skin of live animals. A transgenic zebrafish line of Tg(krt4:NTR-hKikGR)cy17 (killer line), which can conditionally trigger apoptosis in superficial skin cells, was first established. When the killer line was incubated with the prodrug metrodinazole, the superficial skin displayed extensive apoptosis as judged by detection of massive TUNEL- and active caspase 3-positive signals. Great reductions in NTR-hKikGR+ fluorescent signals accompanied epidermal cell apoptosis. This indicated that NTR-hKikGR+ signal fluorescence can be utilized to evaluate apoptotic events in vivo. After removal of metrodinazole, the skin integrity progressively recovered and NTR-hKikGR+ fluorescent signals gradually restored. In contrast, either crossing the killer line with testing lines or transiently injecting the killer line with testing vectors that expressed human constitutive active Akt1, mouse constitutive active Stat3, or HPV16 E6 element displayed apoptosis-resistant phenotypes to cytotoxic metrodinazole as judged by the loss of reduction in NTR-hKikGR+ fluorescent signaling. Conclusion/Significance The killer/testing line binary system established in the current study demonstrates a nitroreductase/metrodinazole system that can be utilized to conditionally perform skin ablation in a real-time manner, and provides a valuable tool to

  4. Zebrafish Pronephros Development.

    PubMed

    Naylor, Richard W; Qubisi, Sarah S; Davidson, Alan J

    The pronephros is the first kidney type to form in vertebrate embryos. The first step of pronephrogenesis in the zebrafish is the formation of the intermediate mesoderm during gastrulation, which occurs in response to secreted morphogens such as BMPs and Nodals. Patterning of the intermediate mesoderm into proximal and distal cell fates is induced by retinoic acid signaling with downstream transcription factors including wt1a, pax2a, pax8, hnf1b, sim1a, mecom, and irx3b. In the anterior intermediate mesoderm, progenitors of the glomerular blood filter migrate and fuse at the midline and recruit a blood supply. More posteriorly localized tubule progenitors undergo epithelialization and fuse with the cloaca. The Notch signaling pathway regulates the formation of multi-ciliated cells in the tubules and these cells help propel the filtrate to the cloaca. The lumenal sheer stress caused by flow down the tubule activates anterior collective migration of the proximal tubules and induces stretching and proliferation of the more distal segments. Ultimately these processes create a simple two-nephron kidney that is capable of reabsorbing and secreting solutes and expelling excess water-processes that are critical to the homeostasis of the body fluids. The zebrafish pronephric kidney provides a simple, yet powerful, model system to better understand the conserved molecular and cellular progresses that drive nephron formation, structure, and function.

  5. Loss of Smyhc1 or Hsp90α1 Function Results in Different Effects on Myofibril Organization in Skeletal Muscles of Zebrafish Embryos

    PubMed Central

    Codina, Marta; Li, Junling; Gutiérrez, Joaquim; Kao, Joseph P. Y.; Du, Shao Jun

    2010-01-01

    Background Myofibrillogenesis requires the correct folding and assembly of sarcomeric proteins into highly organized sarcomeres. Heat shock protein 90α1 (Hsp90α1) has been implicated as a myosin chaperone that plays a key role in myofibrillogenesis. Knockdown or mutation of hsp90α1 resulted in complete disorganization of thick and thin filaments and M- and Z-line structures. It is not clear whether the disorganization of these sarcomeric structures is due to a direct effect from loss of Hsp90α1 function or indirectly through the disorganization of myosin thick filaments. Methodology/Principal Findings In this study, we carried out a loss-of-function analysis of myosin thick filaments via gene-specific knockdown or using a myosin ATPase inhibitor BTS (N-benzyl-p-toluene sulphonamide) in zebrafish embryos. We demonstrated that knockdown of myosin heavy chain 1 (myhc1) resulted in sarcomeric defects in the thick and thin filaments and defective alignment of Z-lines. Similarly, treating zebrafish embryos with BTS disrupted thick and thin filament organization, with little effect on the M- and Z-lines. In contrast, loss of Hsp90α1 function completely disrupted all sarcomeric structures including both thick and thin filaments as well as the M- and Z-lines. Conclusion/Significance Together, these studies indicate that the hsp90α1 mutant phenotype is not simply due to disruption of myosin folding and assembly, suggesting that Hsp90α1 may play a role in the assembly and organization of other sarcomeric structures. PMID:20049323

  6. Quantification of larval zebrafish motor function in multi-well plates using open-source MATLAB® applications

    PubMed Central

    Zhou, Yangzhong; Cattley, Richard T.; Cario, Clinton L.; Bai, Qing; Burton, Edward A.

    2014-01-01

    This article describes a method to quantify the movements of larval zebrafish in multi-well plates, using the open-source MATLAB® applications LSRtrack and LSRanalyze. The protocol comprises four stages: generation of high-quality, flatly-illuminated video recordings with exposure settings that facilitate object recognition; analysis of the resulting recordings using tools provided in LSRtrack to optimize tracking accuracy and motion detection; analysis of tracking data using LSRanalyze or custom MATLAB® scripts; implementation of validation controls. The method is reliable, automated and flexible, requires less than one hour of hands-on work for completion once optimized, and shows excellent signal:noise characteristics. The resulting data can be analyzed to determine: positional preference; displacement, velocity and acceleration; duration and frequency of movement events and rest periods. This approach is widely applicable to analyze spontaneous or stimulus-evoked zebrafish larval neurobehavioral phenotypes resulting from a broad array of genetic and environmental manipulations, in a multi-well plate format suitable for high-throughput applications. PMID:24901738

  7. What is the Thalamus in Zebrafish?

    PubMed Central

    Mueller, Thomas

    2012-01-01

    Current research on the thalamus and related structures in the zebrafish diencephalon identifies an increasing number of both neurological structures and ontogenetic processes as evolutionary conserved between teleosts and mammals. The patterning processes, for example, which during the embryonic development of zebrafish form the thalamus proper appear largely conserved. Yet also striking differences between zebrafish and other vertebrates have been observed, particularly when we look at mature and histologically differentiated brains. A case in point is the migrated preglomerular complex of zebrafish which evolved only within the lineage of ray-finned fish and has no counterpart in mammals or tetrapod vertebrates. Based on its function as a sensory relay station with projections to pallial zones, the preglomerular complex has been compared to specific thalamic nuclei in mammals. However, no thalamic projections to the zebrafish dorsal pallium, which corresponds topologically to the mammalian isocortex, have been identified. Merely one teleostean thalamic nucleus proper, the auditory nucleus, projects to a part of the dorsal telencephalon, the pallial amygdala. Studies on patterning mechanisms identify a rostral and caudal domain in the embryonic thalamus proper. In both, teleosts and mammals, the rostral domain gives rise to GABAergic neurons, whereas glutamatergic neurons originate in the caudal domain of the zebrafish thalamus. The distribution of GABAergic derivatives in the adult zebrafish brain, furthermore, revealed previously overlooked thalamic nuclei and redefined already established ones. These findings require some reconsideration regarding the topological origin of these adult structures. In what follows, I discuss how evolutionary conserved and newly acquired features of the developing and adult zebrafish thalamus can be compared to the mammalian situation. PMID:22586363

  8. Metagenomics approach to the study of the gut microbiome structure and function in zebrafish Danio rerio fed with gluten formulated diet.

    PubMed

    Koo, Hyunmin; Hakim, Joseph A; Powell, Mickie L; Kumar, Ranjit; Eipers, Peter G; Morrow, Casey D; Crowley, Michael; Lefkowitz, Elliot J; Watts, Stephen A; Bej, Asim K

    2017-04-01

    In this study, we report the gut microbial composition and predictive functional profiles of zebrafish, Danio rerio, fed with a control formulated diet (CFD), and a gluten formulated diet (GFD) using a metagenomics approach and bioinformatics tools. The microbial communities of the GFD-fed D. rerio displayed heightened abundances of Legionellales, Rhizobiaceae, and Rhodobacter, as compared to the CFD-fed counterparts. Predicted metagenomics of microbial communities (PICRUSt) in GFD-fed D. rerio showed KEGG functional categories corresponding to bile secretion, secondary bile acid biosynthesis, and the metabolism of glycine, serine, and threonine. The CFD-fed D. rerio exhibited KEGG functional categories of bacteria-mediated cobalamin biosynthesis, which was supported by the presence of cobalamin synthesizers such as Bacteroides and Lactobacillus. Though these bacteria were absent in GFD-fed D. rerio, a comparable level of the cobalamin biosynthesis KEGG functional category was observed, which could be contributed by the compensatory enrichment of Cetobacterium. Based on these results, we conclude D. rerio to be a suitable alternative animal model for the use of a targeted metagenomics approach along with bioinformatics tools to further investigate the relationship between the gluten diet and microbiome profile in the gut ecosystem leading to gastrointestinal diseases and other undesired adverse health effects. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  9. Advancing epilepsy treatment through personalized genetic zebrafish models.

    PubMed

    Griffin, A; Krasniak, C; Baraban, S C

    2016-01-01

    With an increase in the number of disease causing genetic mutations identified from epilepsy cohorts, zebrafish are proving to be an attractive vertebrate model for functional analysis of these allele variants. Not only do zebrafish have conserved gene functions, but larvae harboring mutations in identified human epileptic genes show spontaneous seizure activity and mimic the convulsive behavioral movements observed in humans. With zebrafish being compatible with medium to high-throughput screening, they are also proving to be a unique and powerful system for early preclinical drug screening, including novel target identification, pharmacology, and toxicology. Additionally, with recent advances in genomic engineering technologies, it is now possible to study the precise pathophysiology of patient-specific gene mutations in zebrafish. The following sections highlight how the unique attributes of zebrafish, in combination with genetic modifications, are continuing to transform our understanding of epilepsy and help identify personalized therapeutics for specific patient cohorts. © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  10. Examination of a Palatogenic Gene Program in Zebrafish

    PubMed Central

    Swartz, Mary E.; Sheehan-Rooney, Kelly; Dixon, Michael J.; Eberhart, Johann K.

    2011-01-01

    Human palatal clefting is debilitating and difficult to rectify surgically. Animal models enhance our understanding of palatogenesis and are essential in strategies designed to ameliorate palatal malformations in humans. Recent studies have shown that the zebrafish palate, or anterior neurocranium, is under similar genetic control to the amniote palatal skeleton. We extensively analyzed palatogenesis in zebrafish to determine the similarity of gene expression and function across vertebrates. By 36 hpf palatogenic cranial neural crest cells reside in homologous regions of the developing face compared to amniote species. Transcription factors and signaling molecules regulating mouse palatogenesis are expressed in similar domains during palatogenesis in zebrafish. Functional investigation of a subset of these genes, fgf10a, tgfb2, pax9 and smad5 revealed their necessity in zebrafish palatogenesis. Collectively, these results suggest that the gene regulatory networks regulating palatogenesis may be conserved across vertebrate species, demonstrating the utility of zebrafish as a model for palatogenesis. PMID:22016187

  11. Xenografts in zebrafish embryos as a rapid functional assay for breast cancer stem-like cell identification.

    PubMed

    Eguiara, Arrate; Holgado, Olaia; Beloqui, Izaskun; Abalde, Leire; Sanchez, Yolanda; Callol, Carles; Martin, Angel G

    2011-11-01

    The cancer stem cell is defined by its capacity to self-renew, the potential to differentiate into all cells of the tumor and the ability to proliferate and drive the expansion of the tumor. Thus, targeting these cells may provide novel anti-cancer treatment strategies. Breast cancer stem cells have been isolated according to surface marker expression, ability to efflux fluorescent dyes, increased activity of aldehyde dehydrogenase or the capacity to form spheres in non-adherent culture conditions. In order to test novel drugs directed towards modulating self-renewal of cancer stem cells, rapid, easy and inexpensive assays must be developed. Using 2 days-post-fertilization (dpf) zebrafish embryos as transplant recipients, we show that cells grown in mammospheres from breast carcinoma cell lines migrate to the tail of the embryo and form masses with a significantly higher frequency than parental monolayer populations. When stem-like self-renewal was targeted in the parental population by the use of the dietary supplement curcumin, cell migration and mass formation were reduced, indicating that these effects were associated with stem-like cell content. This is a proof of principle report that proposes a rapid and inexpensive assay to target in vivo cancer stem-like cells, which may be used to unravel basic cancer stem cell biology and for drug screening.

  12. Zebrafish msxB, msxC and msxE function together to refine the neural-nonneural border and regulate cranial placodes and neural crest development.

    PubMed

    Phillips, Bryan T; Kwon, Hye-Joo; Melton, Colt; Houghtaling, Paul; Fritz, Andreas; Riley, Bruce B

    2006-06-15

    The zebrafish muscle segment homeobox genes msxB, msxC and msxE are expressed in partially overlapping domains in the neural crest and preplacodal ectoderm. We examined the roles of these msx genes in early development. Disrupting individual msx genes causes modest variable defects, whereas disrupting all three produces a reproducible severe phenotype, suggesting functional redundancy. Neural crest differentiation is blocked at an early stage. Preplacodal development begins normally, but placodes arising from the msx expression domain later show elevated apoptosis and are reduced in size. Cell proliferation is normal in these tissues. Unexpectedly, Msx-deficient embryos become ventralized by late gastrulation whereas misexpression of msxB dorsalizes the embryo. These effects appear to involve Distal-less (Dlx) protein activity, as loss of dlx3b and dlx4b suppresses ventralization in Msx-depleted embryos. At the same time, Msx-depletion restores normal preplacodal gene expression to dlx3b-dlx4b mutants. These data suggest that mutual antagonism between Msx and Dlx proteins achieves a balance of function required for normal preplacodal differentiation and placement of the neural-nonneural border.

  13. Zebrafish models for translational neuroscience research: from tank to bedside

    PubMed Central

    Stewart, Adam Michael; Braubach, Oliver; Spitsbergen, Jan; Gerlai, Robert; Kalueff, Allan V.

    2014-01-01

    The zebrafish (Danio rerio) is emerging as a new important species for studying mechanisms of brain function and dysfunction. Focusing on selected central nervous system (CNS) disorders (brain cancer, epilepsy, and anxiety) and using them as examples, we discuss the value of zebrafish models in translational neuroscience. We further evaluate the contribution of zebrafish to neuroimaging, circuit level, and drug discovery research. Outlining the role of zebrafish in modeling a wide range of human brain disorders, we also summarize recent applications and existing challenges in this field. Finally, we emphasize the potential of zebrafish models in behavioral phenomics and high-throughput genetic/small molecule screening, which is critical for CNS drug discovery and identifying novel candidate genes. PMID:24726051

  14. Combining animal personalities with transcriptomics resolves individual variation within a wild-type zebrafish population and identifies underpinning molecular differences in brain function.

    PubMed

    Rey, S; Boltana, S; Vargas, R; Roher, N; Mackenzie, S

    2013-12-01

    Resolving phenotype variation within a population in response to environmental perturbation is central to understanding biological adaptation. Relating meaningful adaptive changes at the level of the transcriptome requires the identification of processes that have a functional significance for the individual. This remains a major objective towards understanding the complex interactions between environmental demand and an individual's capacity to respond to such demands. The interpretation of such interactions and the significance of biological variation between individuals from the same or different populations remain a difficult and under-addressed question. Here, we provide evidence that variation in gene expression between individuals in a zebrafish population can be partially resolved by a priori screening for animal personality and accounts for >9% of observed variation in the brain transcriptome. Proactive and reactive individuals within a wild-type population exhibit consistent behavioural responses over time and context that relates to underlying differences in regulated gene networks and predicted protein-protein interactions. These differences can be mapped to distinct regions of the brain and provide a foundation towards understanding the coordination of underpinning adaptive molecular events within populations. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  15. How the expression of green fluorescent protein and human cardiac actin in the heart influences cardiac function and aerobic performance in zebrafish Danio rerio.

    PubMed

    Avey, S R; Ojehomon, M; Dawson, J F; Gillis, T E

    2018-01-01

    The present study examined how the expression of enhanced green fluorescent protein (eGFP) and human cardiac actin (ACTC) in zebrafish Danio rerio influences embryonic heart rate (R H ) and the swim performance and metabolic rate of adult fish. Experiments with the adults involved determining the critical swimming speed (U crit , the highest speed sustainable and measure of aerobic capacity) while measuring oxygen consumption. Two different transgenic D. rerio lines were examined: one expressed eGFP in the heart (tg(cmlc:egfp)), while the second expressed ACTC in the heart and eGFP throughout the body (tg(cmlc:actc,ba:egfp)). It was found that R H was significantly lower in the tg(cmlc:actc,ba:egfp) embryos 4 days post-fertilization compared to wild-type (WT) and tg(cmlc:egfp). The swim experiments demonstrated that there was no significant difference in U crit between the transgenic lines and the wild-type fish, but metabolic rate and cost of transport (oxygen used to travel a set distance) was nearly two-fold higher in the tg(cmlc:actc,ba:egfp) fish compared to WT at their respective U crit . These results suggest that the expression of ACTC in the D. rerio heart and the expression of eGFP throughout the animal, alters cardiac function in the embryo and reduces the aerobic efficiency of the animal at high levels of activity. © 2017 The Fisheries Society of the British Isles.

  16. Zebrafish heart failure models: opportunities and challenges.

    PubMed

    Shi, Xingjuan; Chen, Ru; Zhang, Yu; Yun, Junghwa; Brand-Arzamendi, Koroboshka; Liu, Xiangdong; Wen, Xiao-Yan

    2018-05-03

    Heart failure is a complex pathophysiological syndrome of pumping functional failure that results from injury, infection or toxin-induced damage on the myocardium, as well as genetic influence. Gene mutations associated with cardiomyopathies can lead to various pathologies of heart failure. In recent years, zebrafish, Danio rerio, has emerged as an excellent model to study human cardiovascular diseases such as congenital heart defects, cardiomyopathy, and preclinical development of drugs targeting these diseases. In this review, we will first summarize zebrafish genetic models of heart failure arose from cardiomyopathy, which is caused by mutations in sarcomere, calcium or mitochondrial-associated genes. Moreover, we outline zebrafish heart failure models triggered by chemical compounds. Elucidation of these models will improve the understanding of the mechanism of pathogenesis and provide potential targets for novel therapies.

  17. Zebrafish larvae require specific strains of bacteria for neurobehavioral development

    EPA Science Inventory

    There is an increasing appreciation of the relationship between gut microbiota and nervous system development and function. We previously showed that axenic (microbe-free) larvae are hyperactive at 10 days post fertilization (dpf) relative to colonized zebrafish larvae. Interesti...

  18. Ncam1a and Ncam1b: two carriers of polysialic acid with different functions in the developing zebrafish nervous system.

    PubMed

    Langhauser, Melanie; Ustinova, Jana; Rivera-Milla, Eric; Ivannikov, Darja; Seidl, Carmen; Slomka, Christin; Finne, Jukka; Yoshihara, Yoshihiro; Bastmeyer, Martin; Bentrop, Joachim

    2012-02-01

    Polysialic acid (polySia) is mainly described as a glycan modification of the neural cell adhesion molecule NCAM1. PolySia-NCAM1 has multiple functions during the development of vertebrate nervous systems including axon extension and fasciculation. Phylogenetic analyses reveal the presence of two related gene clusters, NCAM1 and NCAM2, in tetrapods and fishes. Within the ncam1 cluster, teleost fishes express ncam1a (ncam) and ncam1b (pcam) as duplicated paralogs which arose from a second round of ray-finned fish-specific genome duplication. Tetrapods, in contrast, express a single NCAM1 gene. Using the zebrafish model, we identify Ncam1b as a novel major carrier of polySia in the nervous system. PolySia-Ncam1a is expressed predominantly in rostral regions of the developing nervous system, whereas polySia-Ncam1b prevails caudally. We show that ncam1a and ncam1b have different expression domains which only partially overlap. Furthermore, Ncam1a and Ncam1b and their polySia modifications serve different functions in axon guidance. Formation of the posterior commissure at the forebrain/midbrain junction requires polySia-Ncam1a on the axons for proper fasciculation, whereas Ncam1b, expressed by midbrain cell bodies, serves as an instructive guidance cue for the dorso-medially directed growth of axons. Spinal motor axons, on the other hand, depend on axonally expressed Ncam1b for correct growth toward their target region. Collectively, these findings suggest that the genome duplication in the teleost lineage has provided the basis for a functional diversification of polySia carriers in the nervous system.

  19. Early-life perturbations in glucocorticoid activity impacts on the structure, function and molecular composition of the adult zebrafish (Danio rerio) heart

    PubMed Central

    Wilson, K.S.; Baily, J.; Tucker, C.S.; Matrone, G.; Vass, S.; Moran, C.; Chapman, K.E.; Mullins, J.J.; Kenyon, C.; Hadoke, P.W.F.; Denvir, M.A.

    2015-01-01

    Background Transient early-life perturbations in glucocorticoids (GC) are linked with cardiovascular disease risk in later life. Here the impact of early life manipulations of GC on adult heart structure, function and gene expression were assessed. Methods and results Zebrafish embryos were incubated in dexamethasone (Dex) or injected with targeted glucocorticoid receptor (GR) morpholino knockdown (GR Mo) over the first 120 h post fertilisation (hpf); surviving embryos (>90%) were maintained until adulthood under normal conditions. Cardiac function, heart histology and cardiac genes were assessed in embryonic (120 hpf) and adult (120 days post fertilisation (dpf)) hearts. GR Mo embryos (120 hpf) had smaller hearts with fewer cardiomyocytes, less mature striation pattern, reduced cardiac function and reduced levels of vmhc and igf mRNA compared with controls. GR Mo adult hearts were smaller with diminished trabecular network pattern, reduced expression of vmhc and altered echocardiographic Doppler flow compared to controls. Dex embryos had larger hearts at 120 hpf (Dex 107.2 ± 3.1 vs. controls 90.2 ± 1.1 μm, p < 0.001) with a more mature trabecular network and larger cardiomyocytes (1.62 ± 0.13 cells/μm vs control 2.18 ± 0.13 cells/μm, p < 0.05) and enhanced cardiac performance compared to controls. Adult hearts were larger (1.02 ± 0.07 μg/mg vs controls 0.63 ± 0.06 μg/mg, p = 0.0007), had increased vmhc and gr mRNA levels. Conclusion Perturbations in GR activity during embryonic development results in short and long-term alterations in the heart. PMID:26219824

  20. Axonal regeneration in zebrafish spinal cord

    PubMed Central

    Hui, Subhra Prakash

    2018-01-01

    Abstract In the present review we discuss two interrelated events—axonal damage and repair—known to occur after spinal cord injury (SCI) in the zebrafish. Adult zebrafish are capable of regenerating axonal tracts and can restore full functionality after SCI. Unlike fish, axon regeneration in the adult mammalian central nervous system is extremely limited. As a consequence of an injury there is very little repair of disengaged axons and therefore functional deficit persists after SCI in adult mammals. In contrast, peripheral nervous system axons readily regenerate following injury and hence allow functional recovery both in mammals and fish. A better mechanistic understanding of these three scenarios could provide a more comprehensive insight into the success or failure of axonal regeneration after SCI. This review summarizes the present understanding of the cellular and molecular basis of axonal regeneration, in both the peripheral nervous system and the central nervous system, and large scale gene expression analysis is used to focus on different events during regeneration. The discovery and identification of genes involved in zebrafish spinal cord regeneration and subsequent functional experimentation will provide more insight into the endogenous mechanism of myelination and remyelination. Furthermore, precise knowledge of the mechanism underlying the extraordinary axonal regeneration process in zebrafish will also allow us to unravel the potential therapeutic strategies to be implemented for enhancing regrowth and remyelination of axons in mammals. PMID:29721326

  1. Axonal regeneration in zebrafish spinal cord.

    PubMed

    Ghosh, Sukla; Hui, Subhra Prakash

    2018-03-01

    In the present review we discuss two interrelated events-axonal damage and repair-known to occur after spinal cord injury (SCI) in the zebrafish. Adult zebrafish are capable of regenerating axonal tracts and can restore full functionality after SCI. Unlike fish, axon regeneration in the adult mammalian central nervous system is extremely limited. As a consequence of an injury there is very little repair of disengaged axons and therefore functional deficit persists after SCI in adult mammals. In contrast, peripheral nervous system axons readily regenerate following injury and hence allow functional recovery both in mammals and fish. A better mechanistic understanding of these three scenarios could provide a more comprehensive insight into the success or failure of axonal regeneration after SCI. This review summarizes the present understanding of the cellular and molecular basis of axonal regeneration, in both the peripheral nervous system and the central nervous system, and large scale gene expression analysis is used to focus on different events during regeneration. The discovery and identification of genes involved in zebrafish spinal cord regeneration and subsequent functional experimentation will provide more insight into the endogenous mechanism of myelination and remyelination. Furthermore, precise knowledge of the mechanism underlying the extraordinary axonal regeneration process in zebrafish will also allow us to unravel the potential therapeutic strategies to be implemented for enhancing regrowth and remyelination of axons in mammals.

  2. Zebrafish Health Conditions in the China Zebrafish Resource Center and 20 Major Chinese Zebrafish Laboratories.

    PubMed

    Liu, Liyue; Pan, Luyuan; Li, Kuoyu; Zhang, Yun; Zhu, Zuoyan; Sun, Yonghua

    2016-07-01

    In China, the use of zebrafish as an experimental animal in the past 15 years has widely expanded. The China Zebrafish Resource Center (CZRC), which was established in 2012, is becoming one of the major resource centers in the global zebrafish community. Large-scale use and regular exchange of zebrafish resources have put forward higher requirements on zebrafish health issues in China. This article reports the current aquatic infrastructure design, animal husbandry, and health-monitoring programs in the CZRC. Meanwhile, through a survey of 20 Chinese zebrafish laboratories, we also describe the current health status of major zebrafish facilities in China. We conclude that it is of great importance to establish a widely accepted health standard and health-monitoring strategy in the Chinese zebrafish research community.

  3. Zebrafish and Streptococcal Infections.

    PubMed

    Saralahti, A; Rämet, M

    2015-09-01

    Streptococcal bacteria are a versatile group of gram-positive bacteria capable of infecting several host organisms, including humans and fish. Streptococcal species are common colonizers of the human respiratory and gastrointestinal tract, but they also cause some of the most common life-threatening, invasive infections in humans and aquaculture. With its unique characteristics and efficient tools for genetic and imaging applications, the zebrafish (Danio rerio) has emerged as a powerful vertebrate model for infectious diseases. Several zebrafish models introduced so far have shown that zebrafish are suitable models for both zoonotic and human-specific infections. Recently, several zebrafish models mimicking human streptococcal infections have also been developed. These models show great potential in providing novel information about the pathogenic mechanisms and host responses associated with human streptococcal infections. Here, we review the zebrafish infection models for the most relevant streptococcal species: the human-specific Streptococcus pneumoniae and Streptococcus pyogenes, and the zoonotic Streptococcus iniae and Streptococcus agalactiae. The recent success and the future potential of these models for the study of host-pathogen interactions in streptococcal infections are also discussed. © 2015 The Foundation for the Scandinavian Journal of Immunology.

  4. Measuring zebrafish turning rate.

    PubMed

    Mwaffo, Violet; Butail, Sachit; di Bernardo, Mario; Porfiri, Maurizio

    2015-06-01

    Zebrafish is becoming a popular animal model in preclinical research, and zebrafish turning rate has been proposed for the analysis of activity in several domains. The turning rate is often estimated from the trajectory of the fish centroid that is output by commercial or custom-made target tracking software run on overhead videos of fish swimming. However, the accuracy of such indirect methods with respect to the turning rate associated with changes in heading during zebrafish locomotion is largely untested. Here, we compare two indirect methods for the turning rate estimation using the centroid velocity or position data, with full shape tracking for three different video sampling rates. We use tracking data from the overhead video recorded at 60, 30, and 15 frames per second of zebrafish swimming in a shallow water tank. Statistical comparisons of absolute turning rate across methods and sampling rates indicate that, while indirect methods are indistinguishable from full shape tracking, the video sampling rate significantly influences the turning rate measurement. The results of this study can aid in the selection of the video capture frame rate, an experimental design parameter in zebrafish behavioral experiments where activity is an important measure.

  5. Characterization of three novel members of the zebrafish Pax2/5/8 family: dependency of Pax5 and Pax8 expression on the Pax2.1 (noi) function.

    PubMed

    Pfeffer, P L; Gerster, T; Lun, K; Brand, M; Busslinger, M

    1998-08-01

    The mammalian Pax2, Pax5 and Pax8 genes code for highly related transcription factors, which play important roles in embryonic development and organogenesis. Here we report the characterization of all members of the zebrafish Pax2/5/8 family. These genes have arisen by duplications before or at the onset of vertebrate evolution. Due to an additional genome amplification in the fish lineage, the zebrafish contains two Pax2 genes, the previously known Pax[b] gene (here renamed as Pax2.1) and a novel Pax2.2 gene. The zebrafish Pax2.1 gene most closely resembles the mammalian Pax2 gene in its expression pattern, as it is transcribed first in the midbrain-hindbrain boundary region, then in the optic stalk, otic system, pronephros and nephric ducts, and lastly in specific interneurons of the hindbrain and spinal cord. Pax2.2 differs from Pax2.1 by the absence of expression in the nephric system and by a delayed onset of transcription in other Pax2.1 expession domains. Pax8 is also expressed in the same domains as Pax2.1, but its transcription is already initiated during gastrulation in the primordia of the otic placode and pronephric anlage, thus identifying Pax8 as the earliest developmental marker of these structures. The zebrafish Pax5 gene, in contrast to its mouse orthologue, is transcribed in the otic system in addition to its prominent expression at the midbrain-hindbrain boundary. The no isthmus (noi) mutation is known to inactivate the Pax2.1 gene, thereby affecting the development of the midbrain-hindbrain boundary region, pronephric system, optic stalk and otic region. Although the different members of the Pax2/5/8 family may potentially compensate for the loss of Pax2.1 function, we demonstrate here that only the expression of the Pax2.2 gene remains unaffected in noi mutant embryos. The expression of Pax5 and Pax8 is either not initiated at the midbrain-hindbrain boundary or is later not maintained in other expression domains. Consequently, the noi mutation

  6. Computerized image analysis for quantitative neuronal phenotyping in zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Liu, Tianming; Lu, Jianfeng; Wang, Ye; Campbell, William A; Huang, Ling; Zhu, Jinmin; Xia, Weiming; Wong, Stephen T C

    2006-06-15

    An integrated microscope image analysis pipeline is developed for automatic analysis and quantification of phenotypes in zebrafish with altered expression of Alzheimer's disease (AD)-linked genes. We hypothesize that a slight impairment of neuronal integrity in a large number of zebrafish carrying the mutant genotype can be detected through the computerized image analysis method. Key functionalities of our zebrafish image processing pipeline include quantification of neuron loss in zebrafish embryos due to knockdown of AD-linked genes, automatic detection of defective somites, and quantitative measurement of gene expression levels in zebrafish with altered expression of AD-linked genes or treatment with a chemical compound. These quantitative measurements enable the archival of analyzed results and relevant meta-data. The structured database is organized for statistical analysis and data modeling to better understand neuronal integrity and phenotypic changes of zebrafish under different perturbations. Our results show that the computerized analysis is comparable to manual counting with equivalent accuracy and improved efficacy and consistency. Development of such an automated data analysis pipeline represents a significant step forward to achieve accurate and reproducible quantification of neuronal phenotypes in large scale or high-throughput zebrafish imaging studies.

  7. Electroretinogram analysis of the visual response in zebrafish larvae.

    PubMed

    Chrispell, Jared D; Rebrik, Tatiana I; Weiss, Ellen R

    2015-03-16

    The electroretinogram (ERG) is a noninvasive electrophysiological method for determining retinal function. Through the placement of an electrode on the surface of the cornea, electrical activity generated in response to light can be measured and used to assess the activity of retinal cells in vivo. This manuscript describes the use of the ERG to measure visual function in zebrafish. Zebrafish have long been utilized as a model for vertebrate development due to the ease of gene suppression by morpholino oligonucleotides and pharmacological manipulation. At 5-10 dpf, only cones are functional in the larval retina. Therefore, the zebrafish, unlike other animals, is a powerful model system for the study of cone visual function in vivo. This protocol uses standard anesthesia, micromanipulation and stereomicroscopy protocols that are common in laboratories that perform zebrafish research. The outlined methods make use of standard electrophysiology equipment and a low light camera to guide the placement of the recording microelectrode onto the larval cornea. Finally, we demonstrate how a commercially available ERG stimulator/recorder originally designed for use with mice can easily be adapted for use with zebrafish. ERG of larval zebrafish provides an excellent method of assaying cone visual function in animals that have been modified by morpholino oligonucleotide injection as well as newer genome engineering techniques such as Zinc Finger Nucleases (ZFNs), Transcription Activator-Like Effector Nucleases (TALENs), and Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPR)/Cas9, all of which have greatly increased the efficiency and efficacy of gene targeting in zebrafish. In addition, we take advantage of the ability of pharmacological agents to penetrate zebrafish larvae to evaluate the molecular components that contribute to the photoresponse. This protocol outlines a setup that can be modified and used by researchers with various experimental goals.

  8. CRISPR/Cas9-Directed Gene Editing for the Generation of Loss-of-Function Mutants in High-Throughput Zebrafish F0 Screens.

    PubMed

    Shankaran, Sunita S; Dahlem, Timothy J; Bisgrove, Brent W; Yost, H Joseph; Tristani-Firouzi, Martin

    2017-07-05

    The ability to perform reverse genetics in the zebrafish model organism has been greatly advanced with the advent of the CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats)/Cas9 (CRISPR-associated) system. The high level of efficiency in generating mutations when using the CRISPR/Cas9 system combined with the rapid generation time of the zebrafish model organism has made the possibility of performing F 0 screens in this organism a reality. This unit describes a detailed protocol for performing an F 0 screen using the CRISPR/Cas9 system in zebrafish starting with the design and production of custom CRISPR/Cas9 reagents for injection. Next, two approaches for determining the efficiency of mutation induction by the custom CRISPR/Cas9 reagents that are easily performed using standard molecular biology protocols are detailed. Finally, screening for F 0 induced phenotypes using the zebrafish flh gene as an example is discussed. © 2017 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Copyright © 2017 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

  9. Using the Larval Zebrafish Locomotor Assay in Functional Neurotoxicity Screening: Light Intensity and the Order of Stimulus Presentation Affect the Outcome

    EPA Science Inventory

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is evaluating methods to screen and prioritize large numbers of chemicals using 6 day old zebrafish (Danio rerio) as an alternative test model for detecting neurotoxic chemicals. We use a behavioral testing paradigm that simultaneously tes...

  10. Early-life perturbations in glucocorticoid activity impacts on the structure, function and molecular composition of the adult zebrafish (Danio rerio) heart.

    PubMed

    Wilson, K S; Baily, J; Tucker, C S; Matrone, G; Vass, S; Moran, C; Chapman, K E; Mullins, J J; Kenyon, C; Hadoke, P W F; Denvir, M A

    2015-10-15

    Transient early-life perturbations in glucocorticoids (GC) are linked with cardiovascular disease risk in later life. Here the impact of early life manipulations of GC on adult heart structure, function and gene expression were assessed. Zebrafish embryos were incubated in dexamethasone (Dex) or injected with targeted glucocorticoid receptor (GR) morpholino knockdown (GR Mo) over the first 120 h post fertilisation (hpf); surviving embryos (>90%) were maintained until adulthood under normal conditions. Cardiac function, heart histology and cardiac genes were assessed in embryonic (120 hpf) and adult (120 days post fertilisation (dpf)) hearts. GR Mo embryos (120 hpf) had smaller hearts with fewer cardiomyocytes, less mature striation pattern, reduced cardiac function and reduced levels of vmhc and igf mRNA compared with controls. GR Mo adult hearts were smaller with diminished trabecular network pattern, reduced expression of vmhc and altered echocardiographic Doppler flow compared to controls. Dex embryos had larger hearts at 120 hpf (Dex 107.2 ± 3.1 vs. controls 90.2 ± 1.1 μm, p < 0.001) with a more mature trabecular network and larger cardiomyocytes (1.62 ± 0.13 cells/μm vs control 2.18 ± 0.13 cells/μm, p < 0.05) and enhanced cardiac performance compared to controls. Adult hearts were larger (1.02 ± 0.07 μg/mg vs controls 0.63 ± 0.06 μg/mg, p = 0.0007), had increased vmhc and gr mRNA levels. Perturbations in GR activity during embryonic development results in short and long-term alterations in the heart. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  11. Habenular kisspeptin modulates fear in the zebrafish

    PubMed Central

    Ogawa, Satoshi; Nathan, Fatima M.; Parhar, Ishwar S.

    2014-01-01

    Kisspeptin, a neuropeptide encoded by the KISS1/Kiss1, and its cognate G protein-coupled receptor, GPR54 (kisspeptin receptor, Kiss-R), are critical for the control of reproduction in vertebrates. We have previously identified two kisspeptin genes (kiss1 and kiss2) in the zebrafish, of which kiss1 neurons are located in the habenula, which project to the median raphe. kiss2 neurons are located in the hypothalamic nucleus and send axonal projections to gonadotropin-releasing hormone neurons and regulate reproductive functions. However, the physiological significance of the Kiss1 expressed in the habenula remains unknown. Here we demonstrate the role of habenular Kiss1 in alarm substance (AS)-induced fear response in the zebrafish. We found that AS-evoked fear experience significantly reduces kiss1 and serotonin-related genes (plasmacytoma expressed transcript 1 and solute carrier family 6, member 4) in the zebrafish. Furthermore, Kiss1 administration suppressed the AS-evoked fear response. To further evaluate the role of Kiss1 in fear response, zebrafish Kiss1 peptide was conjugated to saporin (SAP) to selectively inactivate Kiss-R1-expressing neurons. The Kiss1-SAP injection significantly reduced Kiss1 immunoreactivity and c-fos mRNA in the habenula and the raphe compared with control. Furthermore, 3 d after Kiss1-SAP injection, the fish had a significantly reduced AS-evoked fear response. These findings provide an insight into the role of the habenular kisspeptin system in inhibiting fear. PMID:24567386

  12. Combinatorial Wnt control of zebrafish midbrain-hindbrain boundary formation.

    PubMed

    Buckles, Gerri R; Thorpe, Christopher J; Ramel, Marie-Christine; Lekven, Arne C

    2004-05-01

    Wnt signaling is known to be required for the normal development of the vertebrate midbrain and hindbrain, but genetic loss of function analyses in the mouse and zebrafish yield differing results regarding the relative importance of specific Wnt loci. In the zebrafish, Wnt1 and Wnt10b functionally overlap in their control of gene expression in the ventral midbrain-hindbrain boundary (MHB), but they are not required for the formation of the MHB constriction. Whether other wnt loci are involved in zebrafish MHB development is unclear, although the expression of at least two wnts, wnt3a and wnt8b, is maintained in wnt1/wnt10b mutants. In order to address the role of wnt3a in zebrafish, we have isolated a full length cDNA and examined its expression and function via knockdown by morpholino antisense oligonucleotide (MO)-mediated knockdown. The expression pattern of wnt3a appears to be evolutionarily conserved between zebrafish and mouse, and MO knockdown shows that Wnt3a, while not uniquely required for MHB development, is required in the absence of Wnt1 and Wnt10b for the formation of the MHB constriction. In zebrafish embryos lacking Wnt3a, Wnt1 and Wnt10b, the expression of engrailed orthologs, pax2a and fgf8 is not maintained after mid-somitogenesis. In contrast to acerebellar and no isthmus mutants, in which midbrain and hindbrain cells acquire new fates but cell number is not significantly affected until late in embryogenesis, zebrafish embryos lacking Wnt3a, Wnt1 and Wnt10b undergo extensive apoptosis in the midbrain and cerebellum anlagen beginning in mid-somitogenesis, which results in the absence of a significant portion of the midbrain and cerebellum. Thus, the requirement for Wnt signaling in forming the MHB constriction is evolutionarily conserved in vertebrates and it is possible in zebrafish to dissect the relative impact of multiple Wnt loci in midbrain and hindbrain development.

  13. Methods for studying the zebrafish brain: past, present and future.

    PubMed

    Wyatt, Cameron; Bartoszek, Ewelina M; Yaksi, Emre

    2015-07-01

    The zebrafish (Danio rerio) is one of the most promising new model organisms. The increasing popularity of this amazing small vertebrate is evident from the exponentially growing numbers of research articles, funded projects and new discoveries associated with the use of zebrafish for studying development, brain function, human diseases and screening for new drugs. Thanks to the development of novel technologies, the range of zebrafish research is constantly expanding with new tools synergistically enhancing traditional techniques. In this review we will highlight the past and present techniques which have made, and continue to make, zebrafish an attractive model organism for various fields of biology, with a specific focus on neuroscience. © 2015 Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  14. Evolution of complexity in the zebrafish synapse proteome

    PubMed Central

    Bayés, Àlex; Collins, Mark O.; Reig-Viader, Rita; Gou, Gemma; Goulding, David; Izquierdo, Abril; Choudhary, Jyoti S.; Emes, Richard D.; Grant, Seth G. N.

    2017-01-01

    The proteome of human brain synapses is highly complex and is mutated in over 130 diseases. This complexity arose from two whole-genome duplications early in the vertebrate lineage. Zebrafish are used in modelling human diseases; however, its synapse proteome is uncharacterized, and whether the teleost-specific genome duplication (TSGD) influenced complexity is unknown. We report the characterization of the proteomes and ultrastructure of central synapses in zebrafish and analyse the importance of the TSGD. While the TSGD increases overall synapse proteome complexity, the postsynaptic density (PSD) proteome of zebrafish has lower complexity than mammals. A highly conserved set of ∼1,000 proteins is shared across vertebrates. PSD ultrastructural features are also conserved. Lineage-specific proteome differences indicate that vertebrate species evolved distinct synapse types and functions. The data sets are a resource for a wide range of studies and have important implications for the use of zebrafish in modelling human synaptic diseases. PMID:28252024

  15. The Vital Relationship Between Nutrition and Health in Zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Watts, Stephen A; Lawrence, Christian; Powell, Mickie; D'Abramo, Louis R

    2016-07-01

    In the relatively short span of four decades, the zebrafish (Danio rerio) has emerged as an increasingly important model organism for biomedicine and other scientific disciplines. As the scale and sophistication of zebrafish research expands, so too does the need to develop standards that promote the production and maintenance of healthy animals for experiments. A major, but long overlooked, contributor to fish health is nutrition. Historically, feeding practices for laboratory zebrafish have been designed to promote growth and reproductive function. However, as the field matures, it is becoming increasingly clear that the nutritional goals for these animals should evolve beyond basic production to the maintenance of clinically healthy research subjects. This review outlines weaknesses and limitations of current approaches and provides a justification for the development of defined standardized diets that will strengthen and facilitate the continued growth of the zebrafish model system.

  16. Mutagenesis and phenotyping resources in zebrafish for studying development and human disease

    PubMed Central

    Varshney, Gaurav Kumar

    2014-01-01

    The zebrafish (Danio rerio) is an important model organism for studying development and human disease. The zebrafish has an excellent reference genome and the functions of hundreds of genes have been tested using both forward and reverse genetic approaches. Recent years have seen an increasing number of large-scale mutagenesis projects and the number of mutants or gene knockouts in zebrafish has increased rapidly, including for the first time conditional knockout technologies. In addition, targeted mutagenesis techniques such as zinc finger nucleases, transcription activator-like effector nucleases and clustered regularly interspaced short sequences (CRISPR) or CRISPR-associated (Cas), have all been shown to effectively target zebrafish genes as well as the first reported germline homologous recombination, further expanding the utility and power of zebrafish genetics. Given this explosion of mutagenesis resources, it is now possible to perform systematic, high-throughput phenotype analysis of all zebrafish gene knockouts. PMID:24162064

  17. Mycobacteriosis in zebrafish colonies.

    PubMed

    Whipps, Christopher M; Lieggi, Christine; Wagner, Robert

    2012-01-01

    Mycobacteriosis, a chronic bacterial infection, has been associated with severe losses in some zebrafish facilities and low-level mortalities and unknown impacts in others. The occurrence of at least six different described species (Mycobacterium abscessus, M. chelonae, M. fortuitum, M. haemophilum, M. marinum, M. peregrinum) from zebrafish complicates diagnosis and control because each species is unique. As a generalization, mycobacteria are often considered opportunists, but M. haemophilum and M. marinum appear to be more virulent. Background genetics of zebrafish and environmental conditions influence the susceptibility of fish and progression of disease, emphasizing the importance of regular monitoring and good husbandry practices. A combined approach to diagnostics is ultimately the most informative, with histology as a first-level screen, polymerase chain reaction for rapid detection and species identification, and culture for strain differentiation. Occurrence of identical strains of Mycobacterium in both fish and biofilms in zebrafish systems suggests transmission can occur when fish feed on infected tissues or tank detritus containing mycobacteria. Within a facility, good husbandry practices and sentinel programs are essential for minimizing the impacts of mycobacteria. In addition, quarantine and screening of animals coming into a facility is important for eliminating the introduction of the more severe pathogens. Elimination of mycobacteria from an aquatic system is likely not feasible because these species readily establish biofilms on surfaces even in extremely low nutrient conditions. Risks associated with each commonly encountered species need to be identified and informed management plans developed. Basic research on the growth characteristics, disinfection, and pathogenesis of zebrafish mycobacteria is critical moving forward.

  18. The zebrafish maternal-effect gene cellular atoll encodes the centriolar component sas-6 and defects in its paternal function promote whole genome duplication.

    PubMed

    Yabe, Taijiro; Ge, Xiaoyan; Pelegri, Francisco

    2007-12-01

    A female-sterile zebrafish maternal-effect mutation in cellular atoll (cea) results in defects in the initiation of cell division starting at the second cell division cycle. This phenomenon is caused by defects in centrosome duplication, which in turn affect the formation of a bipolar spindle. We show that cea encodes the centriolar coiled-coil protein Sas-6, and that zebrafish Cea/Sas-6 protein localizes to centrosomes. cea also has a genetic paternal contribution, which when mutated results in an arrested first cell division followed by normal cleavage. Our data supports the idea that, in zebrafish, paternally inherited centrosomes are required for the first cell division while maternally derived factors are required for centrosomal duplication and cell divisions in subsequent cell cycles. DNA synthesis ensues in the absence of centrosome duplication, and the one-cycle delay in the first cell division caused by cea mutant sperm leads to whole genome duplication. We discuss the potential implications of these findings with regards to the origin of polyploidization in animal species. In addition, the uncoupling of developmental time and cell division count caused by the cea mutation suggests the presence of a time window, normally corresponding to the first two cell cycles, which is permissive for germ plasm recruitment.

  19. Anesthesia and euthanasia in zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Matthews, Monte; Varga, Zoltán M

    2012-01-01

    Because of the relative ease of embryonic manipulation and observation, the ability to produce a great number of genetic mutations, efficient screening methods, and the continued advance of molecular genetic tools, such as the progress in sequencing and mapping of the zebrafish genome, the use of zebrafish (Danio rerio) as a biomedical model organism continues to expand. However, studies involving zebrafish husbandry and veterinary care struggle to keep pace with scientific progress. This article outlines some of the current, acceptable methods for providing anesthesia and euthanasia and provides some examples of how performance-based approaches can be used to advance the relatively limited number of anesthetic and euthanizing techniques available for zebrafish.

  20. Normal anatomy and histology of the adult zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Menke, Aswin L; Spitsbergen, Jan M; Wolterbeek, Andre P M; Woutersen, Ruud A

    2011-08-01

    The zebrafish has been shown to be an excellent vertebrate model for studying the roles of specific genes and signaling pathways. The sequencing of its genome and the relative ease with which gene modifications can be performed have led to the creation of numerous human disease models that can be used for testing the potential and the toxicity of new pharmaceutical compounds. Many pharmaceutical companies already use the zebrafish for prescreening purposes. So far, the focus has been on ecotoxicity and the effects on embryonic development, but there is a trend to expand the use of the zebrafish with acute, subchronic, and chronic toxicity studies that are currently still carried out with the more conventional test animals such as rodents. However, before we can fully realize the potential of the zebrafish as an animal model for understanding human development, disease, and toxicology, we must first greatly advance our knowledge of normal zebrafish physiology, anatomy, and histology. To further this knowledge, we describe, in the present article, location and histology of the major zebrafish organ systems with a brief description of their function.

  1. Heart-specific expression of laminopathic mutations in transgenic zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Verma, Ajay D; Parnaik, Veena K

    2017-07-01

    Lamins are key determinants of nuclear organization and function in the metazoan nucleus. Mutations in human lamin A cause a spectrum of genetic diseases that affect cardiac muscle and skeletal muscle as well as other tissues. A few laminopathies have been modeled using the mouse. As zebrafish is a well established model for the study of cardiac development and disease, we have investigated the effects of heart-specific lamin A mutations in transgenic zebrafish. We have developed transgenic lines of zebrafish expressing conserved lamin A mutations that cause cardiac dysfunction in humans. Expression of zlamin A mutations Q291P and M368K in the heart was driven by the zebrafish cardiac troponin T2 promoter. Homozygous mutant embryos displayed nuclear abnormalities in cardiomyocyte nuclei. Expression analysis showed the upregulation of genes involved in heart regeneration in transgenic mutant embryos and a cell proliferation marker was increased in adult heart tissue. At the physiological level, there was deviation of up to 20% from normal heart rate in transgenic embryos expressing mutant lamins. Adult homozygous zebrafish were fertile and did not show signs of early mortality. Our results suggest that transgenic zebrafish models of heart-specific laminopathies show cardiac regeneration and moderate deviations in heart rate during embryonic development. © 2017 International Federation for Cell Biology.

  2. Contextual Fear Conditioning in Zebrafish

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kenney, Justin W.; Scott, Ian C.; Josselyn, Sheena A.; Frankland, Paul W.

    2017-01-01

    Zebrafish are a genetically tractable vertebrate that hold considerable promise for elucidating the molecular basis of behavior. Although numerous recent advances have been made in the ability to precisely manipulate the zebrafish genome, much less is known about many aspects of learning and memory in adult fish. Here, we describe the development…

  3. Disease modeling in genetic kidney diseases: zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Schenk, Heiko; Müller-Deile, Janina; Kinast, Mark; Schiffer, Mario

    2017-07-01

    Growing numbers of translational genomics studies are based on the highly efficient and versatile zebrafish (Danio rerio) vertebrate model. The increasing types of zebrafish models have improved our understanding of inherited kidney diseases, since they not only display pathophysiological changes but also give us the opportunity to develop and test novel treatment options in a high-throughput manner. New paradigms in inherited kidney diseases have been developed on the basis of the distinct genome conservation of approximately 70 % between zebrafish and humans in terms of existing gene orthologs. Several options are available to determine the functional role of a specific gene or gene sets. Permanent genome editing can be induced via complete gene knockout by using the CRISPR/Cas-system, among others, or via transient modification by using various morpholino techniques. Cross-species rescues succeeding knockdown techniques are employed to determine the functional significance of a target gene or a specific mutation. This article summarizes the current techniques and discusses their perspectives.

  4. Stable multilineage xenogeneic replacement of definitive hematopoiesis in adult zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Hess, Isabell; Boehm, Thomas

    2016-01-18

    Bony fishes are the most numerous and phenotypically diverse group of vertebrates inhabiting our planet, making them an ideal target for identifying general principles of tissue development and function. However, lack of suitable experimental platforms prevents the exploitation of this rich source of natural phenotypic variation. Here, we use a zebrafish strain lacking definitive hematopoiesis for interspecific analysis of hematopoietic cell development. Without conditioning prior to transplantation, hematopoietic progenitor cells from goldfish stably engraft in adult zebrafish homozygous for the c-myb(I181N) mutation. However, in competitive repopulation experiments, zebrafish hematopoietic cells exhibit an advantage over their goldfish counterparts, possibly owing to subtle species-specific functional differences in hematopoietic microenvironments resulting from over 100 million years of independent evolution. Thus, our unique animal model provides an unprecedented opportunity to genetically and functionally disentangle universal and species-specific contributions of the microenvironment to hematopoietic progenitor cell maintenance and development.

  5. The neurogenetic frontier--lessons from misbehaving zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Burgess, Harold A; Granato, Michael

    2008-11-01

    One of the central questions in neuroscience is how refined patterns of connectivity in the brain generate and monitor behavior. Genetic mutations can influence neural circuits by disrupting differentiation or maintenance of component neuronal cells or by altering functional patterns of nervous system connectivity. Mutagenesis screens therefore have the potential to reveal not only the molecular underpinnings of brain development and function, but to illuminate the cellular basis of behavior. Practical considerations make the zebrafish an organism of choice for undertaking forward genetic analysis of behavior. The powerful array of experimental tools at the disposal of the zebrafish researcher makes it possible to link molecular function to neuronal properties that underlie behavior. This review focuses on specific challenges to isolating and analyzing behavioral mutants in zebrafish.

  6. The neurogenetic frontier—lessons from misbehaving zebrafish

    PubMed Central

    Granato, Michael

    2008-01-01

    One of the central questions in neuroscience is how refined patterns of connectivity in the brain generate and monitor behavior. Genetic mutations can influence neural circuits by disrupting differentiation or maintenance of component neuronal cells or by altering functional patterns of nervous system connectivity. Mutagenesis screens therefore have the potential to reveal not only the molecular underpinnings of brain development and function, but to illuminate the cellular basis of behavior. Practical considerations make the zebrafish an organism of choice for undertaking forward genetic analysis of behavior. The powerful array of experimental tools at the disposal of the zebrafish researcher makes it possible to link molecular function to neuronal properties that underlie behavior. This review focuses on specific challenges to isolating and analyzing behavioral mutants in zebrafish. PMID:18836206

  7. The Visual System of Zebrafish and its Use to Model Human Ocular Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Gestri, Gaia; Link, Brian A; Neuhauss, Stephan CF

    2011-01-01

    Free swimming zebrafish larvae depend mainly on their sense of vision to evade predation and to catch prey. Hence there is strong selective pressure on the fast maturation of visual function and indeed the visual system already supports a number of visually-driven behaviors in the newly hatched larvae. The ability to exploit the genetic and embryonic accessibility of the zebrafish in combination with a behavioral assessment of visual system function has made the zebrafish a popular model to study vision and its diseases. Here, we review the anatomy, physiology and development of the zebrafish eye as the basis to relate the contributions of the zebrafish to our understanding of human ocular diseases. PMID:21595048

  8. The Arrhythmogenic Calmodulin Mutation D129G Dysregulates Cell Growth, Calmodulin-dependent Kinase II Activity, and Cardiac Function in Zebrafish*

    PubMed Central

    Zacharias, Triantafyllos; Kulej, Katarzyna; Wang, Kevin; Torggler, Raffaela; la Cour, Jonas M.

    2016-01-01

    Calmodulin (CaM) is a Ca2+ binding protein modulating multiple targets, several of which are associated with cardiac pathophysiology. Recently, CaM mutations were linked to heart arrhythmia. CaM is crucial for cell growth and viability, yet the effect of the arrhythmogenic CaM mutations on cell viability, as well as heart rhythm, remains unknown, and only a few targets with relevance for heart physiology have been analyzed for their response to mutant CaM. We show that the arrhythmia-associated CaM mutants support growth and viability of DT40 cells in the absence of WT CaM except for the long QT syndrome mutant CaM D129G. Of the six CaM mutants tested (N53I, F89L, D95V, N97S, D129G, and F141L), three showed a decreased activation of Ca2+/CaM-dependent kinase II, most prominently the D129G CaM mutation, which was incapable of stimulating Thr286 autophosphorylation. Furthermore, the CaM D129G mutation led to bradycardia in zebrafish and an arrhythmic phenotype in a subset of the analyzed zebrafish. PMID:27815504

  9. Automatic zebrafish heartbeat detection and analysis for zebrafish embryos.

    PubMed

    Pylatiuk, Christian; Sanchez, Daniela; Mikut, Ralf; Alshut, Rüdiger; Reischl, Markus; Hirth, Sofia; Rottbauer, Wolfgang; Just, Steffen

    2014-08-01

    A fully automatic detection and analysis method of heartbeats in videos of nonfixed and nonanesthetized zebrafish embryos is presented. This method reduces the manual workload and time needed for preparation and imaging of the zebrafish embryos, as well as for evaluating heartbeat parameters such as frequency, beat-to-beat intervals, and arrhythmicity. The method is validated by a comparison of the results from automatic and manual detection of the heart rates of wild-type zebrafish embryos 36-120 h postfertilization and of embryonic hearts with bradycardia and pauses in the cardiac contraction.

  10. Myomaker mediates fusion of fast myocytes in zebrafish embryos

    SciT

    Landemaine, Aurélie; Rescan, Pierre-Yves; Gabillard, Jean-Charles, E-mail: Jean-charles.gabillard@rennes.inra.fr

    2014-09-05

    Highlights: • Myomaker is transiently expressed in fast myocytes during embryonic myogenesis. • Myomaker is essential for fast myocyte fusion in zebrafish. • The function of myomaker is conserved among Teleostomi. - Abstract: Myomaker (also called Tmem8c), a new membrane activator of myocyte fusion was recently discovered in mice. Using whole mount in situ hybridization on zebrafish embryos at different stages of embryonic development, we show that myomaker is transiently expressed in fast myocytes forming the bulk of zebrafish myotome. Zebrafish embryos injected with morpholino targeted against myomaker were alive after yolk resorption and appeared morphologically normal, but they weremore » unable to swim, even under effect of a tactile stimulation. Confocal observations showed a marked phenotype characterized by the persistence of mononucleated muscle cells in the fast myotome at developmental stages where these cells normally fuse to form multinucleated myotubes. This indicates that myomaker is essential for myocyte fusion in zebrafish. Thus, there is an evolutionary conservation of myomaker expression and function among Teleostomi.« less

  11. Pharmacological analyses of learning and memory in zebrafish (Danio rerio).

    PubMed

    Bailey, Jordan M; Oliveri, Anthony N; Levin, Edward D

    2015-12-01

    Over the last decade, zebrafish (Danio rerio) have become valuable as a complementary model in behavioral pharmacology, opening a new avenue for understanding the relationships between drug action and behavior. This species offers a useful intermediate approach bridging the gap between in vitro studies and traditional mammalian models. Zebrafish offer great advantages of economy compared to their rodent counterparts, their complex brains and behavioral repertoire offer great translational potential relative to in vitro models. The development and validation of a variety of tests to measure behavior, including cognition, in zebrafish have set the stage for the use of this animal for behavioral pharmacology studies. This has led to research into the basic mechanisms of cognitive function as well as screening for potential cognition-improving drug therapies, among other lines of research. As with all models, zebrafish have limitations, which span pharmacokinetic challenges to difficulties quantifying behavior. The use, efficacy and limitations associated with a zebrafish model of cognitive function are discussed in this review, within the context of behavioral pharmacology. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Expression of Glycosaminoglycan Epitopes During Zebrafish Skeletogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Hayes, Anthony J; Mitchell, Ruth E; Bashford, Andrew; Reynolds, Scott; Caterson, Bruce; Hammond, Chrissy L

    2013-01-01

    Background: The zebrafish is an important developmental model. Surprisingly, there are few studies that describe the glycosaminoglycan composition of its extracellular matrix during skeletogenesis. Glycosaminoglycans on proteoglycans contribute to the material properties of musculo skeletal connective tissues, and are important in regulating signalling events during morphogenesis. Sulfation motifs within the chain structure of glycosaminoglycans on cell-associated and extracellular matrix proteoglycans allow them to bind and regulate the sequestration/presentation of bioactive signalling molecules important in musculo-skeletal development. Results: We describe the spatio-temporal expression of different glycosaminoglycan moieties during zebrafish skeletogenesis with antibodies recognising (1) native sulfation motifs within chondroitin and keratan sulfate chains, and (2) enzyme-generated neoepitope sequences within the chain structure of chondroitin sulfate (i.e., 0-, 4-, and 6-sulfated isoforms) and heparan sulfate glycosaminoglycans. We show that all the glycosaminoglycan moieties investigated are expressed within the developing skeletal tissues of larval zebrafish. However, subtle changes in their patterns of spatio-temporal expression over the period examined suggest that their expression is tightly and dynamically controlled during development. Conclusions: The subtle differences observed in the domains of expression between different glycosaminoglycan moieties suggest differences in their functional roles during establishment of the primitive analogues of the skeleton. Developmental Dynamics 242:778–789, 2013. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Key Findings The developing zebrafish skeleton expresses many different glycosaminoglycan modifications. Multiple different glycosaminoglycan epitopes are dynamically expressed in the craniofacial skeleton. Expression of chondroitin sulfate moieties are dynamically expressed in the vertebral column and precede

  13. Evaluation of color preference in zebrafish for learning and memory.

    PubMed

    Avdesh, Avdesh; Martin-Iverson, Mathew T; Mondal, Alinda; Chen, Mengqi; Askraba, Sreten; Morgan, Newman; Lardelli, Michael; Groth, David M; Verdile, Giuseppe; Martins, Ralph N

    2012-01-01

    There is growing interest in using zebrafish (Danio rerio) as a model of neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's disease. A zebrafish model of tauopathies has recently been developed and characterized in terms of presence of the pathological hallmarks (i.e., neurofibrillary tangles and cell death). However, it is also necessary to validate these models for function by assessing learning and memory. The majority of tools to assess memory and learning in animal models involve visual stimuli, including color preference. The color preference of zebrafish has received little attention. To validate zebrafish as a model for color-associated-learning and memory, it is necessary to evaluate its natural preferences or any pre-existing biases towards specific colors. In the present study, we have used four different colors (red, yellow, green, and blue) to test natural color preferences of the zebrafish using two procedures: Place preference and T-maze. Results from both experiments indicate a strong aversion toward blue color relative to all other colors (red, yellow, and green) when tested in combinations. No preferences or biases were found among reds, yellows, and greens in the place preference procedure. However, red and green were equally preferred and both were preferred over yellow by zebrafish in the T-maze procedure. The results from the present study show a strong aversion towards blue color compared to red, green, and yellow, with yellow being less preferred relative to red and green. The findings from this study may underpin any further designing of color-based learning and memory paradigms or experiments involving aversion, anxiety, or fear in the zebrafish.

  14. Identification and characterization of circular RNAs in zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Shen, Yudong; Guo, Xianwu; Wang, Weimin

    2017-01-01

    Circular RNA (circRNA), a class of RNAs with circular structure, has received little attention until recently, when some new features and functions were discovered. In the present study, we sequenced circRNAs in zebrafish (Danio rerio) and identified 3868 circRNAs using three algorithms (find_circ, CIRI, segemehl). The analysis of microRNA target sites on circRNAs shows that some circRNAs may function as miRNA sponges. Furthermore, we identified the existence of reverse complementary sequences in the flanking regions of only 25 (2.64%) exonic circRNAs, indicating that the mechanism of zebrafish exonic circRNA biogenesis might be different from that in mammals. Moreover, 1122 (29%) zebrafish circRNA sequences showed homology with human, mouse and coelacanth circRNAs. © 2016 Federation of European Biochemical Societies.

  15. A novel perivascular cell population in the zebrafish brain.

    PubMed

    Venero Galanternik, Marina; Castranova, Daniel; Gore, Aniket V; Blewett, Nathan H; Jung, Hyun Min; Stratman, Amber N; Kirby, Martha R; Iben, James; Miller, Mayumi F; Kawakami, Koichi; Maraia, Richard J; Weinstein, Brant M

    2017-04-11

    The blood-brain barrier is essential for the proper homeostasis and function of the CNS, but its mechanism of function is poorly understood. Perivascular cells surrounding brain blood vessels are thought to be important for blood-brain barrier establishment, but their roles are not well defined. Here, we describe a novel perivascular cell population closely associated with blood vessels on the zebrafish brain. Based on similarities in their morphology, location, and scavenger behavior, these cells appear to be the zebrafish equivalent of cells variably characterized as Fluorescent Granular Perithelial cells (FGPs), perivascular macrophages, or 'Mato Cells' in mammals. Despite their macrophage-like morphology and perivascular location, zebrafish FGPs appear molecularly most similar to lymphatic endothelium, and our imaging studies suggest that these cells emerge by differentiation from endothelium of the optic choroidal vascular plexus. Our findings provide the first report of a perivascular cell population in the brain derived from vascular endothelium.

  16. Embryonic exposure to an aqueous coal dust extract results in gene expression alterations associated with the development and function of connective tissue and the hematological system, immunological and inflammatory disease, and cancer in zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Caballero-Gallardo, Karina; Wirbisky-Hershberger, Sara E; Olivero-Verbel, Jesus; de la Rosa, Jesus; Freeman, Jennifer L

    2018-03-01

    Coal mining is one of the economic activities with the greatest impact on environmental quality. At all stages contaminants are released as particulates such as coal dust. The first aim of this study was to obtain an aqueous coal dust extract and characterize its composition in terms of trace elements by ICP-MS. In addition, the developmental toxicity of the aqueous coal extract was evaluated using zebrafish (Danio rerio) after exposure to different concentrations (0-1000 ppm; μg mL -1 ) to establish acute toxicity, morphology and transcriptome changes. Trace elements within the aqueous coal dust extract present at the highest concentrations (>10 ppb) included Sr, Zn, Ba, As, Cu and Se. In addition, Cd and Pb were found in lower concentrations. No significant difference in mortality was observed (p > 0.05), but a delay in hatching was found at 0.1 and 1000 ppm (p < 0.05). No significant differences in morphological characteristics were observed in any of the treatment groups (p > 0.05). Transcriptomic results of zebrafish larvae revealed alterations in 77, 61 and 1376 genes in the 1, 10, and 100 ppm groups, respectively. Gene ontology analysis identified gene alterations associated with the development and function of connective tissue and the hematological system, as well as pathways associated with apoptosis, the cell cycle, transcription, and oxidative stress including the MAPK signaling pathway. In addition, altered genes were associated with cancer; connective tissue, muscular, and skeletal disorders; and immunological and inflammatory diseases. Overall, this is the first study to characterize gene expression alterations in response to developmental exposure to aqueous coal dust residue from coal mining with transcriptome results signifying functions and systems to target in future studies.

  17. The DVR-1 (Vg1) transcript of zebrafish is maternally supplied and distributed throughout the embryo.

    PubMed

    Helde, K A; Grunwald, D J

    1993-10-01

    It is not known how region- or tissue-specific differences are generated in the zebrafish embryo. To look at the potential role of maternal transcripts in generating cell diversity, we have isolated and characterized the zebrafish homologue of Xenopus DVR-1 (Vg1), a maternally supplied RNA that encodes a member of the transforming growth factor-beta superfamily. The zebrafish DVR-1 RNA is maternally supplied and its protein product shares a high degree of sequence identity with Xenopus DVR-1. These conserved features indicate that DVR-1 is likely to have an essential function in early embryogenesis. However, unlike the frog transcript, which is restricted to vegetal cells, DVR-1 RNA is distributed equally among all zebrafish blastomeres. We suggest that the ubiquitous distribution of DVR-1 RNA reflects a significant aspect of the developmental strategy of the zebrafish in which each blastomere retains an equivalent developmental potential throughout the cleavage period.

  18. Zebrafish models of cardiovascular diseases and their applications in herbal medicine research.

    PubMed

    Seto, Sai-Wang; Kiat, Hosen; Lee, Simon M Y; Bensoussan, Alan; Sun, Yu-Ting; Hoi, Maggie P M; Chang, Dennis

    2015-12-05

    The zebrafish (Danio rerio) has recently become a powerful animal model for cardiovascular research and drug discovery due to its ease of maintenance, genetic manipulability and ability for high-throughput screening. Recent advances in imaging techniques and generation of transgenic zebrafish have greatly facilitated in vivo analysis of cellular events of cardiovascular development and pathogenesis. More importantly, recent studies have demonstrated the functional similarity of drug metabolism systems between zebrafish and humans, highlighting the clinical relevance of employing zebrafish in identifying lead compounds in Chinese herbal medicine with potential beneficial cardiovascular effects. This paper seeks to summarise the scope of zebrafish models employed in cardiovascular studies and the application of these research models in Chinese herbal medicine to date. Crown Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  19. Methods to study maternal regulation of germ cell specification in zebrafish

    PubMed Central

    Kaufman, O.H.; Marlow, F.L.

    2016-01-01

    The process by which the germ line is specified in the zebrafish embryo is under the control of maternal gene products that were produced during oogenesis. Zebrafish are highly amenable to microscopic observation of the processes governing maternal germ cell specification because early embryos are transparent, and the germ line is specified rapidly (within 4–5 h post fertilization). Advantages of zebrafish over other models used to study vertebrate germ cell formation include their genetic tractability, the large numbers of progeny, and the easily manipulable genome, all of which make zebrafish an ideal system for studying the genetic regulators and cellular basis of germ cell formation and maintenance. Classical molecular biology techniques, including expression analysis through in situ hybridization and forward genetic screens, have laid the foundation for our understanding of germ cell development in zebrafish. In this chapter, we discuss some of these classic techniques, as well as recent cutting-edge methodologies that have improved our ability to visualize the process of germ cell specification and differentiation, and the tracking of specific molecules involved in these processes. Additionally, we discuss traditional and novel technologies for manipulating the zebrafish genome to identify new components through loss-of-function studies of putative germ cell regulators. Together with the numerous aforementioned advantages of zebrafish as a genetic model for studying development, we believe these new techniques will continue to advance zebrafish to the forefront for investigation of the molecular regulators of germ cell specification and germ line biology. PMID:27312489

  20. Lxr regulates lipid metabolic and visual perception pathways during zebrafish development.

    PubMed

    Pinto, Caroline Lucia; Kalasekar, Sharanya Maanasi; McCollum, Catherine W; Riu, Anne; Jonsson, Philip; Lopez, Justin; Swindell, Eric C; Bouhlatouf, Abdel; Balaguer, Patrick; Bondesson, Maria; Gustafsson, Jan-Åke

    2016-01-05

    The Liver X Receptors (LXRs) play important roles in multiple metabolic pathways, including fatty acid, cholesterol, carbohydrate and energy metabolism. To expand the knowledge of the functions of LXR signaling during embryonic development, we performed a whole-genome microarray analysis of Lxr target genes in zebrafish larvae treated with either one of the synthetic LXR ligands T0901317 or GW3965. Assessment of the biological processes enriched by differentially expressed genes revealed a prime role for Lxr in regulating lipid metabolic processes, similarly to the function of LXR in mammals. In addition, exposure to the Lxr ligands induced changes in expression of genes in the neural retina and lens of the zebrafish eye, including the photoreceptor guanylate cyclase activators and lens gamma crystallins, suggesting a potential novel role for Lxr in modulating the transcription of genes associated with visual function in zebrafish. The regulation of expression of metabolic genes was phenotypically reflected in an increased absorption of yolk in the zebrafish larvae, and changes in the expression of genes involved in visual perception were associated with morphological alterations in the retina and lens of the developing zebrafish eye. The regulation of expression of both lipid metabolic and eye specific genes was sustained in 1 month old fish. The transcriptional networks demonstrated several conserved effects of LXR activation between zebrafish and mammals, and also identified potential novel functions of Lxr, supporting zebrafish as a promising model for investigating the role of Lxr during development. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Lxr regulates lipid metabolic and visual perception pathways during zebrafish development

    PubMed Central

    Pinto, Caroline Lucia; Kalasekar, Sharanya Maanasi; McCollum, Catherine W.; Riu, Anne; Jonsson, Philip; Lopez, Justin; Swindell, Eric; Bouhlatouf, Abdel; Balaguer, Patrick; Bondesson, Maria; Gustafsson, Jan-Åke

    2015-01-01

    The Liver X Receptors (LXRs) play important roles in multiple metabolic pathways, including fatty acid, cholesterol, carbohydrate and energy metabolism. To expand the knowledge of the functions of LXR signaling during embryonic development, we performed a whole-genome microarray analysis of Lxr target genes in zebrafish larvae treated with either one of the synthetic LXR ligands T0901317 or GW3965. Assessment of the biological processes enriched by differentially expressed genes revealed a prime role for Lxr in regulating lipid metabolic processes, similarly to the function of LXR in mammals. In addition, exposure to the Lxr ligands induced changes in expression of genes in the neural retina and lens of the zebrafish eye, including the photoreceptor guanylate cyclase activators and lens gamma crystallins, suggesting a potential novel role for Lxr in modulating the transcription of genes associated with visual function in zebrafish. The regulation of expression of metabolic genes was phenotypically reflected in an increased absorption of yolk in the zebrafish larvae, and changes in the expression of genes involved in visual perception were associated with morphological alterations in the retina and lens of the developing zebrafish eye. The regulation of expression of both lipid metabolic and eye specific genes was sustained in 1 month old fish. The transcriptional networks demonstrated several conserved effects of LXR activation between zebrafish and mammals, and also identified potential novel functions of Lxr, supporting zebrafish as a promising model for investigating the role of Lxr during development. PMID:26427652

  2. Zebrafish as tools for drug discovery.

    PubMed

    MacRae, Calum A; Peterson, Randall T

    2015-10-01

    The zebrafish has become a prominent vertebrate model for disease and has already contributed to several examples of successful phenotype-based drug discovery. For the zebrafish to become useful in drug development more broadly, key hurdles must be overcome, including a more comprehensive elucidation of the similarities and differences between human and zebrafish biology. Recent studies have begun to establish the capabilities and limitations of zebrafish for disease modelling, drug screening, target identification, pharmacology, and toxicology. As our understanding increases and as the technologies for manipulating zebrafish improve, it is hoped that the zebrafish will have a key role in accelerating the emergence of precision medicine.

  3. Using the zebrafish to understand tendon development and repair

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Jessica W.; Galloway, Jenna L.

    2017-01-01

    Tendons are important components of our musculoskeletal system. Injuries to these tissues are very common, resulting from occupational-related injuries, sports-related trauma, and age-related degeneration. Unfortunately, there are few treatment options, and current therapies rarely restore injured tendons to their original function. An improved understanding of the pathways regulating their development and repair would have significant impact in stimulating the formulation of regenerative-based approaches for tendon injury. The zebrafish provides an ideal system in which to perform genetic and chemical screens to identify new pathways involved in tendon biology. Until recently, there had been few descriptions of tendons and ligaments in the zebrafish and their similarity to mammalian tendon tissues. In this chapter, we describe the development of the zebrafish tendon and ligament tissues in the context of their gene expression, structure, and interactions with neighboring musculoskeletal tissues. We highlight the similarities with tendon development in higher vertebrates, showing that the craniofacial tendons and ligaments in zebrafish morphologically, molecularly, and structurally resemble mammalian tendons and ligaments from embryonic to adult stages. We detail methods for fluorescent in situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry as an assay to examine morphological changes in the zebrafish musculoskeleton. Staining assays such as these could provide the foundation for screen-based approaches to identify new regulators of tendon development, morphogenesis, and repair. These discoveries would provide new targets and pathways to study in the context of regenerative medicine-based approaches to improve tendon healing. PMID:28129848

  4. Zebrafish: An Important Tool for Liver Disease Research

    PubMed Central

    Goessling, Wolfram; Sadler, Kirsten C.

    2016-01-01

    As the incidence of hepatobiliary diseases increases, we must improve our understanding of the molecular, cellular, and physiological factors that contribute to the pathogenesis of liver disease. Animal models help us identify disease mechanisms that might be targeted therapeutically. Zebrafish (Danio rerio) have traditionally been used to study embryonic development but are also important to the study of liver disease. Zebrafish embryos develop rapidly; all of their digestive organs are mature in larvae by 5 days of age. At this stage, they can develop hepatobiliary diseases caused by developmental defects or toxin- or ethanol-induced injury and manifest premalignant changes within weeks. Zebrafish are similar to humans in hepatic cellular composition, function, signaling, and response to injury as well as the cellular processes that mediate liver diseases. Genes are highly conserved between humans and zebrafish, making them a useful system to study the basic mechanisms of liver disease. We can perform genetic screens to identify novel genes involved in specific disease processes and chemical screens to identify pathways and compounds that act on specific processes. We review how studies of zebrafish have advanced our understanding of inherited and acquired liver diseases as well as liver cancer and regeneration. PMID:26319012

  5. Zebrafish: an important tool for liver disease research.

    PubMed

    Goessling, Wolfram; Sadler, Kirsten C

    2015-11-01

    As the incidence of hepatobiliary diseases increases, we must improve our understanding of the molecular, cellular, and physiological factors that contribute to the pathogenesis of liver disease. Animal models help us identify disease mechanisms that might be targeted therapeutically. Zebrafish (Danio rerio) have traditionally been used to study embryonic development but are also important to the study of liver disease. Zebrafish embryos develop rapidly; all of their digestive organs are mature in larvae by 5 days of age. At this stage, they can develop hepatobiliary diseases caused by developmental defects or toxin- or ethanol-induced injury and manifest premalignant changes within weeks. Zebrafish are similar to humans in hepatic cellular composition, function, signaling, and response to injury as well as the cellular processes that mediate liver diseases. Genes are highly conserved between humans and zebrafish, making them a useful system to study the basic mechanisms of liver disease. We can perform genetic screens to identify novel genes involved in specific disease processes and chemical screens to identify pathways and compounds that act on specific processes. We review how studies of zebrafish have advanced our understanding of inherited and acquired liver diseases as well as liver cancer and regeneration. Copyright © 2015 AGA Institute. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. Zebrafish Axenic Larvae Colonization with Human Intestinal Microbiota.

    PubMed

    Arias-Jayo, Nerea; Alonso-Saez, Laura; Ramirez-Garcia, Andoni; Pardo, Miguel A

    2018-04-01

    The human intestine hosts a vast and complex microbial community that is vital for maintaining several functions related with host health. The processes that determine the gut microbiome composition are poorly understood, being the interaction between species, the external environment, and the relationship with the host the most feasible. Animal models offer the opportunity to understand the interactions between the host and the microbiota. There are different gnotobiotic mice or rat models colonized with the human microbiota, however, to our knowledge, there are no reports on the colonization of germ-free zebrafish with a complex human intestinal microbiota. In the present study, we have successfully colonized 5 days postfertilization germ-free zebrafish larvae with the human intestinal microbiota previously extracted from a donor and analyzed by high-throughput sequencing the composition of the transferred microbial communities that established inside the zebrafish gut. Thus, we describe for first time which human bacteria phylotypes are able to colonize the zebrafish digestive tract. Species with relevant interest because of their linkage to dysbiosis in different human diseases, such as Akkermansia muciniphila, Eubacterium rectale, Faecalibacterium prausnitzii, Prevotella spp., or Roseburia spp. have been successfully transferred inside the zebrafish digestive tract.

  7. Enumerating Hematopoietic Stem and Progenitor Cells in Zebrafish Embryos.

    PubMed

    Esain, Virginie; Cortes, Mauricio; North, Trista E

    2016-01-01

    Over the past 20 years, zebrafish have proven to be a valuable model to dissect the signaling pathways involved in hematopoiesis, including Hematopoietic Stem and Progenitor Cell (HSPC) formation and homeostasis. Despite tremendous efforts to generate the tools necessary to characterize HSPCs in vitro and in vivo the zebrafish community still lacks standardized methods to quantify HSPCs across laboratories. Here, we describe three methods used routinely in our lab, and in others, to reliably enumerate HSPCs in zebrafish embryos: large-scale live imaging of transgenic reporter lines, Fluorescence-Activated Cell Sorting (FACS), and in vitro cell culture. While live imaging and FACS analysis allows enumeration of total or site-specific HSPCs, the cell culture assay provides the unique opportunity to test the functional potential of isolated HSPCs, similar to those employed in mammals.

  8. Advancements in zebrafish applications for 21st century toxicology.

    PubMed

    Garcia, Gloria R; Noyes, Pamela D; Tanguay, Robert L

    2016-05-01

    The zebrafish model is the only available high-throughput vertebrate assessment system, and it is uniquely suited for studies of in vivo cell biology. A sequenced and annotated genome has revealed a large degree of evolutionary conservation in comparison to the human genome. Due to our shared evolutionary history, the anatomical and physiological features of fish are highly homologous to humans, which facilitates studies relevant to human health. In addition, zebrafish provide a very unique vertebrate data stream that allows researchers to anchor hypotheses at the biochemical, genetic, and cellular levels to observations at the structural, functional, and behavioral level in a high-throughput format. In this review, we will draw heavily from toxicological studies to highlight advances in zebrafish high-throughput systems. Breakthroughs in transgenic/reporter lines and methods for genetic manipulation, such as the CRISPR-Cas9 system, will be comprised of reports across diverse disciplines. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. Advancements in zebrafish applications for 21st century toxicology

    PubMed Central

    Garcia, Gloria R.; Noyes, Pamela D.; Tanguay, Robert L.

    2016-01-01

    The zebrafish model is the only available high-throughput vertebrate assessment system, and it is uniquely suited for studies of in vivo cell biology. A sequenced and annotated genome has revealed a large degree of evolutionary conservation in comparison to the human genome. Due to our shared evolutionary history, the anatomical and physiological features of fish are highly homologous to humans, which facilitates studies relevant to human health. In addition, zebrafish provide a very unique vertebrate data stream that allows researchers to anchor hypotheses at the biochemical, genetic, and cellular levels to observations at the structural, functional, and behavioral level in a high-throughput format. In this review, we will draw heavily from toxicological studies to highlight advances in zebrafish high-throughput systems. Breakthroughs in transgenic/reporter lines and methods for genetic manipulation, such as the CRISPR-Cas9 system, will be comprised of reports across diverse disciplines. PMID:27016469

  10. Embryonic senescence and laminopathies in a progeroid zebrafish model.

    PubMed

    Koshimizu, Eriko; Imamura, Shintaro; Qi, Jie; Toure, Jamal; Valdez, Delgado M; Carr, Christopher E; Hanai, Jun-ichi; Kishi, Shuji

    2011-03-30

    Mutations that disrupt the conversion of prelamin A to mature lamin A cause the rare genetic disorder Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome and a group of laminopathies. Our understanding of how A-type lamins function in vivo during early vertebrate development through aging remains limited, and would benefit from a suitable experimental model. The zebrafish has proven to be a tractable model organism for studying both development and aging at the molecular genetic level. Zebrafish show an array of senescence symptoms resembling those in humans, which can be targeted to specific aging pathways conserved in vertebrates. However, no zebrafish models bearing human premature senescence currently exist. We describe the induction of embryonic senescence and laminopathies in zebrafish harboring disturbed expressions of the lamin A gene (LMNA). Impairments in these fish arise in the skin, muscle and adipose tissue, and sometimes in the cartilage. Reduced function of lamin A/C by translational blocking of the LMNA gene induced apoptosis, cell-cycle arrest, and craniofacial abnormalities/cartilage defects. By contrast, induced cryptic splicing of LMNA, which generates the deletion of 8 amino acid residues lamin A (zlamin A-Δ8), showed embryonic senescence and S-phase accumulation/arrest. Interestingly, the abnormal muscle and lipodystrophic phenotypes were common in both cases. Hence, both decrease-of-function of lamin A/C and gain-of-function of aberrant lamin A protein induced laminopathies that are associated with mesenchymal cell lineages during zebrafish early development. Visualization of individual cells expressing zebrafish progerin (zProgerin/zlamin A-Δ37) fused to green fluorescent protein further revealed misshapen nuclear membrane. A farnesyltransferase inhibitor reduced these nuclear abnormalities and significantly prevented embryonic senescence and muscle fiber damage induced by zProgerin. Importantly, the adult Progerin fish survived and remained fertile with

  11. The neural basis of visual behaviors in the larval zebrafish

    PubMed Central

    Portugues, Ruben; Engert, Florian

    2015-01-01

    We review visually guided behaviors in larval zebrafish and summarise what is known about the neural processing that results in these behaviors, paying particular attention to the progress made in the last 2 years. Using the examples of the optokinetic reflex, the optomotor response, prey tracking and the visual startle response, we illustrate how the larval zebrafish presents us with a very promising model vertebrate system that allows neurocientists to integrate functional and behavioral studies and from which we can expect illuminating insights in the near future. PMID:19896836

  12. The neural basis of visual behaviors in the larval zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Portugues, Ruben; Engert, Florian

    2009-12-01

    We review visually guided behaviors in larval zebrafish and summarise what is known about the neural processing that results in these behaviors, paying particular attention to the progress made in the last 2 years. Using the examples of the optokinetic reflex, the optomotor response, prey tracking and the visual startle response, we illustrate how the larval zebrafish presents us with a very promising model vertebrate system that allows neurocientists to integrate functional and behavioral studies and from which we can expect illuminating insights in the near future. Copyright 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. The essential role of endogenous ghrelin in growth hormone expression during zebrafish adenohypophysis development.

    PubMed

    Li, Xi; He, Jiangyan; Hu, Wei; Yin, Zhan

    2009-06-01

    Ghrelin, a multifunctional hormone, including potent GH stimulation activity, has been suggested to be important during embryonic development. Expression of ghrelin has been confirmed in the zebrafish pancreas during embryonic stages. Interfering with ghrelin function using two specific antisense morpholino oligonucleotides causes defects during zebrafish embryonic development. In ghrelin morphants the expression of GH was abolished in zebrafish somatotropes, whereas the expression patterns of the other key molecules involved in hypothalamic-pituitary development and distinct pituitary hormones genes remain largely intact at the appropriate time during zebrafish adenohypophysis development. Effective rescue of the ghrelin morphants with exogenous ghrelin mRNA showed that the correct gene had been targeted. Moreover, by analyzing the efficiencies of the ghrelin morphants rescue experiments with various forms of exogenous mutant ghrelin mRNAs, we also demonstrated the essentiality of the form acyl-ghrelin on GH stimulation during zebrafish adenohypophysis development. Our in vivo experiments, for the first time, also provided evidence of the existence of functional obestatin in the C-terminal part of zebrafish proghrelin peptides. Our research here has demonstrated that zebrafish is a unique model for functional studies of endogenous ghrelin, especially during embryonic development.

  14. A shifted repertoire of endocannabinoid genes in the zebrafish (Danio rerio).

    PubMed

    McPartland, J M; Glass, Michelle; Matias, Isabel; Norris, Ryan W; Kilpatrick, C William

    2007-05-01

    The zebrafish has served as a model organism for developmental biology. Sequencing its genome has expanded zebrafish research into physiology and drug-development testing. Several cannabinoid pharmaceuticals are in development, but expression of endocannabinoid receptors and enzymes remains unknown in this species. We conducted a bioinformatics analysis of the zebrafish genome using 17 human endocannabinoid genes as a reference set. Putative zebrafish orthologs were identified in filtered BLAST searches as reciprocal best hits. Orthology was confirmed by three in silico methods: phylogenetic testing, synteny analysis, and functional mapping. Zebrafish expressed orthologs of cannabinoid receptor 1, transient receptor potential channel vanilloid receptor 4, GPR55 receptor, fatty acid amide hydrolase 1, monoacylglycerol lipase, NAPE-selective phospholipase D, abhydrolase domain-containing protein 4, and diacylglycerol lipase alpha and beta; and paired paralogs of cannabinoid receptor 2, fatty acid amide hydrolase 2, peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor alpha, prostaglandin-endoperoxide synthase 2, and transient receptor potential cation channel subtype A1. Functional mapping suggested the orthologs of transient receptor potential vanilloid receptor 1 and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma lack specific amino acids critical for cannabinoid ligand binding. No orthologs of N-acylethanolamine acid amidase or protein tyrosine phosphatase, non-receptor type 22 were identified. In conclusion, the zebrafish genome expresses a shifted repertoire of endocannabinoid genes. In vitro analyses are warranted before using zebrafish for cannabinoid development testing.

  15. INDUCED AND SPONTANEOUS NEOPLASIA IN ZEBRAFISH.

    EPA Science Inventory

    To address the potential of zebrafish as a cancer model, it is important to determine the susceptibility of zebrafish to tumors, and to compare zebrafish tumors with human tumors. To determine whether the commonly-used germ line mutagen, ethylnitrosourea (ENU) induces tumors, we ...

  16. Oceans of opportunity: exploring vertebrate hematopoiesis in zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Carroll, Kelli J; North, Trista E

    2014-08-01

    Exploitation of the zebrafish model in hematology research has surged in recent years, becoming one of the most useful and tractable systems for understanding regulation of hematopoietic development, homeostasis, and malignancy. Despite the evolutionary distance between zebrafish and humans, remarkable genetic and phenotypic conservation in the hematopoietic system has enabled significant advancements in our understanding of blood stem and progenitor cell biology. The strengths of zebrafish in hematology research lie in the ability to perform real-time in vivo observations of hematopoietic stem, progenitor, and effector cell emergence, expansion, and function, as well as the ease with which novel genetic and chemical modifiers of specific hematopoietic processes or cell types can be identified and characterized. Further, myriad transgenic lines have been developed including fluorescent reporter systems to aid in the visualization and quantification of specified cell types of interest and cell-lineage relationships, as well as effector lines that can be used to implement a wide range of experimental manipulations. As our understanding of the complex nature of blood stem and progenitor cell biology during development, in response to infection or injury, or in the setting of hematologic malignancy continues to deepen, zebrafish will remain essential for exploring the spatiotemporal organization and integration of these fundamental processes, as well as the identification of efficacious small molecule modifiers of hematopoietic activity. In this review, we discuss the biology of the zebrafish hematopoietic system, including similarities and differences from mammals, and highlight important tools currently utilized in zebrafish embryos and adults to enhance our understanding of vertebrate hematology, with emphasis on findings that have impacted our understanding of the onset or treatment of human hematologic disorders and disease. Copyright © 2014 ISEH - International

  17. Oceans of Opportunity: Exploring Vertebrate Hematopoiesis in Zebrafish

    PubMed Central

    Carroll, Kelli J.; North, Trista E.

    2015-01-01

    Exploitation of the zebrafish model in hematology research has surged in recent years, becoming one of the most useful and tractable systems for understanding regulation of hematopoietic development, homeostasis, and malignancy. Despite the evolutionary distance between zebrafish and humans, remarkable genetic and phenotypic conservation in the hematopoietic system has enabled significant advancements in our understanding of blood stem and progenitor cell (HSPC) biology. The strengths of zebrafish in hematology research lie in the ability to perform real-time in vivo observations of hematopoietic stem, progenitor and effector cell emergence, expansion and function, as well as the ease with which novel genetic and chemical modifiers of specific hematopoietic processes or cell-types can be identified and characterized. Further, a myriad of transgenic lines have been developed including fluorescent reporter systems to aid in the visualization and quantification of specified cell types of interest and cell-lineage relationships, as well as effector lines that can be used to implement a wide range of experimental manipulations. As our understanding of the complex nature of HSPC biology during development, in response to infection or injury, or in the setting of hematological malignancy, continues to deepen, zebrafish will remain essential for exploring the spatio-temporal organization and integration of these fundamental processes, as well as the identification of efficacious small molecule modifiers of hematopoietic activity. In this review, we discuss the biology of the zebrafish hematopoietic system, including similarities and differences from mammals, and highlight important tools currently utilized in zebrafish embryos and adults to enhance our understanding of vertebrate hematology, with emphasis on findings that have impacted our understanding of the onset or treatment of human hematologic disorders and disease. PMID:24816275

  18. Multiple zebrafish atoh1 genes specify a diversity of neuronal types in the zebrafish cerebellum.

    PubMed

    Kidwell, Chelsea U; Su, Chen-Ying; Hibi, Masahiko; Moens, Cecilia B

    2018-06-01

    A single Atoh1 basic-helix-loop-helix transcription factor specifies multiple neuron types in the mammalian cerebellum and anterior hindbrain. The zebrafish genome encodes three paralagous atoh1 genes whose functions in cerebellum and anterior hindbrain development we explore here. With use of a transgenic reporter, we report that zebrafish atoh1c-expressing cells are organized in two distinct domains that are separated both by space and developmental time. An early isthmic expression domain gives rise to an extracerebellar population in rhombomere 1 and an upper rhombic lip domain gives rise to granule cell progenitors that migrate to populate all four granule cell territories of the fish cerebellum. Using genetic mutants we find that of the three zebrafish atoh1 paralogs, atoh1c and atoh1a are required for the full complement of granule neurons. Surprisingly, the two genes are expressed in non-overlapping granule cell progenitor populations, indicating that fish use duplicate atoh1 genes to generate granule cell diversity that is not detected in mammals. Finally, live imaging of granule cell migration in wildtype and atoh1c mutant embryos reveals that while atoh1c is not required for granule cell specification per se, it is required for granule cells to delaminate and migrate away from the rhombic lip. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. Elucidating Cannabinoid Biology in Zebrafish (Danio rerio)

    PubMed Central

    Krug, Randall G.; Clark, Karl J.

    2015-01-01

    The number of annual cannabinoid users exceeds 100,000,000 globally and an estimated 9 % of these individuals will suffer from dependency. Although exogenous cannabinoids, like those contained in marijuana, are known to exert their effects by disrupting the endocannabinoid system, a dearth of knowledge exists about the potential toxicological consequences on public health. Conversely, the endocannabinoid system represents a promising therapeutic target for a plethora of disorders because it functions to endogenously regulate a vast repertoire of physiological functions. Accordingly, the rapidly expanding field of cannabinoid biology has sought to leverage model organisms in order to provide both toxicological and therapeutic insights about altered endocannabinoid signaling. The primary goal of this manuscript is to review the existing field of cannabinoid research in the genetically tractable zebrafish model—focusing on the cannabinoid receptor genes, cnr1 and cnr2, and the genes that produce enzymes for synthesis and degradation of the cognate ligands anandamide and 2-arachidonylglycerol. Consideration is also given to research that has studied the effects of exposure to exogenous phytocannabinoids and synthetic cannabinoids that are known to interact with cannabinoid receptors. These results are considered in the context of either endocannabinoid gene expression or endocannabinoid gene function, and are integrated with findings from rodent studies. This provides the framework for a discussion of how zebrafish may be leveraged in the future to provide novel toxicological and therapeutic insights in the field of cannabinoid biology, which has become increasingly significant given recent trends in cannabis legislation. PMID:26192460

  20. Dopamine receptor antagonism disrupts social preference in zebrafish, a strain comparison study

    PubMed Central

    Scerbina, Tanya; Chatterjee, Diptendu; Gerlai, Robert

    2012-01-01

    Zebrafish form shoals in nature and in the laboratory. The sight of conspecifics has been found reinforcing in zebrafish learning tasks. However, the mechanisms of shoaling, and those of its reinforcing properties, are not known. The dopaminergic system has been implicated in reward among other functions and it is also engaged by drugs of abuse as shown in a variety of vertebrates including zebrafish. The ontogenetic changes in dopamine levels and, to a lesser degree, in serotonin levels, have been found to accompany the maturation of shoaling in zebrafish. Thus, we hypothesized that the dopaminergic system may contribute to shoaling in zebrafish. To test this we employed a D1-receptor antagonist and quantified behavioral responses of our subjects using a social preference (shoaling) paradigm. We found significant reduction of social preference induced by the D1-R antagonist, SCH23390, in the AB strain of zebrafish, an alteration that was not accompanied by changes in motor function or vision. We also detected D1-R antagonist induced changes in the level of dopamine, DOPAC, serotonin and 5HIAA, respectively, in the brain of AB zebrafish as quantified by HPLC with electrochemical detection. We found the antagonist induced behavioral changes to be absent and the levels of these neurochemicals to be lower in another zebrafish population, SF, demonstrating naturally occurring genetic variability in these traits. We conclude that this variability may be utilized to unravel the mechanisms of social behavior in zebrafish, a line of research that may be extended to other vertebrates including our own species. PMID:22491827

  1. Ion transport in the zebrafish kidney from a human disease angle: possibilities, considerations, and future perspectives.

    PubMed

    Kersten, Simone; Arjona, Francisco J

    2017-01-01

    Unique experimental advantages, such as its embryonic/larval transparency, high-throughput nature, and ease of genetic modification, underpin the rapid emergence of the zebrafish (Danio rerio) as a preeminent model in biomedical research. Particularly in the field of nephrology, the zebrafish provides a promising model for studying the physiological implications of human solute transport processes along consecutive nephron segments. However, although the zebrafish might be considered a valuable model for numerous renal ion transport diseases and functional studies of many channels and transporters, not all human renal electrolyte transport mechanisms and human diseases can be modeled in the zebrafish. With this review, we explore the ontogeny of zebrafish renal ion transport, its nephron structure and function, and thereby demonstrate the clinical translational value of this model. By critical assessment of genomic and amino acid conservation of human proteins involved in renal ion handling (channels, transporters, and claudins), kidney and nephron segment conservation, and renal electrolyte transport physiology in the zebrafish, we provide researchers and nephrologists with an indication of the possibilities and considerations of the zebrafish as a model for human renal ion transport. Combined with advanced techniques envisioned for the future, implementation of the zebrafish might expand beyond unraveling pathophysiological mechanisms that underlie distinct genetic or environmentally, i.e., pharmacological and lifestyle, induced renal transport deficits. Specifically, the ease of drug administration and the exploitation of improved genetic approaches might argue for the adoption of the zebrafish as a model for preclinical personalized medicine for distinct renal diseases and renal electrolyte transport proteins. Copyright © 2017 the American Physiological Society.

  2. Maintenance of Zebrafish Lines at the European Zebrafish Resource Center.

    PubMed

    Geisler, Robert; Borel, Nadine; Ferg, Marco; Maier, Jana Viktoria; Strähle, Uwe

    2016-07-01

    We have established a European Zebrafish Resource Center (EZRC) at the KIT. This center not only maintains and distributes a large number of existing mutant and transgenic zebrafish lines but also gives zebrafish researchers access to screening services and technologies such as imaging and high-throughput sequencing, provided by the Institute of Toxicology and Genetics (ITG). The EZRC maintains and distributes the stock collection of the Nüsslein-Volhard laboratory, comprising over 2000 publicly released mutations, as frozen sperm samples. Within the framework of the ZF-HEALTH EU project, the EZRC distributes over 10,000 knockout mutations from the Sanger Institute (United Kingdom), as well as over 100 mutant and transgenic lines from other sources. In this article, we detail the measures we have taken to ensure the health of our fish, including hygiene, quarantine, and veterinary inspections.

  3. Kidney organogenesis in the zebrafish: insights into vertebrate nephrogenesis and regeneration

    PubMed Central

    Gerlach, Gary F.; Wingert, Rebecca A.

    2012-01-01

    Vertebrates form a progressive series of up to three kidney organs during development—the pronephros, mesonephros, and metanephros. Each kidney derives from the intermediate mesoderm and is comprised of conserved excretory units called nephrons. The zebrafish is a powerful model for vertebrate developmental genetics, and recent studies have illustrated that zebrafish and mammals share numerous similarities in nephron composition and physiology. The zebrafish embryo forms an architecturally simple pronephros that has two nephrons, and these eventually become a scaffold onto which a mesonephros of several hundred nephrons is constructed during larval stages. In adult zebrafish, the mesonephros exhibits ongoing nephrogenesis, generating new nephrons from a local pool of renal progenitors during periods of growth or following kidney injury. The characteristics of the zebrafish pronephros and mesonephros make them genetically tractable kidney systems in which to study the functions of renal genes and address outstanding questions about the mechanisms of nephrogenesis. Here, we provide an overview of the formation and composition of these zebrafish kidney organs, and discuss how various zebrafish mutants, gene knockdowns, and transgenic models have created frameworks in which to further delineate nephrogenesis pathways. PMID:24014448

  4. A multi-scale model for correlation in B cell VDJ usage of zebrafish

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pan, Keyao; Deem, Michael W.

    2011-10-01

    The zebrafish (Danio rerio) is one of the model animals used for the study of immunology because the dynamics in the adaptive immune system of zebrafish are similar to that in higher animals. In this work, we built a multi-scale model to simulate the dynamics of B cells in the primary and secondary immune responses of zebrafish. We use this model to explain the reported correlation between VDJ usage of B cell repertoires in individual zebrafish. We use a delay ordinary differential equation (ODE) system to model the immune responses in the 6-month lifespan of a zebrafish. This mean field theory gives the number of high-affinity B cells as a function of time during an infection. The sequences of those B cells are then taken from a distribution calculated by a 'microscopic' random energy model. This generalized NK model shows that mature B cells specific to one antigen largely possess a single VDJ recombination. The model allows first-principle calculation of the probability, p, that two zebrafish responding to the same antigen will select the same VDJ recombination. This probability p increases with the B cell population size and the B cell selection intensity. The probability p decreases with the B cell hypermutation rate. The multi-scale model predicts correlations in the immune system of the zebrafish that are highly similar to that from experiment.

  5. Increased cell proliferation and neural activity by physostigmine in the telencephalon of adult zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Lee, Yunkyoung; Lee, Bongkyu; Jeong, Sumin; Park, Ji-Won; Han, Inn-Oc; Lee, Chang-Joong

    2016-08-26

    Physostigmine, an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor, is known to affect the brain function in various aspects. This study was conducted to test whether physostigmine affects cell proliferation in the telencephalon of zebrafish. BrdU-labeled cells was prominently observed in the ventral zone of the ventral telencephalon of zebrafish. The increased number of BrdU- and proliferating cell nuclear antigen-labeled cells were shown in zebrafish treated with 200μM physostigmine, which was inhibited by pretreatment with 200μM scopolamine. iNOS mRNA expression was increased in the brain of zebrafish treated with 200μM physostigmine. Consistently, aminoguanidine, an iNOS inhibitor, attenuated the increase in the number of BrdU-labeled cells by physostigmine treatment. Zebrafish also showed seizure-like locomotor activity characterized by a rapid and abrupt movement during a 30min treatment with 200μM physostigmine. Neural activity in response to an electrical stimulus was increased in the isolated telencephalon of zebrafish continuously perfused with 200μM physostigmine. None of the number of BrdU-labeled cells, neural activity, or locomotor activity was affected by treatment with 20μM physostigmine. These results suggest that 200μM physostigmine increased neural activity and induced cell proliferation via nitric oxide production in zebrafish. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. BMP signaling modulates hepcidin expression in zebrafish embryos independent of hemojuvelin.

    PubMed

    Gibert, Yann; Lattanzi, Victoria J; Zhen, Aileen W; Vedder, Lea; Brunet, Frédéric; Faasse, Sarah A; Babitt, Jodie L; Lin, Herbert Y; Hammerschmidt, Matthias; Fraenkel, Paula G

    2011-01-21

    Hemojuvelin (Hjv), a member of the repulsive-guidance molecule (RGM) family, upregulates transcription of the iron regulatory hormone hepcidin by activating the bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) signaling pathway in mammalian cells. Mammalian models have identified furin, neogenin, and matriptase-2 as modifiers of Hjv's function. Using the zebrafish model, we evaluated the effects of hjv and its interacting proteins on hepcidin expression during embryonic development. We found that hjv is strongly expressed in the notochord and somites of the zebrafish embryo and that morpholino knockdown of hjv impaired the development of these structures. Knockdown of hjv or other hjv-related genes, including zebrafish orthologs of furin or neogenin, however, failed to decrease hepcidin expression relative to liver size. In contrast, overexpression of bmp2b or knockdown of matriptase-2 enhanced the intensity and extent of hepcidin expression in zebrafish embryos, but this occurred in an hjv-independent manner. Furthermore, we demonstrated that zebrafish hjv can activate the human hepcidin promoter and enhance BMP responsive gene expression in vitro, but is expressed at low levels in the zebrafish embryonic liver. Taken together, these data support an alternative mechanism for hepcidin regulation during zebrafish embryonic development, which is independent of hjv.

  7. Differences in Acute Alcohol-Induced Behavioral Responses Among Zebrafish Populations

    PubMed Central

    Gerlai, Robert; Ahmad, Fahad; Prajapati, Sonal

    2009-01-01

    Background With the arsenal of genetic tools available for zebrafish, this species has been successfully used to investigate the genetic aspects of human diseases from developmental disorders to cancer. Interest in the behavior and brain function of zebrafish is also increasing as CNS disorders may be modeled and studied with this species. Alcoholism and alcohol abuse are among the most devastating and costliest diseases. However, the mechanisms of these diseases are not fully understood. Zebrafish has been proposed as a model organism to study such mechanisms. Characterization of alcohol’s effects on zebrafish is a necessary step in this research. Methods Here, we compare the effects of acute alcohol (EtOH) administration on the behavior of zebrafish from 4 distinct laboratory-bred populations using automated as well as observation based behavioral quantification methods. Results Alcohol treatment resulted in significant dose-dependent behavioral changes but the dose–response trajectories differed among zebrafish populations. Conclusions The results demonstrate for the first time a genetic component in alcohol responses in adult zebrafish and also show the feasibility of high throughput behavioral screening. We discuss the exploration and exploitation of the genetic differences found. PMID:18652595

  8. Netting Novel Regulators of Hematopoiesis and Hematologic Malignancies in Zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Kwan, Wanda; North, Trista E

    2017-01-01

    Zebrafish are one of the preeminent model systems for the study of blood development (hematopoiesis), hematopoietic stem and progenitor cell (HSPC) biology, and hematopathology. The zebrafish hematopoietic system shares strong similarities in functional populations, genetic regulators, and niche interactions with its mammalian counterparts. These evolutionarily conserved characteristics, together with emerging technologies in live imaging, compound screening, and genetic manipulation, have been employed to successfully identify and interrogate novel regulatory mechanisms and molecular pathways that guide hematopoiesis. Significantly, perturbations in many of the key developmental signals controlling hematopoiesis are associated with hematological disorders and disease, including anemia, bone marrow failure syndromes, and leukemia. Thus, understanding the regulatory pathways controlling HSPC production and function has important clinical implications. In this review, we describe how the blood system forms and is maintained in zebrafish, with particular focus on new insights into vertebrate hematological regulation gained using this model. The interplay of factors controlling development and disease in the hematopoietic system combined with the unique attributes of the zebrafish make this a powerful platform to discover novel targets for the treatment of hematological disease. © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. Alkbh4 and Atrn Act Maternally to Regulate Zebrafish Epiboly

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Qingrui; Liu, Xingfeng; Gong, Bo; Wu, Di; Meng, Anming; Jia, Shunji

    2017-01-01

    During embryonic gastrulation, coordinated cell movements occur to bring cells to their correct position. Among them, epiboly produces the first distinct morphological changes, which is essential for the early development of zebrafish. Despite its fundamental importance, little is known to understand the underlying molecular mechanisms. By generating maternal mutant lines with CRISPR/Cas9 technology and using morpholino knockdown strategy, we showed that maternal Alkbh4 depletion leads to severe epiboly defects in zebrafish. Immunofluorescence assays revealed that Alkbh4 promotes zebrafish embryonic epiboly through regulating actomyosin contractile ring formation, which is composed of Actin and non-muscular myosin II (NMII). To further investigate this process, yeast two hybridization assay was performed and Atrn was identified as a binding partner of Alkbh4. Combining with the functional results of Alkbh4, we found that maternal Atrn plays a similar role in zebrafish embryonic morphogenesis by regulating actomyosin formation. On the molecular level, our data revealed that Atrn prefers to interact with the active form of Alkbh4 and functions together with it to regulate the demethylation of Actin, the actomyosin formation, and subsequently the embryonic epiboly. PMID:28924386

  10. Egfl6 is involved in zebrafish notochord development.

    PubMed

    Wang, Xueqian; Wang, Xin; Yuan, Wei; Chai, Renjie; Liu, Dong

    2015-08-01

    The epidermal growth factor (EGF) repeat motif defines a superfamily of diverse protein involved in regulating a variety of cellular and physiological processes, such as cell cycle, cell adhesion, proliferation, migration, and neural development. Egfl6, an EGF protein, also named MAGE was first cloned in human tissue. Up to date, the study of zebrafish Egfl6 expression pattern and functional analysis of Egfl6 involved in embryonic development of vertebrate in vivo is thus far lacking. Here we reported that Egfl6 was involved in zebrafish notochord development. It was shown that Egfl6 mRNA was expressed in zebrafish, developing somites, fin epidermis, pharyngeal arches, and hindbrain region. Particularly the secreted Egfl6 protein was significantly accumulated in notochord. Loss of Egfl6 function in zebrafish embryos resulted in curved body with distorted notochord in the posterior trunk. It was observed that expression of all Notch ligand and receptors in notochord of 28 hpf Egfl6 morphants was not affected, except notch2, which was up-regulated. We found that inhibition of Notch signaling by DAPT efficiently rescued notochord developmental defect of Egfl6 deficiency embryos.

  11. It's time to swim! Zebrafish and the circadian clock.

    PubMed

    Vatine, Gad; Vallone, Daniela; Gothilf, Yoav; Foulkes, Nicholas S

    2011-05-20

    The zebrafish represents a fascinating model for studying key aspects of the vertebrate circadian timing system. Easy access to early embryonic development has made this species ideal for investigating how the clock is first established during embryogenesis. In particular, the molecular basis for the functional development of the zebrafish pineal gland has received much attention. In addition to this dedicated clock and photoreceptor organ, and unlike the situation in mammals, the clocks in zebrafish peripheral tissues and even cell lines are entrainable by direct exposure to light thus providing unique insight into the function and evolution of the light input pathway. Finally, the small size, low maintenance costs and high fecundity of this fish together with the availability of genetic tools make this an attractive model for forward genetic analysis of the circadian clock. Here, we review the work that has established the zebrafish as a valuable clock model organism and highlight the key questions that will shape the future direction of research. Copyright © 2011 Federation of European Biochemical Societies. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  12. Strategies for Analyzing Cardiac Phenotypes in the Zebrafish Embryo

    PubMed Central

    Houk, Andrew R.; Yelon, Deborah

    2017-01-01

    The molecular mechanisms underlying cardiogenesis are of critical biomedical importance due to the high prevalence of cardiac birth defects. Over the past two decades, the zebrafish has served as a powerful model organism for investigating heart development, facilitated by its powerful combination of optical access to the embryonic heart and plentiful opportunities for genetic analysis. Work in zebrafish has identified numerous factors that are required for various aspects of heart formation, including the specification and differentiation of cardiac progenitor cells, the morphogenesis of the heart tube, cardiac chambers, and atrioventricular canal, and the establishment of proper cardiac function. However, our current roster of regulators of cardiogenesis is by no means complete. It is therefore valuable for ongoing studies to continue pursuit of additional genes and pathways that control the size, shape, and function of the zebrafish heart. An extensive arsenal of techniques is available to distinguish whether particular mutations, morpholinos, or small molecules disrupt specific processes during heart development. In this chapter, we provide a guide to the experimental strategies that are especially effective for the characterization of cardiac phenotypes in the zebrafish embryo. PMID:27312497

  13. Chamber Specific Gene Expression Landscape of the Zebrafish Heart

    PubMed Central

    Singh, Angom Ramcharan; Sivadas, Ambily; Sabharwal, Ankit; Vellarikal, Shamsudheen Karuthedath; Jayarajan, Rijith; Verma, Ankit; Kapoor, Shruti; Joshi, Adita; Scaria, Vinod; Sivasubbu, Sridhar

    2016-01-01

    The organization of structure and function of cardiac chambers in vertebrates is defined by chamber-specific distinct gene expression. This peculiarity and uniqueness of the genetic signatures demonstrates functional resolution attributed to the different chambers of the heart. Altered expression of the cardiac chamber genes can lead to individual chamber related dysfunctions and disease patho-physiologies. Information on transcriptional repertoire of cardiac compartments is important to understand the spectrum of chamber specific anomalies. We have carried out a genome wide transcriptome profiling study of the three cardiac chambers in the zebrafish heart using RNA sequencing. We have captured the gene expression patterns of 13,396 protein coding genes in the three cardiac chambers—atrium, ventricle and bulbus arteriosus. Of these, 7,260 known protein coding genes are highly expressed (≥10 FPKM) in the zebrafish heart. Thus, this study represents nearly an all-inclusive information on the zebrafish cardiac transcriptome. In this study, a total of 96 differentially expressed genes across the three cardiac chambers in zebrafish were identified. The atrium, ventricle and bulbus arteriosus displayed 20, 32 and 44 uniquely expressing genes respectively. We validated the expression of predicted chamber-restricted genes using independent semi-quantitative and qualitative experimental techniques. In addition, we identified 23 putative novel protein coding genes that are specifically restricted to the ventricle and not in the atrium or bulbus arteriosus. In our knowledge, these 23 novel genes have either not been investigated in detail or are sparsely studied. The transcriptome identified in this study includes 68 differentially expressing zebrafish cardiac chamber genes that have a human ortholog. We also carried out spatiotemporal gene expression profiling of the 96 differentially expressed genes throughout the three cardiac chambers in 11 developmental stages and 6

  14. Cholinergic innervation of the zebrafish olfactory bulb.

    PubMed

    Edwards, Jeffrey G; Greig, Ann; Sakata, Yoko; Elkin, Dimitry; Michel, William C

    2007-10-20

    A number of fish species receive forebrain cholinergic input but two recent reports failed to find evidence of cholinergic cell bodies or fibers in the olfactory bulbs (OBs) of zebrafish. In the current study we sought to confirm these findings by examining the OBs of adult zebrafish for choline acetyltransferase (ChAT) immunoreactivity. We observed a diffuse network of varicose ChAT-positive fibers associated with the nervus terminalis ganglion innervating the mitral cell/glomerular layer (MC/GL). The highest density of these fibers occurred in the anterior region of the bulb. The cellular targets of this cholinergic input were identified by exposing isolated OBs to acetylcholine receptor (AChR) agonists in the presence of agmatine (AGB), a cationic probe that permeates some active ion channels. Nicotine (50 microM) significantly increased the activity-dependent labeling of mitral cells and juxtaglomerular cells but not of tyrosine hydroxlase-positive dopaminergic neurons (TH(+) cells) compared to control preparations. The nAChR antagonist mecamylamine, an alpha7-nAChR subunit-specific antagonist, calcium-free artificial cerebrospinal fluid, or a cocktail of ionotropic glutamate receptor (iGluR) antagonists each blocked nicotine-stimulated labeling, suggesting that AGB does not enter the labeled neurons through activated nAChRs but rather through activated iGluRs following ACh-stimulated glutamate release. Deafferentation of OBs did not eliminate nicotine-stimulated labeling, suggesting that cholinergic input is primarily acting on bulbar neurons. These findings confirm the presence of a functioning cholinergic system in the zebrafish OB.

  15. Learning and memory in zebrafish (Danio rerio).

    PubMed

    Gerlai, R

    2016-01-01

    Learning and memory are defining features of our own species inherently important to our daily lives and to who we are. Without our memories we cease to exist as a person. Without our ability to learn individuals and collectively our society would cease to function. Diseases of the mind still remain incurable. The interest in understanding of the mechanisms of learning and memory is thus well founded. Given the complexity of such mechanisms, concerted efforts have been made to study them under controlled laboratory conditions, ie, with laboratory model organisms. The zebrafish, although new in this field, is one such model organism. The rapidly developing forward- and reverse genetic methods designed for the zebrafish and the increasing use of pharmacological tools along with numerous neurobiology techniques make this species perhaps the best model for the analysis of the mechanisms of complex central nervous system characteristics. The fact that it is an evolutionarily ancient and simpler vertebrate, but at the same time it possesses numerous conserved features across multiple levels of biological organization makes this species an excellent tool for the analysis of the mechanisms of learning and memory. The bottleneck lies in our understanding of its cognitive and mnemonic features, the topic of this chapter. The current paper builds on a chapter published in the previous edition and continues to focus on associative learning, but now it extends the discussion to other forms of learning and to recent discoveries on memory-related features and findings obtained both in adults and larval zebrafish. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. Neurochemical measurements in the zebrafish brain

    PubMed Central

    Jones, Lauren J.; McCutcheon, James E.; Young, Andrew M. J.; Norton, William H. J.

    2015-01-01

    The zebrafish is an ideal model organism for behavioral genetics and neuroscience. The high conservation of genes and neurotransmitter pathways between zebrafish and other vertebrates permits the translation of research between species. Zebrafish behavior can be studied at both larval and adult stages and recent research has begun to establish zebrafish models for human disease. Fast scan cyclic voltammetry (FSCV) is an electrochemical technique that permits the detection of neurotransmitter release and reuptake. In this study we have used in vitro FSCV to measure the release of analytes in the adult zebrafish telencephalon. We compare different stimulation methods and present a characterization of neurochemical changes in the wild-type zebrafish brain. This study represents the first FSCV recordings in zebrafish, thus paving the way for neurochemical analysis of the fish brain. PMID:26441575

  17. Genomic Approaches to Zebrafish Cancer

    PubMed Central

    2017-01-01

    The zebrafish has emerged as an important model for studying cancer biology. Identification of DNA, RNA and chromatin abnormalities can give profound insight into the mechanisms of tumorigenesis and the there are many techniques for analyzing the genomes of these tumors. Here, I present an overview of the available technologies for analyzing tumor genomes in the zebrafish, including array based methods as well as next-generation sequencing technologies. I also discuss the ways in which zebrafish tumor genomes can be compared to human genomes using cross-species oncogenomics, which act to filter genomic noise and ultimately uncover central drivers of malignancy. Finally, I discuss downstream analytic tools, including network analysis, that can help to organize the alterations into coherent biological frameworks that can then be investigated further. PMID:27165352

  18. New frontiers for zebrafish management.

    PubMed

    Lawrence, C

    2016-01-01

    The zebrafish (Danio rerio) is a preeminent model organism with a wide and expanding utility for numerous scientific disciplines. The same features that once endeared this small freshwater minnow to developmental biologists combined with its relatively high genetic similarity to mammals and the advent of new, more efficient methods for genome editing are now helping to spur expanded growth in its usage in various fields, including toxicology, drug discovery, transplant biology, disease modeling, and even aquaculture. Continued maturation and adoption of the zebrafish model system in these and other fields of science will require that methods and approaches for husbandry and management of these fish in controlled settings be refined and improved to the extent that, ultimately, zebrafish research becomes more reproducible, defined, cost-effective, and accessible to the masses. Knowledge and technology transfer from laboratory animal science and commercial aquaculture will be a necessary part of this development. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. Mayo Clinic Zebrafish Facility Overview.

    PubMed

    Leveque, Ryan E; Clark, Karl J; Ekker, Stephen C

    2016-07-01

    The zebrafish (Danio rerio) is a premier nonmammalian vertebrate model organism. This small aquatic fish is utilized in multiple disciplines in the Mayo Clinic community and by many laboratories around the world because of its biological similarity to humans, its advanced molecular genetics, the elucidation of its genome sequence, and the ever-expanding and outstanding new biological tools now available to the zebrafish researcher. The Mayo Clinic Zebrafish Facility (MCZF) houses ∼2,000 tanks annotated using an in-house, Internet cloud-based bar-coding system tied to our established zfishbook.org web infrastructure. Paramecia are the primary food source for larval fish rearing, using a simplified culture protocol described herein. The MCZF supports the specific ongoing research in a variety of laboratories, while also serving as a local hub for new scientists as they learn to tap into the potential of this model system for understanding normal development, disease, and as models of health.

  20. Rapid whole brain imaging of neural activity in freely behaving larval zebrafish (Danio rerio)

    PubMed Central

    Shang, Chunfeng; Yang, Wenbin; Bai, Lu; Du, Jiulin

    2017-01-01

    The internal brain dynamics that link sensation and action are arguably better studied during natural animal behaviors. Here, we report on a novel volume imaging and 3D tracking technique that monitors whole brain neural activity in freely swimming larval zebrafish (Danio rerio). We demonstrated the capability of our system through functional imaging of neural activity during visually evoked and prey capture behaviors in larval zebrafish. PMID:28930070

  1. Larval rearing of zebrafish at suboptimal temperatures.

    PubMed

    Delomas, Thomas A; Dabrowski, Konrad

    2018-05-01

    Temperature-sensitive mutants have been widely utilized in single-cell and invertebrate model systems, particularly to study the function of essential genes. Few temperature-sensitive mutants have been identified in zebrafish, likely due to the difficulty of raising zebrafish at low temperatures. We describe a novel rearing protocol that allows rapid growth of larval and juvenile zebrafish at 23 °C compared to previous data in the literature. Embryos collected from four breeding pairs were maintained at 28.5 ± 0.5 °C until 5 days post-fertilization (dpf) - the onset of exogenous feeding. Larvae were then divided to six tanks and three tanks were cooled to 23 ± 0.2 °C. Fish were fed a live diet (marine rotifers Brachionus plicatilis and Artemia nauplii) and maintained under a set of environmental parameters shown to increase growth rate: continuous light, low salinity (3ppt), and algal turbidity. Mean total length and weight of fish at 21dpf were 12.7 ± 0.3 mm and 20.5 ± 1.5 mg for the 23 °C treatment and 18.5 ± 0.4 mm and 67.3 ± 3.4 mg for the 28.5 °C control. By 35 dpf, the fish raised at 23 °C had reached a mean length and weight of 18.9 ± 0.7 mm and 76.4 ± 6.7 mg, approximately the size control fish reached at 21 dpf. At 35 dpf, water temperature was raised to 28 °C and fish were reared to maturity (75 dpf) under standard conditions (freshwater, 13 L:11D photoperiod, dry diet, no added algal turbidity). Sex ratio and fertility were assessed and compared between temperature groups. There were no significant differences in sex ratio, fertilization rate, embryo viability at 1 dpf, clutch size, or relative fecundity. This rearing protocol will allow for efficient utilization of temperature-sensitive mutations in the zebrafish model system. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Hypothalamic Projections to the Optic Tectum in Larval Zebrafish

    PubMed Central

    Heap, Lucy A.; Vanwalleghem, Gilles C.; Thompson, Andrew W.; Favre-Bulle, Itia; Rubinsztein-Dunlop, Halina; Scott, Ethan K.

    2018-01-01

    The optic tectum of larval zebrafish is an important model for understanding visual processing in vertebrates. The tectum has been traditionally viewed as dominantly visual, with a majority of studies focusing on the processes by which tectal circuits receive and process retinally-derived visual information. Recently, a handful of studies have shown a much more complex role for the optic tectum in larval zebrafish, and anatomical and functional data from these studies suggest that this role extends beyond the visual system, and beyond the processing of exclusively retinal inputs. Consistent with this evolving view of the tectum, we have used a Gal4 enhancer trap line to identify direct projections from rostral hypothalamus (RH) to the tectal neuropil of larval zebrafish. These projections ramify within the deepest laminae of the tectal neuropil, the stratum album centrale (SAC)/stratum griseum periventriculare (SPV), and also innervate strata distinct from those innervated by retinal projections. Using optogenetic stimulation of the hypothalamic projection neurons paired with calcium imaging in the tectum, we find rebound firing in tectal neurons consistent with hypothalamic inhibitory input. Our results suggest that tectal processing in larval zebrafish is modulated by hypothalamic inhibitory inputs to the deep tectal neuropil. PMID:29403362

  3. Zebrafish antipredatory responses: A future for translational research?

    PubMed Central

    Gerlai, Robert

    2011-01-01

    Human neuropsychiatric conditions associated with abnormally exaggerated or misdirected fear (anxiety disorders and phobias) still represent a large unmet medical need because the biological mechanisms underlying these diseases are not well understood. Animal models have been proposed to facilitate this research. Here I review the literature with a focus on zebrafish, an upcoming laboratory organism in behavioral brain research. I argue that abnormal human fear responses are likely the result of the malfunction of neurobiological mechanisms (brain areas, circuits and/or molecular mechanisms) that originally evolved to support avoidance of predators or other harm in nature. I also argue that the understanding of the normal as well as pathological functioning of such mechanisms may be best achieved if one utilizes naturalistic experimental approaches. In case of laboratory model organisms, this may entail presenting stimuli associated with predators and measuring species-specific antipredatory responses. Although zebrafish is a relatively new subject of such inquiry, I review the recently rapidly increasing number of zebrafish studies in this area, and conclude that zebrafish is a promising research tool for the analysis of the neurobiology and genetics of vertebrate fear responses. PMID:19836422

  4. Behavioral Changes Over Time Following Ayahuasca Exposure in Zebrafish

    PubMed Central

    Savoldi, Robson; Polari, Daniel; Pinheiro-da-Silva, Jaquelinne; Silva, Priscila F.; Lobao-Soares, Bruno; Yonamine, Mauricio; Freire, Fulvio A. M.; Luchiari, Ana C.

    2017-01-01

    The combined infusion of Banisteriopsis caapi stem and Psychotria viridis leaves, known as ayahuasca, has been used for centuries by indigenous tribes. The infusion is rich in N, N-dimethyltryptamine (DMT) and monoamine oxidase inhibitors, with properties similar to those of serotonin. Despite substantial progress in the development of new drugs to treat anxiety and depression, current treatments have several limitations. Alternative drugs, such as ayahuasca, may shed light on these disorders. Here, we present time-course behavioral changes induced by ayahuasca in zebrafish, as first step toward establishing an ideal concentration for pre-clinical evaluations. We exposed adult zebrafish to five concentrations of the ayahuasca infusion: 0 (control), 0.1, 0.5, 1, and 3 ml/L (n = 14 each group), and behavior was recorded for 60 min. We evaluated swimming speed, distance traveled, freezing and bottom dwelling every min for 60 min. Swimming speed and distance traveled decreased with an increase in ayahuasca concentration while freezing increased with 1 and 3 ml/L. Bottom dwelling increased with 1 and 3 ml/L, but declined with 0.1 ml/L. Our data suggest that small amounts of ayahuasca do not affect locomotion and reduce anxiety-like behavior in zebrafish, while increased doses of the drug lead to crescent anxiogenic effects. We conclude that the temporal analysis of zebrafish behavior is a sensitive method for the study of ayahuasca-induced functional changes in the vertebrate brain. PMID:28804451

  5. Behavioral Changes Over Time Following Ayahuasca Exposure in Zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Savoldi, Robson; Polari, Daniel; Pinheiro-da-Silva, Jaquelinne; Silva, Priscila F; Lobao-Soares, Bruno; Yonamine, Mauricio; Freire, Fulvio A M; Luchiari, Ana C

    2017-01-01

    The combined infusion of Banisteriopsis caapi stem and Psychotria viridis leaves, known as ayahuasca, has been used for centuries by indigenous tribes. The infusion is rich in N , N -dimethyltryptamine (DMT) and monoamine oxidase inhibitors, with properties similar to those of serotonin. Despite substantial progress in the development of new drugs to treat anxiety and depression, current treatments have several limitations. Alternative drugs, such as ayahuasca, may shed light on these disorders. Here, we present time-course behavioral changes induced by ayahuasca in zebrafish, as first step toward establishing an ideal concentration for pre-clinical evaluations. We exposed adult zebrafish to five concentrations of the ayahuasca infusion: 0 (control), 0.1, 0.5, 1, and 3 ml/L ( n = 14 each group), and behavior was recorded for 60 min. We evaluated swimming speed, distance traveled, freezing and bottom dwelling every min for 60 min. Swimming speed and distance traveled decreased with an increase in ayahuasca concentration while freezing increased with 1 and 3 ml/L. Bottom dwelling increased with 1 and 3 ml/L, but declined with 0.1 ml/L. Our data suggest that small amounts of ayahuasca do not affect locomotion and reduce anxiety-like behavior in zebrafish, while increased doses of the drug lead to crescent anxiogenic effects. We conclude that the temporal analysis of zebrafish behavior is a sensitive method for the study of ayahuasca-induced functional changes in the vertebrate brain.

  6. Hypothalamic Projections to the Optic Tectum in Larval Zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Heap, Lucy A; Vanwalleghem, Gilles C; Thompson, Andrew W; Favre-Bulle, Itia; Rubinsztein-Dunlop, Halina; Scott, Ethan K

    2017-01-01

    The optic tectum of larval zebrafish is an important model for understanding visual processing in vertebrates. The tectum has been traditionally viewed as dominantly visual, with a majority of studies focusing on the processes by which tectal circuits receive and process retinally-derived visual information. Recently, a handful of studies have shown a much more complex role for the optic tectum in larval zebrafish, and anatomical and functional data from these studies suggest that this role extends beyond the visual system, and beyond the processing of exclusively retinal inputs. Consistent with this evolving view of the tectum, we have used a Gal4 enhancer trap line to identify direct projections from rostral hypothalamus (RH) to the tectal neuropil of larval zebrafish. These projections ramify within the deepest laminae of the tectal neuropil, the stratum album centrale (SAC)/stratum griseum periventriculare (SPV), and also innervate strata distinct from those innervated by retinal projections. Using optogenetic stimulation of the hypothalamic projection neurons paired with calcium imaging in the tectum, we find rebound firing in tectal neurons consistent with hypothalamic inhibitory input. Our results suggest that tectal processing in larval zebrafish is modulated by hypothalamic inhibitory inputs to the deep tectal neuropil.

  7. Chemokine guided angiogenesis directs coronary vasculature formation in zebrafish

    PubMed Central

    Harrison, Michael R.M.; Bussmann, Jeroen; Huang, Ying; Zhao, Long; Osorio, Arthela; Burns, C. Geoffrey; Burns, Caroline E.; Sucov, Henry M.; Siekmann, Arndt F.; Lien, Ching-Ling

    2015-01-01

    SUMMARY Interruption of coronary blood supply severely impairs heart function with often-fatal consequences for heart disease patients. However the formation and maturation of these coronary vessels is not fully understood. Here we provide a detailed analysis of coronary vessel development in zebrafish. We observe that coronary vessels form in zebrafish by angiogenic sprouting of arterial cells derived from the endocardium at the atrioventricular canal. Endothelial cells express the CXC-motif chemokine receptor Cxcr4a and migrate to vascularize the ventricle under the guidance of the myocardium-expressed ligand Cxcl12b. cxcr4a mutant zebrafish fail to form a vascular network, whereas ectopic expression of Cxcl12b ligand induces coronary vessel formation. Importantly, cxcr4a mutant zebrafish fail to undergo heart regeneration following injury. Our results suggest that chemokine-signaling has an essential role in coronary vessel formation by directing migration of endocardium-derived endothelial cells. Poorly developed vasculature in cxcr4a mutants likely underlies decreased regenerative potential in adults. PMID:26017769

  8. Zebrafish models of human eye and inner ear diseases.

    PubMed

    Blanco-Sánchez, B; Clément, A; Phillips, J B; Westerfield, M

    2017-01-01

    Eye and inner ear diseases are the most common sensory impairments that greatly impact quality of life. Zebrafish have been intensively employed to understand the fundamental mechanisms underlying eye and inner ear development. The zebrafish visual and vestibulo-acoustic systems are very similar to these in humans, and although not yet mature, they are functional by 5days post-fertilization (dpf). In this chapter, we show how the zebrafish has significantly contributed to the field of biomedical research and how researchers, by establishing disease models and meticulously characterizing their phenotypes, have taken the first steps toward therapies. We review here models for (1) eye diseases, (2) ear diseases, and (3) syndromes affecting eye and/or ear. The use of new genome editing technologies and high-throughput screening systems should increase considerably the speed at which knowledge from zebrafish disease models is acquired, opening avenues for better diagnostics, treatments, and therapies. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. Digestive enzymatic activity during ontogenetic development in zebrafish (Danio rerio).

    PubMed

    Guerrera, Maria Cristina; De Pasquale, Francesca; Muglia, Ugo; Caruso, Gabriella

    2015-12-01

    Despite the growing importance of zebrafish (Danio rerio) as an experimental model in biomedical research, some aspect of physiological and related morphological age dependent changes in digestive system during larval development are still unknown. In this paper, a biochemical and morphological study of the digestive tract of zebrafish was undertaken to record the functional changes occurring in this species during its ontogenetic development, particularly from 24 hr to 47 days post fertilization (dpf). Endo- and exo-proteases, as well as α-amylase enzymes, were quantified in zebrafish larvae before first feeding (7 dpf). The most morphologically significant events during the ontogenesis of the gut occurred between 3 dpf (mouth opening) and 7 dpf (end of exocrine pancreas differentiation). The presence of a wide range of digestive enzymes, already active at earlier zebrafish larval stages, closely related with the omnivorous diet of this species. Increasing enzyme activities were found with increasing age, probably in relation with intestinal mucosa folding and consequent absorption surface increase. J. Exp. Zool. (Mol. Dev. Evol.) 324B: 699-706, 2015. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  10. Navigational strategies underlying phototaxis in larval zebrafish

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Xiuye; Engert, Florian

    2014-01-01

    Understanding how the brain transforms sensory input into complex behavior is a fundamental question in systems neuroscience. Using larval zebrafish, we study the temporal component of phototaxis, which is defined as orientation decisions based on comparisons of light intensity at successive moments in time. We developed a novel “Virtual Circle” assay where whole-field illumination is abruptly turned off when the fish swims out of a virtually defined circular border, and turned on again when it returns into the circle. The animal receives no direct spatial cues and experiences only whole-field temporal light changes. Remarkably, the fish spends most of its time within the invisible virtual border. Behavioral analyses of swim bouts in relation to light transitions were used to develop four discrete temporal algorithms that transform the binary visual input (uniform light/uniform darkness) into the observed spatial behavior. In these algorithms, the turning angle is dependent on the behavioral history immediately preceding individual turning events. Computer simulations show that the algorithms recapture most of the swim statistics of real fish. We discovered that turning properties in larval zebrafish are distinctly modulated by temporal step functions in light intensity in combination with the specific motor history preceding these turns. Several aspects of the behavior suggest memory usage of up to 10 swim bouts (~10 sec). Thus, we show that a complex behavior like spatial navigation can emerge from a small number of relatively simple behavioral algorithms. PMID:24723859

  11. Navigational strategies underlying phototaxis in larval zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Chen, Xiuye; Engert, Florian

    2014-01-01

    Understanding how the brain transforms sensory input into complex behavior is a fundamental question in systems neuroscience. Using larval zebrafish, we study the temporal component of phototaxis, which is defined as orientation decisions based on comparisons of light intensity at successive moments in time. We developed a novel "Virtual Circle" assay where whole-field illumination is abruptly turned off when the fish swims out of a virtually defined circular border, and turned on again when it returns into the circle. The animal receives no direct spatial cues and experiences only whole-field temporal light changes. Remarkably, the fish spends most of its time within the invisible virtual border. Behavioral analyses of swim bouts in relation to light transitions were used to develop four discrete temporal algorithms that transform the binary visual input (uniform light/uniform darkness) into the observed spatial behavior. In these algorithms, the turning angle is dependent on the behavioral history immediately preceding individual turning events. Computer simulations show that the algorithms recapture most of the swim statistics of real fish. We discovered that turning properties in larval zebrafish are distinctly modulated by temporal step functions in light intensity in combination with the specific motor history preceding these turns. Several aspects of the behavior suggest memory usage of up to 10 swim bouts (~10 sec). Thus, we show that a complex behavior like spatial navigation can emerge from a small number of relatively simple behavioral algorithms.

  12. Dietary Strontium Increases Bone Mineral Density in Intact Zebrafish (Danio rerio): A Potential Model System for Bone Research

    PubMed Central

    Padgett-Vasquez, Steve; Garris, Heath W.; Nagy, Tim R.; D'Abramo, Louis R.; Watts, Stephen A.

    2010-01-01

    Abstract Zebrafish (Danio rerio) skeletal bone possesses properties similar to human bone, which suggests that they may be used as a model to study mineralization characteristics of the human Haversian system, as well as human bone diseases. One prerequisite for the use of zebrafish as an alternative osteoporotic bone model is to determine whether their bone displays functional plasticity similar to that observed in other bone models. Strontium citrate was supplemented into a laboratory-prepared diet (45% crude protein) to produce dietary strontium levels of 0%, 0.63%, 1.26%, 1.89%, and 2.43% and fed ad libitum twice daily for 12 weeks to 28-day-old intact zebrafish. Length was determined at 4-week intervals, and both weight and length were recorded at 12 weeks. At 12 weeks, seven zebrafish from each dietary level were analyzed for total bone mineral density by microcomputed tomography. Dietary strontium citrate supplementation significantly (p < 0.05) increased zebrafish whole-body and spinal column bone mineral density. In addition, trace amounts of strontium were incorporated into the scale matrix in those zebrafish that consumed strontium-supplemented diets. These findings suggest that zebrafish bone displays plasticity similar to that reported for other bone models (i.e., rat, mouse, and monkey) that received supplements of strontium compounds and zebrafish should be viewed as an increasingly valuable bone model. PMID:20874492

  13. Cadherin-17 is required to maintain pronephric duct integrity during zebrafish development.

    PubMed

    Horsfield, Julia; Ramachandran, Anassuya; Reuter, Katja; LaVallie, Edward; Collins-Racie, Lisa; Crosier, Kathryn; Crosier, Philip

    2002-07-01

    We have isolated a zebrafish cadherin that is orthologous to human LI-cadherin (CDH17). Zebrafish cdh17 is expressed exclusively in the pronephric ducts during embryogenesis, and in the mesonephros during larval development and adulthood. Like its mammalian ortholog, cdh17 is also expressed in liver and intestine in adult zebrafish. We show that cdh17-positive mesodermal cells do not contribute to the hematopoietic system. Consistent with a cell adhesion role for Cdh17, depletion of Cdh17 function using antisense morpholino oligonucleotides compromised cell cohesion during pronephric duct formation. Our results indicate that Cdh17 is necessary for maintaining the integrity of the pronephric ducts during zebrafish embryogenesis. This finding contrasts with the role of mammalian CDH17, which does not appear to be involved in nephric development.

  14. Regulatory effect of hydroquinone-tetraethylene glycol conjugates on zebrafish pigmentation.

    PubMed

    Le, Hoa Thi; Hong, Bin Na; Lee, Yeong Ro; Cheon, Ji Hyun; Kang, Tong Ho; Kim, Tae Woo

    2016-01-15

    We synthesized two hydroquinone-tetraethylene glycol conjugates (HQ-TGs) and investigated their logP, photophysical stability, and redox chemical stability. HQ-TGs are a little more hydrophilic than hydroquinone (HQ) and show an enhanced photophysical and redox chemical stability compared with HQ. In addition we studied the effect of HQ-TGs on cell viability and on zebrafish pigmentation. MTT assay in HF-16 cells showed HQ-TGs are less cytotoxic than HQ. The phenotype-based image analysis of zebrafish larvae suggests that HQ-TGs suppress the pigmentation of zebrafish in a dose-dependent manner. The comparative experiments on stability, cytotoxicity, and zebrafish pigmentation between HQ and HQ-TGs suggest that mono tetraethylene glycol-functionalization of HQ is an alternative solution to overcome the adverse effect of HQ. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Interordinal chimera formation between medaka and zebrafish for analyzing stem cell differentiation.

    PubMed

    Hong, Ni; Chen, Songlin; Ge, Ruowen; Song, Jianxing; Yi, Meisheng; Hong, Yunhan

    2012-08-10

    Chimera formation is a standard test for pluripotency of stem cells in vivo. Interspecific chimera formation between distantly related organisms offers also an attractive approach for propagating endangered species. Parameters influencing interspecies chimera formation have remained poorly elucidated. Here, we report interordinal chimera formation between medaka and zebrafish, which separated ∼320 million years ago and exhibit a more than 2-fold difference in developmental speed. We show that, on transplantation into zebrafish blastulae, both noncultivated blastomeres and long-term cultivated embryonic stem (ES) cells of medaka adopted the zebrafish developmental program and differentiated into physiologically functional cell types including pigment cells, blood cells, and cardiomyocytes. We also show that medaka ES cells express differentiation gene markers during chimeric embryogenesis. Therefore, the evolutionary distance and different embryogenesis speeds do not produce donor-host incompatibility to compromise chimera formation between medaka and zebrafish, and molecular markers are valuable for analyzing lineage commitment and cell differentiation in interspecific chimeric embryos.

  16. Interordinal Chimera Formation Between Medaka and Zebrafish for Analyzing Stem Cell Differentiation

    PubMed Central

    Hong, Ni; Chen, Songlin; Ge, Ruowen; Song, Jianxing

    2012-01-01

    Chimera formation is a standard test for pluripotency of stem cells in vivo. Interspecific chimera formation between distantly related organisms offers also an attractive approach for propagating endangered species. Parameters influencing interspecies chimera formation have remained poorly elucidated. Here, we report interordinal chimera formation between medaka and zebrafish, which separated ∼320 million years ago and exhibit a more than 2-fold difference in developmental speed. We show that, on transplantation into zebrafish blastulae, both noncultivated blastomeres and long-term cultivated embryonic stem (ES) cells of medaka adopted the zebrafish developmental program and differentiated into physiologically functional cell types including pigment cells, blood cells, and cardiomyocytes. We also show that medaka ES cells express differentiation gene markers during chimeric embryogenesis. Therefore, the evolutionary distance and different embryogenesis speeds do not produce donor-host incompatibility to compromise chimera formation between medaka and zebrafish, and molecular markers are valuable for analyzing lineage commitment and cell differentiation in interspecific chimeric embryos. PMID:22204449

  17. Comprehensive and quantitative proteomic analyses of zebrafish plasma reveals conserved protein profiles between genders and between zebrafish and human.

    PubMed

    Li, Caixia; Tan, Xing Fei; Lim, Teck Kwang; Lin, Qingsong; Gong, Zhiyuan

    2016-04-13

    Omic approaches have been increasingly used in the zebrafish model for holistic understanding of molecular events and mechanisms of tissue functions. However, plasma is rarely used for omic profiling because of the technical challenges in collecting sufficient blood. In this study, we employed two mass spectrometric (MS) approaches for a comprehensive characterization of zebrafish plasma proteome, i.e. conventional shotgun liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) for an overview study and quantitative SWATH (Sequential Window Acquisition of all THeoretical fragment-ion spectra) for comparison between genders. 959 proteins were identified in the shotgun profiling with estimated concentrations spanning almost five orders of magnitudes. Other than the presence of a few highly abundant female egg yolk precursor proteins (vitellogenins), the proteomic profiles of male and female plasmas were very similar in both number and abundance and there were basically no other highly gender-biased proteins. The types of plasma proteins based on IPA (Ingenuity Pathway Analysis) classification and tissue sources of production were also very similar. Furthermore, the zebrafish plasma proteome shares significant similarities with human plasma proteome, in particular in top abundant proteins including apolipoproteins and complements. Thus, the current study provided a valuable dataset for future evaluation of plasma proteins in zebrafish.

  18. Comprehensive and quantitative proteomic analyses of zebrafish plasma reveals conserved protein profiles between genders and between zebrafish and human

    PubMed Central

    Li, Caixia; Tan, Xing Fei; Lim, Teck Kwang; Lin, Qingsong; Gong, Zhiyuan

    2016-01-01

    Omic approaches have been increasingly used in the zebrafish model for holistic understanding of molecular events and mechanisms of tissue functions. However, plasma is rarely used for omic profiling because of the technical challenges in collecting sufficient blood. In this study, we employed two mass spectrometric (MS) approaches for a comprehensive characterization of zebrafish plasma proteome, i.e. conventional shotgun liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) for an overview study and quantitative SWATH (Sequential Window Acquisition of all THeoretical fragment-ion spectra) for comparison between genders. 959 proteins were identified in the shotgun profiling with estimated concentrations spanning almost five orders of magnitudes. Other than the presence of a few highly abundant female egg yolk precursor proteins (vitellogenins), the proteomic profiles of male and female plasmas were very similar in both number and abundance and there were basically no other highly gender-biased proteins. The types of plasma proteins based on IPA (Ingenuity Pathway Analysis) classification and tissue sources of production were also very similar. Furthermore, the zebrafish plasma proteome shares significant similarities with human plasma proteome, in particular in top abundant proteins including apolipoproteins and complements. Thus, the current study provided a valuable dataset for future evaluation of plasma proteins in zebrafish. PMID:27071722

  19. In vivo physiological recording from the lateral line of juvenile zebrafish

    PubMed Central

    Olt, Jennifer; Allen, Claire E.

    2016-01-01

    Key points Zebrafish provide a unique opportunity to investigate in vivo sensory transduction in mature hair cells.We have developed a method for studying the biophysical properties of mature hair cells from the lateral line of juvenile zebrafish.The method involves application of the anaesthetic benzocaine and intubation to maintain ventilation and oxygenation through the gills.The same approach could be used for in vivo functional studies in other sensory and non‐sensory systems from juvenile and adult zebrafish. Abstract Hair cells are sensory receptors responsible for transducing auditory and vestibular information into electrical signals, which are then transmitted with remarkable precision to afferent neurons. The zebrafish lateral line is emerging as an excellent in vivo model for genetic and physiological analysis of hair cells and neurons. However, research has been limited to larval stages because zebrafish become protected from the time of independent feeding under European law (from 5.2 days post‐fertilization (dpf) at 28.5°C). In larval zebrafish, the functional properties of most of hair cells, as well as those of other excitable cells, are still immature. We have developed an experimental protocol to record electrophysiological properties from hair cells of the lateral line in juvenile zebrafish. We found that the anaesthetic benzocaine at 50 mg l−1 was an effective and safe anaesthetic to use on juvenile zebrafish. Concentrations up to 300 mg l−1 did not affect the electrical properties or synaptic vesicle release of juvenile hair cells, unlike the commonly used anaesthetic MS‐222, which reduces the size of basolateral membrane K+ currents. Additionally, we implemented a method to maintain gill movement, and as such respiration and blood oxygenation, via the intubation of > 21 dpf zebrafish. The combination of benzocaine and intubation provides an experimental platform to investigate the physiology of mature hair cells from live

  20. In vivo physiological recording from the lateral line of juvenile zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Olt, Jennifer; Allen, Claire E; Marcotti, Walter

    2016-10-01

    Zebrafish provide a unique opportunity to investigate in vivo sensory transduction in mature hair cells. We have developed a method for studying the biophysical properties of mature hair cells from the lateral line of juvenile zebrafish. The method involves application of the anaesthetic benzocaine and intubation to maintain ventilation and oxygenation through the gills. The same approach could be used for in vivo functional studies in other sensory and non-sensory systems from juvenile and adult zebrafish. Hair cells are sensory receptors responsible for transducing auditory and vestibular information into electrical signals, which are then transmitted with remarkable precision to afferent neurons. The zebrafish lateral line is emerging as an excellent in vivo model for genetic and physiological analysis of hair cells and neurons. However, research has been limited to larval stages because zebrafish become protected from the time of independent feeding under European law (from 5.2 days post-fertilization (dpf) at 28.5°C). In larval zebrafish, the functional properties of most of hair cells, as well as those of other excitable cells, are still immature. We have developed an experimental protocol to record electrophysiological properties from hair cells of the lateral line in juvenile zebrafish. We found that the anaesthetic benzocaine at 50 mg l(-1) was an effective and safe anaesthetic to use on juvenile zebrafish. Concentrations up to 300 mg l(-1) did not affect the electrical properties or synaptic vesicle release of juvenile hair cells, unlike the commonly used anaesthetic MS-222, which reduces the size of basolateral membrane K(+) currents. Additionally, we implemented a method to maintain gill movement, and as such respiration and blood oxygenation, via the intubation of > 21 dpf zebrafish. The combination of benzocaine and intubation provides an experimental platform to investigate the physiology of mature hair cells from live zebrafish. More

  1. Zebrafish sex: a complicated affair

    PubMed Central

    Liew, Woei Chang

    2014-01-01

    In this review, we provide a detailed overview of studies on the elusive sex determination (SD) and gonad differentiation mechanisms of zebrafish (Danio rerio). We show that the data obtained from most studies are compatible with polygenic sex determination (PSD), where the decision is made by the allelic combinations of several loci. These loci are typically dispersed throughout the genome, but in some teleost species a few of them might be located on a preferential pair of (sex) chromosomes. The PSD system has a much higher level of variation of SD genotypes both at the level of gametes and the sexual genotype of individuals, than that of the chromosomal sex determination systems. The early sexual development of zebrafish males is a complicated process, as they first develop a ‘juvenile ovary’, that later undergoes a transformation to give way to a testis. To date, three major developmental pathways were shown to be involved with gonad differentiation through the modulation of programmed cell death. In our opinion, there are more pathways participating in the regulation of zebrafish gonad differentiation/transformation. Introduction of additional powerful large-scale genomic approaches into the analysis of zebrafish reproduction will result in further deepening of our knowledge as well as identification of additional pathways and genes associated with these processes in the near future. PMID:24148942

  2. Knockdown of prothrombin in zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Day, Kenneth; Krishnegowda, Naveen; Jagadeeswaran, Pudur

    2004-01-01

    Thrombin is a serine protease generated from its zymogen, prothrombin, and plays a central role in the coagulation cascade. It is also important for mammalian development. The zebrafish has now been established as an excellent genetic model for studies on mammalian hemostasis and development. In this report, we used prothrombin-specific antisense morpholinos to knock down the levels of prothrombin to characterize the effects of prothrombin deficiency in the zebrafish embryo. Prothrombin morpholino-injected zebrafish embryos yielded an early phenotype exhibiting severe abnormalities that later showed occasional bleeding. In a second late phenotype, the embryos had no observable morphological abnormalities in early stages, but showed occasional bleeding at later stages. These phenotypes resembled characteristics shown by prothrombin knockout mice. Laser-induced vascular injury on some of the normal appearing phenotypic larvae showed a prolonged time to occlusion, and recombinant zebrafish prothrombin injected into these larvae restored a normal time to occlusion thus showing the specificity of the morpholino effect. The system developed here should be useful for investigation of the role of thrombin in vertebrate development.

  3. Contextual fear conditioning in zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Kenney, Justin W; Scott, Ian C; Josselyn, Sheena A; Frankland, Paul W

    2017-10-01

    Zebrafish are a genetically tractable vertebrate that hold considerable promise for elucidating the molecular basis of behavior. Although numerous recent advances have been made in the ability to precisely manipulate the zebrafish genome, much less is known about many aspects of learning and memory in adult fish. Here, we describe the development of a contextual fear conditioning paradigm using an electric shock as the aversive stimulus. We find that contextual fear conditioning is modulated by shock intensity, prevented by an established amnestic agent (MK-801), lasts at least 14 d, and exhibits extinction. Furthermore, fish of various background strains (AB, Tu, and TL) are able to acquire fear conditioning, but differ in fear extinction rates. Taken together, we find that contextual fear conditioning in zebrafish shares many similarities with the widely used contextual fear conditioning paradigm in rodents. Combined with the amenability of genetic manipulation in zebrafish, we anticipate that our paradigm will prove to be a useful complementary system in which to examine the molecular basis of vertebrate learning and memory. © 2017 Kenney et al.; Published by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press.

  4. Blocking VEGF signaling delays development of replacement teeth in zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Crucke, J; Huysseune, A

    2015-01-01

    The dentition in zebrafish is extremely and richly vascularized, but the function of the vasculature, in view of the continuous replacement of the teeth, remains elusive. Through application of SU5416, a vascular endothelial growth factor receptor inhibitor, we studied the role of the blood vessels in the dentition of the zebrafish. We were unable to show an effect on the development of first-generation teeth as well as first tooth replacement. However, in juvenile fish, a delay was observed in the developmental state of the replacement tooth compared with what was expected based on the maturation state of the functional tooth. Furthermore, we observed a difference between treated and nontreated fish in the distance between blood vessels and developing replacement teeth. In conclusion, our results provide support for a nutritive, rather than an inductive, function of the vasculature in the process of tooth development and replacement. © International & American Associations for Dental Research 2014.

  5. Sleep–wake regulation and hypocretin–melatonin interaction in zebrafish

    PubMed Central

    Appelbaum, Lior; Wang, Gordon X.; Maro, Geraldine S.; Mori, Rotem; Tovin, Adi; Marin, Wilfredo; Yokogawa, Tohei; Kawakami, Koichi; Smith, Stephen J.; Gothilf, Yoav; Mignot, Emmanuel; Mourrain, Philippe

    2009-01-01

    In mammals, hypocretin/orexin (HCRT) neuropeptides are important sleep–wake regulators and HCRT deficiency causes narcolepsy. In addition to fragmented wakefulness, narcoleptic mammals also display sleep fragmentation, a less understood phenotype recapitulated in the zebrafish HCRT receptor mutant (hcrtr−/−). We therefore used zebrafish to study the potential mediators of HCRT-mediated sleep consolidation. Similar to mammals, zebrafish HCRT neurons express vesicular glutamate transporters indicating conservation of the excitatory phenotype. Visualization of the entire HCRT circuit in zebrafish stably expressing hcrt:EGFP revealed parallels with established mammalian HCRT neuroanatomy, including projections to the pineal gland, where hcrtr mRNA is expressed. As pineal-produced melatonin is a major sleep-inducing hormone in zebrafish, we further studied how the HCRT and melatonin systems interact functionally. mRNA level of arylalkylamine-N-acetyltransferase (AANAT2), a key enzyme of melatonin synthesis, is reduced in hcrtr−/− pineal gland during the night. Moreover, HCRT perfusion of cultured zebrafish pineal glands induces melatonin release. Together these data indicate that HCRT can modulate melatonin production at night. Furthermore, hcrtr−/− fish are hypersensitive to melatonin, but not other hypnotic compounds. Subthreshold doses of melatonin increased the amount of sleep and consolidated sleep in hcrtr−/− fish, but not in the wild-type siblings. These results demonstrate the existence of a functional HCRT neurons-pineal gland circuit able to modulate melatonin production and sleep consolidation. PMID:19966231

  6. Distinct structure and activity of monoamine oxidase in the brain of zebrafish (Danio rerio).

    PubMed

    Anichtchik, Oleg; Sallinen, Ville; Peitsaro, Nina; Panula, Pertti

    2006-10-10

    Monoamine oxidase (MAO) is a mitochondrial flavoprotein involved in the metabolism of, e.g., aminergic neurotransmitters and the parkinsonism-inducing neurotoxin 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,5,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP). We have reported earlier MPTP-related alterations of brain catecholaminergic system in zebrafish (Danio rerio) brain. Here we describe the structural and functional properties of zebrafish MAO and the distribution of MAO mRNA and activity in zebrafish brain. The gene is located in chromosome 9 and consists of 15 exons. The amino acid composition of the active center resembles both human MAO-A and MAO-B. The enzyme displayed the highest substrate specificity for tyramine, followed by serotonin, phenylethylamine, MPTP, and dopamine; isoform-specific antagonists blocked the activity of the enzyme with equal potency. Zebrafish MAO mRNA, which was present in several tissues, and enzyme displayed differential distribution in the brain; dopaminergic cell clusters had low to moderate levels of MAO activity, whereas the highest levels of MAO activity were detected in noradrenergic and serotonergic cell groups and the habenulointerpeduncular pathway, including its caudal projection to the medial ventral rhombencephalon. The results of this study confirm the presence of functionally active MAO in zebrafish brain and other tissues and characterize the neural systems that express MAO and areas of intense activity in the brain. They also suggest that MPTP toxicity not related to MAO may affect the zebrafish brain.

  7. The zebrafish reference genome sequence and its relationship to the human genome

    PubMed Central

    Howe, Kerstin; Clark, Matthew D.; Torroja, Carlos F.; Torrance, James; Berthelot, Camille; Muffato, Matthieu; Collins, John E.; Humphray, Sean; McLaren, Karen; Matthews, Lucy; McLaren, Stuart; Sealy, Ian; Caccamo, Mario; Churcher, Carol; Scott, Carol; Barrett, Jeffrey C.; Koch, Romke; Rauch, Gerd-Jörg; White, Simon; Chow, William; Kilian, Britt; Quintais, Leonor T.; Guerra-Assunção, José A.; Zhou, Yi; Gu, Yong; Yen, Jennifer; Vogel, Jan-Hinnerk; Eyre, Tina; Redmond, Seth; Banerjee, Ruby; Chi, Jianxiang; Fu, Beiyuan; Langley, Elizabeth; Maguire, Sean F.; Laird, Gavin K.; Lloyd, David; Kenyon, Emma; Donaldson, Sarah; Sehra, Harminder; Almeida-King, Jeff; Loveland, Jane; Trevanion, Stephen; Jones, Matt; Quail, Mike; Willey, Dave; Hunt, Adrienne; Burton, John; Sims, Sarah; McLay, Kirsten; Plumb, Bob; Davis, Joy; Clee, Chris; Oliver, Karen; Clark, Richard; Riddle, Clare; Eliott, David; Threadgold, Glen; Harden, Glenn; Ware, Darren; Mortimer, Beverly; Kerry, Giselle; Heath, Paul; Phillimore, Benjamin; Tracey, Alan; Corby, Nicole; Dunn, Matthew; Johnson, Christopher; Wood, Jonathan; Clark, Susan; Pelan, Sarah; Griffiths, Guy; Smith, Michelle; Glithero, Rebecca; Howden, Philip; Barker, Nicholas; Stevens, Christopher; Harley, Joanna; Holt, Karen; Panagiotidis, Georgios; Lovell, Jamieson; Beasley, Helen; Henderson, Carl; Gordon, Daria; Auger, Katherine; Wright, Deborah; Collins, Joanna; Raisen, Claire; Dyer, Lauren; Leung, Kenric; Robertson, Lauren; Ambridge, Kirsty; Leongamornlert, Daniel; McGuire, Sarah; Gilderthorp, Ruth; Griffiths, Coline; Manthravadi, Deepa; Nichol, Sarah; Barker, Gary; Whitehead, Siobhan; Kay, Michael; Brown, Jacqueline; Murnane, Clare; Gray, Emma; Humphries, Matthew; Sycamore, Neil; Barker, Darren; Saunders, David; Wallis, Justene; Babbage, Anne; Hammond, Sian; Mashreghi-Mohammadi, Maryam; Barr, Lucy; Martin, Sancha; Wray, Paul; Ellington, Andrew; Matthews, Nicholas; Ellwood, Matthew; Woodmansey, Rebecca; Clark, Graham; Cooper, James; Tromans, Anthony; Grafham, Darren; Skuce, Carl; Pandian, Richard; Andrews, Robert; Harrison, Elliot; Kimberley, Andrew; Garnett, Jane; Fosker, Nigel; Hall, Rebekah; Garner, Patrick; Kelly, Daniel; Bird, Christine; Palmer, Sophie; Gehring, Ines; Berger, Andrea; Dooley, Christopher M.; Ersan-Ürün, Zübeyde; Eser, Cigdem; Geiger, Horst; Geisler, Maria; Karotki, Lena; Kirn, Anette; Konantz, Judith; Konantz, Martina; Oberländer, Martina; Rudolph-Geiger, Silke; Teucke, Mathias; Osoegawa, Kazutoyo; Zhu, Baoli; Rapp, Amanda; Widaa, Sara; Langford, Cordelia; Yang, Fengtang; Carter, Nigel P.; Harrow, Jennifer; Ning, Zemin; Herrero, Javier; Searle, Steve M. J.; Enright, Anton; Geisler, Robert; Plasterk, Ronald H. A.; Lee, Charles; Westerfield, Monte; de Jong, Pieter J.; Zon, Leonard I.; Postlethwait, John H.; Nüsslein-Volhard, Christiane; Hubbard, Tim J. P.; Crollius, Hugues Roest; Rogers, Jane; Stemple, Derek L.

    2013-01-01

    Zebrafish have become a popular organism for the study of vertebrate gene function1,2. The virtually transparent embryos of this species, and the ability to accelerate genetic studies by gene knockdown or overexpression, have led to the widespread use of zebrafish in the detailed investigation of vertebrate gene function and increasingly, the study of human genetic disease3–5. However, for effective modelling of human genetic disease it is important to understand the extent to which zebrafish genes and gene structures are related to orthologous human genes. To examine this, we generated a high-quality sequence assembly of the zebrafish genome, made up of an overlapping set of completely sequenced large-insert clones that were ordered and oriented using a high-resolution high-density meiotic map. Detailed automatic and manual annotation provides evidence of more than 26,000 protein-coding genes6, the largest gene set of any vertebrate so far sequenced. Comparison to the human reference genome shows that approximately 70% of human genes have at least one obvious zebrafish orthologue. In addition, the high quality of this genome assembly provides a clearer understanding of key genomic features such as a unique repeat content, a scarcity of pseudogenes, an enrichment of zebrafish-specific genes on chromosome 4 and chromosomal regions that influence sex determination. PMID:23594743

  8. The zebrafish reference genome sequence and its relationship to the human genome.

    PubMed

    Howe, Kerstin; Clark, Matthew D; Torroja, Carlos F; Torrance, James; Berthelot, Camille; Muffato, Matthieu; Collins, John E; Humphray, Sean; McLaren, Karen; Matthews, Lucy; McLaren, Stuart; Sealy, Ian; Caccamo, Mario; Churcher, Carol; Scott, Carol; Barrett, Jeffrey C; Koch, Romke; Rauch, Gerd-Jörg; White, Simon; Chow, William; Kilian, Britt; Quintais, Leonor T; Guerra-Assunção, José A; Zhou, Yi; Gu, Yong; Yen, Jennifer; Vogel, Jan-Hinnerk; Eyre, Tina; Redmond, Seth; Banerjee, Ruby; Chi, Jianxiang; Fu, Beiyuan; Langley, Elizabeth; Maguire, Sean F; Laird, Gavin K; Lloyd, David; Kenyon, Emma; Donaldson, Sarah; Sehra, Harminder; Almeida-King, Jeff; Loveland, Jane; Trevanion, Stephen; Jones, Matt; Quail, Mike; Willey, Dave; Hunt, Adrienne; Burton, John; Sims, Sarah; McLay, Kirsten; Plumb, Bob; Davis, Joy; Clee, Chris; Oliver, Karen; Clark, Richard; Riddle, Clare; Elliot, David; Eliott, David; Threadgold, Glen; Harden, Glenn; Ware, Darren; Begum, Sharmin; Mortimore, Beverley; Mortimer, Beverly; Kerry, Giselle; Heath, Paul; Phillimore, Benjamin; Tracey, Alan; Corby, Nicole; Dunn, Matthew; Johnson, Christopher; Wood, Jonathan; Clark, Susan; Pelan, Sarah; Griffiths, Guy; Smith, Michelle; Glithero, Rebecca; Howden, Philip; Barker, Nicholas; Lloyd, Christine; Stevens, Christopher; Harley, Joanna; Holt, Karen; Panagiotidis, Georgios; Lovell, Jamieson; Beasley, Helen; Henderson, Carl; Gordon, Daria; Auger, Katherine; Wright, Deborah; Collins, Joanna; Raisen, Claire; Dyer, Lauren; Leung, Kenric; Robertson, Lauren; Ambridge, Kirsty; Leongamornlert, Daniel; McGuire, Sarah; Gilderthorp, Ruth; Griffiths, Coline; Manthravadi, Deepa; Nichol, Sarah; Barker, Gary; Whitehead, Siobhan; Kay, Michael; Brown, Jacqueline; Murnane, Clare; Gray, Emma; Humphries, Matthew; Sycamore, Neil; Barker, Darren; Saunders, David; Wallis, Justene; Babbage, Anne; Hammond, Sian; Mashreghi-Mohammadi, Maryam; Barr, Lucy; Martin, Sancha; Wray, Paul; Ellington, Andrew; Matthews, Nicholas; Ellwood, Matthew; Woodmansey, Rebecca; Clark, Graham; Cooper, James D; Cooper, James; Tromans, Anthony; Grafham, Darren; Skuce, Carl; Pandian, Richard; Andrews, Robert; Harrison, Elliot; Kimberley, Andrew; Garnett, Jane; Fosker, Nigel; Hall, Rebekah; Garner, Patrick; Kelly, Daniel; Bird, Christine; Palmer, Sophie; Gehring, Ines; Berger, Andrea; Dooley, Christopher M; Ersan-Ürün, Zübeyde; Eser, Cigdem; Geiger, Horst; Geisler, Maria; Karotki, Lena; Kirn, Anette; Konantz, Judith; Konantz, Martina; Oberländer, Martina; Rudolph-Geiger, Silke; Teucke, Mathias; Lanz, Christa; Raddatz, Günter; Osoegawa, Kazutoyo; Zhu, Baoli; Rapp, Amanda; Widaa, Sara; Langford, Cordelia; Yang, Fengtang; Schuster, Stephan C; Carter, Nigel P; Harrow, Jennifer; Ning, Zemin; Herrero, Javier; Searle, Steve M J; Enright, Anton; Geisler, Robert; Plasterk, Ronald H A; Lee, Charles; Westerfield, Monte; de Jong, Pieter J; Zon, Leonard I; Postlethwait, John H; Nüsslein-Volhard, Christiane; Hubbard, Tim J P; Roest Crollius, Hugues; Rogers, Jane; Stemple, Derek L

    2013-04-25

    Zebrafish have become a popular organism for the study of vertebrate gene function. The virtually transparent embryos of this species, and the ability to accelerate genetic studies by gene knockdown or overexpression, have led to the widespread use of zebrafish in the detailed investigation of vertebrate gene function and increasingly, the study of human genetic disease. However, for effective modelling of human genetic disease it is important to understand the extent to which zebrafish genes and gene structures are related to orthologous human genes. To examine this, we generated a high-quality sequence assembly of the zebrafish genome, made up of an overlapping set of completely sequenced large-insert clones that were ordered and oriented using a high-resolution high-density meiotic map. Detailed automatic and manual annotation provides evidence of more than 26,000 protein-coding genes, the largest gene set of any vertebrate so far sequenced. Comparison to the human reference genome shows that approximately 70% of human genes have at least one obvious zebrafish orthologue. In addition, the high quality of this genome assembly provides a clearer understanding of key genomic features such as a unique repeat content, a scarcity of pseudogenes, an enrichment of zebrafish-specific genes on chromosome 4 and chromosomal regions that influence sex determination.

  9. Behavioural fever in zebrafish larvae.

    PubMed

    Rey, Sonia; Moiche, Visila; Boltaña, Sebastian; Teles, Mariana; MacKenzie, Simon

    2017-02-01

    Behavioural fever has been reported in different species of mobile ectotherms including the zebrafish, Danio rerio, in response to exogenous pyrogens. In this study we report, to our knowledge for the first time, upon the ontogenic onset of behavioural fever in zebrafish (Danio rerio) larvae. For this, zebrafish larvae (from first feeding to juveniles) were placed in a continuous thermal gradient providing the opportunity to select their preferred temperature. The novel thermal preference aquarium was based upon a continuous vertical column system and allows for non-invasive observation of larvae vertical distribution under isothermal (T R at 28 °C) and thermal gradient conditions (T CH : 28-32 °C). Larval thermal preference was assessed under both conditions with or without an immersion challenge, in order to detect the onset of the behavioural fever response. Our results defined the onset of the dsRNA induced behavioural fever at 18-20 days post fertilization (dpf). Significant differences were observed in dsRNA challenged larvae, which prefer higher temperatures (1-4 °C increase) throughout the experimental period as compared to non-challenged larvae. In parallel we measured the abundance of antiviral transcripts; viperin, gig2, irf7, trim25 and Mxb mRNAs in dsRNA challenged larvae under both thermal regimes: T R and T Ch . Significant increases in the abundance of all measured transcripts were recorded under thermal choice conditions signifying that thermo-coupling and the resultant enhancement of the immune response to dsRNA challenge occurs from 18 dpf onwards in the zebrafish. The results are of importance as they identify a key developmental stage where the neuro-immune interface matures in the zebrafish likely providing increased resistance to viral infection. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Fluoride caused thyroid endocrine disruption in male zebrafish (Danio rerio).

    PubMed

    Jianjie, Chen; Wenjuan, Xue; Jinling, Cao; Jie, Song; Ruhui, Jia; Meiyan, Li

    2016-02-01

    Excessive fluoride in natural water ecosystem has the potential to detrimentally affect thyroid endocrine system, but little is known of such effects or underlying mechanisms in fish. In the present study, we evaluated the effects of fluoride on growth performance, thyroid histopathology, thyroid hormone levels, and gene expressions in the HPT axis in male zebrafish (Danio rerio) exposed to different determined concentrations of 0.1, 0.9, 2.0 and 4.1 M of fluoride to investigate the effects of fluoride on thyroid endocrine system and the potential toxic mechanisms caused by fluoride. The results indicated that the growth of the male zebrafish used in the experiments was significantly inhibited, the thyroid microtrastructure was changed, and the levels of T3 and T4 were disturbed in fluoride-exposed male fish. In addition, the expressional profiles of genes in HPT axis displayed alteration. The expressions of all studied genes were significantly increased in all fluoride-exposed male fish after exposure for 45 days. The transcriptional levels of corticotrophin-releasing hormone (CRH), thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), thyroglobulin (TG), sodium iodide symporter (NIS), iodothyronine I (DIO1), and thyroid hormone receptor alpha (TRα) were also elevated in all fluoride-exposed male fish after 90 days of exposure, while the inconsistent expressions were found in the mRNA of iodothyronineⅡ (DIO2), UDP glucuronosyltransferase 1 family a, b (UGT1ab), transthyretin (TTR), and thyroid hormone receptor beta (TRβ). These results demonstrated that fluoride could notably inhibit the growth of zebrafish, and significantly affect thyroid endocrine system by changing the microtrastructure of thyroid, altering thyroid hormone levels and endocrine-related gene expressions in male zebrafish. All above indicated that fluoride could pose a great threat to thyroid endocrine system, thus detrimentally affected the normal function of thyroid of male zebrafish. Copyright © 2015

  11. Circadian rhythmicity and light sensitivity of the zebrafish brain.

    PubMed

    Moore, Helen A; Whitmore, David

    2014-01-01

    Traditionally, circadian clocks have been thought of as a neurobiological phenomenon. This view changed somewhat over recent years with the discovery of peripheral tissue circadian oscillators. In mammals, however, the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) in the hypothalamus still retains the critical role of a central synchronizer of biological timing. Zebrafish, in contrast, have always reflected a more highly decentralized level of clock organization, as individual cells and tissues contain directly light responsive circadian pacemakers. As a consequence, clock function in the zebrafish brain has remained largely unexplored, and the precise organization of rhythmic and light-sensitive neurons within the brain is unknown. To address this issue, we used the period3 (per3)-luciferase transgenic zebrafish to confirm that multiple brain regions contain endogenous circadian oscillators that are directly light responsive. In addition, in situ hybridization revealed localised neural expression of several rhythmic and light responsive clock genes, including per3, cryptochrome1a (cry1a) and per2. Adult brain nuclei showing significant clock gene expression include the teleost equivalent of the SCN, as well as numerous hypothalamic nuclei, the periventricular grey zone (PGZ) of the optic tectum, and granular cells of the rhombencephalon. To further investigate the light sensitive properties of neurons, expression of c-fos, a marker for neuronal activity, was examined. c-fos mRNA was upregulated in response to changing light conditions in different nuclei within the zebrafish brain. Furthermore, under constant dark (DD) conditions, c-fos shows a significant circadian oscillation. Taken together, these results show that there are numerous areas of the zebrafish central nervous system, which contain deep brain photoreceptors and directly light-entrainable circadian pacemakers. However, there are also multiple brain nuclei, which possess neither, demonstrating a degree of pacemaker

  12. Circadian Rhythmicity and Light Sensitivity of the Zebrafish Brain

    PubMed Central

    Moore, Helen A.; Whitmore, David

    2014-01-01

    Traditionally, circadian clocks have been thought of as a neurobiological phenomenon. This view changed somewhat over recent years with the discovery of peripheral tissue circadian oscillators. In mammals, however, the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) in the hypothalamus still retains the critical role of a central synchronizer of biological timing. Zebrafish, in contrast, have always reflected a more highly decentralized level of clock organization, as individual cells and tissues contain directly light responsive circadian pacemakers. As a consequence, clock function in the zebrafish brain has remained largely unexplored, and the precise organization of rhythmic and light-sensitive neurons within the brain is unknown. To address this issue, we used the period3 (per3)-luciferase transgenic zebrafish to confirm that multiple brain regions contain endogenous circadian oscillators that are directly light responsive. In addition, in situ hybridization revealed localised neural expression of several rhythmic and light responsive clock genes, including per3, cryptochrome1a (cry1a) and per2. Adult brain nuclei showing significant clock gene expression include the teleost equivalent of the SCN, as well as numerous hypothalamic nuclei, the periventricular grey zone (PGZ) of the optic tectum, and granular cells of the rhombencephalon. To further investigate the light sensitive properties of neurons, expression of c-fos, a marker for neuronal activity, was examined. c-fos mRNA was upregulated in response to changing light conditions in different nuclei within the zebrafish brain. Furthermore, under constant dark (DD) conditions, c-fos shows a significant circadian oscillation. Taken together, these results show that there are numerous areas of the zebrafish central nervous system, which contain deep brain photoreceptors and directly light-entrainable circadian pacemakers. However, there are also multiple brain nuclei, which possess neither, demonstrating a degree of pacemaker

  13. ZEBRAFISH AS AN IN VIVO MODEL FOR SUSTAINABLE CHEMICAL DESIGN.

    PubMed

    Noyes, Pamela D; Garcia, Gloria R; Tanguay, Robert L

    2016-12-21

    Heightened public awareness about the many thousands of chemicals in use and present as persistent contaminants in the environment has increased the demand for safer chemicals and more rigorous toxicity testing. There is a growing recognition that the use of traditional test models and empirical approaches is impractical for screening for toxicity the many thousands of chemicals in the environment and the hundreds of new chemistries introduced each year. These realities coupled with the green chemistry movement have prompted efforts to implement more predictive-based approaches to evaluate chemical toxicity early in product development. While used for many years in environmental toxicology and biomedicine, zebrafish use has accelerated more recently in genetic toxicology, high throughput screening (HTS), and behavioral testing. This review describes major advances in these testing methods that have positioned the zebrafish as a highly applicable model in chemical safety evaluations and sustainable chemistry efforts. Many toxic responses have been shown to be shared among fish and mammals owing to their generally well-conserved development, cellular networks, and organ systems. These shared responses have been observed for chemicals that impair endocrine functioning, development, and reproduction, as well as those that elicit cardiotoxicity and carcinogenicity, among other diseases. HTS technologies with zebrafish enable screening large chemical libraries for bioactivity that provide opportunities for testing early in product development. A compelling attribute of the zebrafish centers on being able to characterize toxicity mechanisms across multiple levels of biological organization from the genome to receptor interactions and cellular processes leading to phenotypic changes such as developmental malformations. Finally, there is a growing recognition of the links between human and wildlife health and the need for approaches that allow for assessment of real world

  14. Production of Zebrafish Offspring from Cultured Female Germline Stem Cells

    PubMed Central

    Wong, Ten-Tsao; Tesfamichael, Abraham; Collodi, Paul

    2013-01-01

    Zebrafish female germline stem cell (FGSC) cultures were generated from a transgenic line of fish that expresses Neo and DsRed under the control of the germ cell specific promoter, ziwi [Tg(ziwi:neo);Tg(ziwi:DsRed)]. Homogeneous FGSC cultures were established by G418 selection and continued to express ziwi for more than 6 weeks along with the germ cell markers nanos3, dnd, dazl and vasa. A key component of the cell culture system was the use of a feeder cell line that was initiated from ovaries of a transgenic line of fish [Tg(gsdf:neo)] that expresses Neo controlled by the zebrafish gonadal soma derived factor (gsdf) promoter. The feeder cell line was selected in G418 and engineered to express zebrafish leukemia inhibitory factor (Lif), basic fibroblast growth factor (Fgf2) and glial-cell-line derived neurotrophic factor (Gdnf). These factors were shown to significantly enhance FGSC growth, survival and germline competency in culture. Results from cell transplantation experiments revealed that the cultured FGSCs were able to successfully colonize the gonad of sterile recipient fish and generate functional gametes. Up to 20% of surviving recipient fish that were injected with the cultured FGSCs were fertile and generated multiple batches of normal offspring for at least 6 months. The FGSC cultures will provide an in vitro system for studies of zebrafish germ cell growth and differentiation and their high frequency of germline transmission following transplantation could form the basis of a stem cell-mediated strategy for gene transfer and manipulation of the zebrafish genome. PMID:23671620

  15. ZEBRAFISH AS AN IN VIVO MODEL FOR SUSTAINABLE CHEMICAL DESIGN

    PubMed Central

    Noyes, Pamela D.; Garcia, Gloria R.; Tanguay, Robert L.

    2016-01-01

    Heightened public awareness about the many thousands of chemicals in use and present as persistent contaminants in the environment has increased the demand for safer chemicals and more rigorous toxicity testing. There is a growing recognition that the use of traditional test models and empirical approaches is impractical for screening for toxicity the many thousands of chemicals in the environment and the hundreds of new chemistries introduced each year. These realities coupled with the green chemistry movement have prompted efforts to implement more predictive-based approaches to evaluate chemical toxicity early in product development. While used for many years in environmental toxicology and biomedicine, zebrafish use has accelerated more recently in genetic toxicology, high throughput screening (HTS), and behavioral testing. This review describes major advances in these testing methods that have positioned the zebrafish as a highly applicable model in chemical safety evaluations and sustainable chemistry efforts. Many toxic responses have been shown to be shared among fish and mammals owing to their generally well-conserved development, cellular networks, and organ systems. These shared responses have been observed for chemicals that impair endocrine functioning, development, and reproduction, as well as those that elicit cardiotoxicity and carcinogenicity, among other diseases. HTS technologies with zebrafish enable screening large chemical libraries for bioactivity that provide opportunities for testing early in product development. A compelling attribute of the zebrafish centers on being able to characterize toxicity mechanisms across multiple levels of biological organization from the genome to receptor interactions and cellular processes leading to phenotypic changes such as developmental malformations. Finally, there is a growing recognition of the links between human and wildlife health and the need for approaches that allow for assessment of real world

  16. Early zebrafish development: It’s in the maternal genes

    PubMed Central

    Abrams, Elliott W.; Mullins, Mary C.

    2009-01-01

    Summary The earliest stages of embryonic development in all animals examined rely on maternal gene products that are generated during oogenesis and supplied to the egg. The period of maternal control of embryonic development varies among animals according to the onset of zygotic transcription and the persistence of maternal gene products. This maternal regulation has been little studied in vertebrates, due to the difficulty in manipulating maternal gene function and lack of basic molecular information. However, recent maternal-effect screens in the zebrafish have generated more than 40 unique mutants that are providing new molecular entry points to the maternal control of early vertebrate development. Here we discuss recent studies of 12 zebrafish mutant genes that illuminate the maternal molecular controls on embryonic development, including advances in the regulation of animal-vegetal polarity, egg activation, cleavage development, body plan formation, tissue morphogenesis, microRNA function and germ cell development. PMID:19608405

  17. Application of chrysophanol in zebrafish to reduce dietary introduced lipid and its possible mechanism

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Kan; Wang, Chang-Qian; Fan, Yu-Qi; Xie, Yu-Shui; Yin, Zhao-Fang; Xu, Zuo-Jun; Zhang, Hui-Li; Cao, Jia-Tian; Wang, Yue

    2015-01-01

    Purpose: To explore the therapeutic potential and mechanism of chrysophanol on lipid-lowering function. Methods: Zebrafish or larvae were employed to evaluate the effect of chrysophanol on lipid-lowering. Zebrafish of 5 day post fertilization (dpf, larva) and 13-week old were fed with high-cholesterol diet or high-fat to investigate the influence of chrysophanol comparing with atorvastain and co-administration of chrysophanol and atorvastain on subsistent blood lipid using the fluorescence microscope and lipid panel screen. Thereafter, we enrolled zebrafish of 7 dpf fed with high-fat diet to explore the lipid-lowering mechanism of chrysophanol basing on the frequency of peristalsis and the residual on the digestive wall. Results: Chrysophanol could significantly lower cholesterol both in zebrafish and larvae (P < 0.05), and the co-administration of chrysophanol and atorvastatin had the best performance in reducing cholesterol (P < 0.05). Chrysophanol and atorvastain could also significantly lower triglyceride. Moreover, we found that chrysophanol attached on the digestive wall for a long time and enhanced the frequency of peristalsis. Conclusions: Chrysophanol has lipid-lowering effect both in zebrafish and larvae which may be attributed to the effect on the frequency of peristalsis and fat absorption, and co-administration with atorvastain performs better lipid-lowering effect in zebrafish. PMID:26379845

  18. The synthetic substance hypoxanthine 3-N-oxide elicits alarm reactions in zebrafish (Danio rerio)

    PubMed Central

    Parra, Kevin V.; Adrian, James C.; Gerlai, Robert

    2009-01-01

    Zebrafish, one of the preferred study species of geneticists, is gaining increasing popularity in behavioral neuroscience. This small and prolific species may be an excellent tool with which the biological mechanisms of vertebrate brain function and behavior are investigated. Zebrafish has been proposed as a model organism in the analysis of fear responses and human anxiety disorders. Species-specific cues signaling the presence of predators have been successfully utilized in such research. Zebrafish has been shown to respond to its natural alarm substance with species-typical fear reactions. However, the extraction of this alarm substance and ascertaining its consistent dosing has been problematic. A synthetic substance with a known chemical identity and molecular weight would allow precise dosing and experimental control. Previously, the chemical component, hypoxanthine 3-N-oxide, common to several fish alarm substances has been identified and has been shown to elicit alarm reactions in fish species belonging to the Osteriophysan superorder. In the current study we investigate the effect of hypoxanthine 3-N-oxide by exposing zebrafish to three different concentrations of this synthetic substance. Our results show that the substance efficaciously induces species-typical fear reactions increasing the number of erratic movement episodes and jumps in zebrafish. We discuss the translational relevance of our findings and conclude that hypoxanthine 3-N-oxide will have utility to elicit fear responses in the laboratory in a precisely controlled manner in zebrafish. PMID:19583985

  19. Cerebroventricular Microinjection (CVMI) into Adult Zebrafish Brain Is an Efficient Misexpression Method for Forebrain Ventricular Cells

    PubMed Central

    Kizil, Caghan; Brand, Michael

    2011-01-01

    The teleost fish Danio rerio (zebrafish) has a remarkable ability to generate newborn neurons in its brain at adult stages of its lifespan-a process called adult neurogenesis. This ability relies on proliferating ventricular progenitors and is in striking contrast to mammalian brains that have rather restricted capacity for adult neurogenesis. Therefore, investigating the zebrafish brain can help not only to elucidate the molecular mechanisms of widespread adult neurogenesis in a vertebrate species, but also to design therapies in humans with what we learn from this teleost. Yet, understanding the cellular behavior and molecular programs underlying different biological processes in the adult zebrafish brain requires techniques that allow manipulation of gene function. As a complementary method to the currently used misexpression techniques in zebrafish, such as transgenic approaches or electroporation-based delivery of DNA, we devised a cerebroventricular microinjection (CVMI)-assisted knockdown protocol that relies on vivo morpholino oligonucleotides, which do not require electroporation for cellular uptake. This rapid method allows uniform and efficient knockdown of genes in the ventricular cells of the zebrafish brain, which contain the neurogenic progenitors. We also provide data on the use of CVMI for growth factor administration to the brain – in our case FGF8, which modulates the proliferation rate of the ventricular cells. In this paper, we describe the CVMI method and discuss its potential uses in zebrafish. PMID:22076157

  20. Satellite-like cells contribute to pax7-dependent skeletal muscle repair in adult zebrafish

    PubMed Central

    Berberoglu, Michael A.; Gallagher, Thomas L.; Morrow, Zachary T.; Talbot, Jared C.; Hromowyk, Kimberly J.; Tenente, Inês M.; Langenau, David M.; Amacher, Sharon L.

    2017-01-01

    Satellite cells, also known as muscle stem cells, are responsible for skeletal muscle growth and repair in mammals. Pax7 and Pax3 transcription factors are established satellite cell markers required for muscle development and regeneration, and there is great interest in identifying additional factors that regulate satellite cell proliferation, differentiation, and/or skeletal muscle regeneration. Due to the powerful regenerative capacity of many zebrafish tissues, even in adults, we are exploring the regenerative potential of adult zebrafish skeletal muscle. Here, we show that adult zebrafish skeletal muscle contains cells similar to mammalian satellite cells. Adult zebrafish satellite-like cells have dense heterochromatin, express Pax7 and Pax3, proliferate in response to injury, and show peak myogenic responses 4–5 days post-injury (dpi). Furthermore, using a pax7a-driven GFP reporter, we present evidence implicating satellite-like cells as a possible source of new muscle. In lieu of central nucleation, which distinguishes regenerating myofibers in mammals, we describe several characteristics that robustly identify newly-forming myofibers from surrounding fibers in injured adult zebrafish muscle. These characteristics include partially overlapping expression in satellite cells and regenerating myofibers of two RNA-binding proteins Rbfox2 and Rbfoxl1, known to regulate embryonic muscle development and function. Finally, by analyzing pax7a; pax7b double mutant zebrafish, we show that Pax7 is required for adult skeletal muscle repair, as it is in the mouse. PMID:28279710

  1. Fish from Head to Tail: The 9th European Zebrafish Meeting in Oslo.

    PubMed

    Griffiths, Gareth; Müller, Ferenc; Ledin, Johan; Patton, E Elizabeth; Gjøen, Tor; Lobert, Viola Hélène; Winther-Larsen, Hanne Cecilie; Mullins, Mary; Joly, Jean-Stephane; Weltzien, Finn-Arne; Press, Charles McLean; Aleström, Peter

    2016-04-01

    The 9th European Zebrafish Meeting took place recently in Oslo (June 28-July 2, 2015). A total of 650 participants came to hear the latest research news focused on the zebrafish, Danio rerio, and to its distant evolutionary relative medaka, Oryzias latipes. The packed program included keynote and plenary talks, short oral presentations and poster sessions, workshops, and strategic discussions. The meeting was a great success and revealed dramatically how important the zebrafish in particular has become as a model system for topics, such as developmental biology, functional genomics, biomedicine, toxicology, and drug development. A new emphasis was given to its potential as a model for aquaculture, a topic of great economic interest to the host country Norway and for the future global food supply in general. Zebrafish husbandry as well as its use in teaching were also covered in separate workshops. As has become a tradition in these meetings, there was a well-attended Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and ZFIN workshop focused on Zebrafish Genome Resources on the first day. The full EZM 2015 program with abstracts can be read and downloaded from the EZM 2015 Web site zebrafish2015.org .

  2. Using Zebrafish to Study Podocyte Genesis During Kidney Development and Regeneration

    PubMed Central

    Kroeger, Paul T.; Wingert, Rebecca A.

    2014-01-01

    SUMMARY During development, vertebrates form a progression of up to three different kidneys that are comprised of functional units termed nephrons. Nephron composition is highly conserved across species, and an increasing appreciation of the similarities between zebrafish and mammalian nephron cell types has positioned the zebrafish as a relevant genetic system for nephrogenesis studies. A key component of the nephron blood filter is a specialized epithelial cell known as the podocyte. Podocyte research is of the utmost importance as a vast majority of renal diseases initiate with the dysfunction or loss of podocytes, resulting in a condition known as proteinuria that causes nephron degeneration and eventually leads to kidney failure. Understanding how podocytes develop during organogenesis may elucidate new ways to promote nephron health by stimulating podocyte replacement in kidney disease patients. In this review, we discuss how the zebrafish model can be used to study kidney development, and how zebrafish research has provided new insights into podocyte lineage specification and differentiation. Further, we discuss the recent discovery of podocyte regeneration in adult zebrafish, and explore how continued basic research using zebrafish can provide important knowledge about podocyte genesis in embryonic and adult environments. PMID:24920186

  3. Angiopoietin-like 3 regulates hepatocyte proliferation and lipid metabolism in zebrafish

    SciT

    Lee, So-Hyun; Department of Biology, Chungnam National University, Daejeon; So, Ju-Hoon

    2014-04-18

    Highlights: • angptl3 is specifically expressed in the liver of developing zebrafish. • Knockdown of Angptl3 decreases liver size in developing zebrafish. • Knockdown of zebrafish Angptl3 elicits a hypocholesterolemia phenotype. - Abstract: Loss-of-function mutations in angiopoietin-like 3 (ANGPTL3) cause familial hypobetalipoproteinemia type 2 (FHBL2) in humans. ANGPTL3 belongs to the angiopoietin-like family, the vascular endothelial growth factor family that is structurally similar to angiopoietins and is known for a regulator of lipid and glucose metabolism, although it is unclear how mutations in ANGPTL3 lead to defect in liver development in the vertebrates. We report here that angptl3 is primarilymore » expressed in the zebrafish developing liver and that morpholino (MO) knockdown of Angptl3 reduces the size of the developing liver, which is caused by suppression of cell proliferation, but not by enhancement of apoptosis. However, MO knockdown of Angptl3 did not alter angiogenesis in the developing liver. Additionally, disruption of zebrafish Angptl3 elicits the hypocholesterolemia phenotype that is characteristic of FHBL2 in humans. Together, our findings propose a novel role for Angptl3 in liver cell proliferation and maintenance during zebrafish embryogenesis. Finally, angptl3 morphants will serve as a good model for understanding the pathophysiology of FHBL2.« less

  4. The photoreceptive cells of the pineal gland in adult zebrafish (Danio rerio).

    PubMed

    Laurà, Rosaria; Magnoli, Domenico; Zichichi, Rosalia; Guerrera, Maria Cristina; De Carlos, Felix; Suárez, Alberto Álvarez; Abbate, Francesco; Ciriaco, Emilia; Vega, Jose Antonio; Germanà, Antonino

    2012-03-01

    The zebrafish pineal gland plays a fundamental role in the regulation of the circadian rhythm through the melatonin secretion. The pinealocytes, also called photoreceptive cells, are considered the morphofunctional unit of pineal gland. In literature, the anatomical features, the cellular characteristics, and the pinealocytes morphology of zebrafish pineal gland have not been previously described in detail. Therefore, this study was undertaken to analyze the structure and ultrastructure, as well as the immunohistochemical profile of the zebrafish pineal gland with particular reference to the pinealocytes. Here, we demonstrated, using RT-PCR, immunohistochemistry and transmission electron microscopy, the expression of the mRNA for rhodopsin in the pineal gland of zebrafish, as well as its cellular localization exclusively in the pinealocytes of adult zebrafish. Moreover, the ultrastructural observations demonstrated that the pinealocytes were constituted by an outer segment with numerous lamellar membranes, an inner segment with many mitochondria, and a basal pole with the synapses. Our results taken together demonstrated a central role of zebrafish pinealocytes in the control of pineal gland functions. Copyright © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  5. LITTLE FISH, BIG DATA: ZEBRAFISH AS A MODEL FOR CARDIOVASCULAR AND METABOLIC DISEASE.

    PubMed

    Gut, Philipp; Reischauer, Sven; Stainier, Didier Y R; Arnaout, Rima

    2017-07-01

    The burden of cardiovascular and metabolic diseases worldwide is staggering. The emergence of systems approaches in biology promises new therapies, faster and cheaper diagnostics, and personalized medicine. However, a profound understanding of pathogenic mechanisms at the cellular and molecular levels remains a fundamental requirement for discovery and therapeutics. Animal models of human disease are cornerstones of drug discovery as they allow identification of novel pharmacological targets by linking gene function with pathogenesis. The zebrafish model has been used for decades to study development and pathophysiology. More than ever, the specific strengths of the zebrafish model make it a prime partner in an age of discovery transformed by big-data approaches to genomics and disease. Zebrafish share a largely conserved physiology and anatomy with mammals. They allow a wide range of genetic manipulations, including the latest genome engineering approaches. They can be bred and studied with remarkable speed, enabling a range of large-scale phenotypic screens. Finally, zebrafish demonstrate an impressive regenerative capacity scientists hope to unlock in humans. Here, we provide a comprehensive guide on applications of zebrafish to investigate cardiovascular and metabolic diseases. We delineate advantages and limitations of zebrafish models of human disease and summarize their most significant contributions to understanding disease progression to date. Copyright © 2017 the American Physiological Society.

  6. Comparison of the Exomes of Common Carp (Cyprinus carpio) and Zebrafish (Danio rerio)

    PubMed Central

    Henkel, Christiaan V.; Dirks, Ron P.; Jansen, Hans J.; Forlenza, Maria; Wiegertjes, Geert F.; Howe, Kerstin; van den Thillart, Guido E.E.J.M.

    2012-01-01

    Abstract Research on common carp, Cyprinus carpio, is beneficial for zebrafish research because of resources available owing to its large body size, such as the availability of sufficient organ material for transcriptomics, proteomics, and metabolomics. Here we describe the shot gun sequencing of a clonal double-haploid common carp line. The assembly consists of 511891 scaffolds with an N50 of 17 kb, predicting a total genome size of 1.4–1.5 Gb. A detailed analysis of the ten largest scaffolds indicates that the carp genome has a considerably lower repeat coverage than zebrafish, whilst the average intron size is significantly smaller, making it comparable to the fugu genome. The quality of the scaffolding was confirmed by comparisons with RNA deep sequencing data sets and a manual analysis for synteny with the zebrafish, especially the Hox gene clusters. In the ten largest scaffolds analyzed, the synteny of genes is almost complete. Comparisons of predicted exons of common carp with those of the zebrafish revealed only few genes specific for either zebrafish or carp, most of these being of unknown function. This supports the hypothesis of an additional genome duplication event in the carp evolutionary history, which—due to a higher degree of compactness—did not result in a genome larger than that of zebrafish. PMID:22715948

  7. The Zebrafish Brain in Research and Teaching: A Simple in Vivo and in Vitro Model for the Study of Spontaneous Neural Activity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vargas, R.; Johannesdottir, I. P.; Sigurgeirsson, B.; Porsteinsson, H.; Karlsson, K. AE.

    2011-01-01

    Recently, the zebrafish ("Danio rerio") has been established as a key animal model in neuroscience. Behavioral, genetic, and immunohistochemical techniques have been used to describe the connectivity of diverse neural circuits. However, few studies have used zebrafish to understand the function of cerebral structures or to study neural circuits.…

  8. Abnormal cerebellar development and ataxia in CARP VIII morphant zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Aspatwar, Ashok; Tolvanen, Martti E E; Jokitalo, Eija; Parikka, Mataleena; Ortutay, Csaba; Harjula, Sanna-Kaisa E; Rämet, Mika; Vihinen, Mauno; Parkkila, Seppo

    2013-02-01

    Congenital ataxia and mental retardation are mainly caused by variations in the genes that affect brain development. Recent reports have shown that mutations in the CA8 gene are associated with mental retardation and ataxia in humans and ataxia in mice. The gene product, carbonic anhydrase-related protein VIII (CARP VIII), is predominantly present in cerebellar Purkinje cells, where it interacts with the inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate receptor type 1, a calcium channel. In this study, we investigated the effects of the loss of function of CARP VIII during embryonic development in zebrafish using antisense morpholino oligonucleotides against the CA8 gene. Knockdown of CA8 in zebrafish larvae resulted in a curved body axis, pericardial edema and abnormal movement patterns. Histologic examination revealed gross morphologic defects in the cerebellar region and in the muscle. Electron microscopy studies showed increased neuronal cell death in developing larvae injected with CA8 antisense morpholinos. These data suggest a pivotal role for CARP VIII during embryonic development. Furthermore, suppression of CA8 expression leads to defects in motor and coordination functions, mimicking the ataxic human phenotype. This work reveals an evolutionarily conserved function of CARP VIII in brain development and introduces a novel zebrafish model in which to investigate the mechanisms of CARP VIII-related ataxia and mental retardation in humans.

  9. Characterization of glutathione-S-transferases in zebrafish (Danio rerio).

    PubMed

    Glisic, Branka; Mihaljevic, Ivan; Popovic, Marta; Zaja, Roko; Loncar, Jovica; Fent, Karl; Kovacevic, Radmila; Smital, Tvrtko

    2015-01-01

    Glutathione-S-transferases (GSTs) are one of the key enzymes that mediate phase II of cellular detoxification. The aim of our study was a comprehensive characterization of GSTs in zebrafish (Danio rerio) as an important vertebrate model species frequently used in environmental research. A detailed phylogenetic analysis of GST superfamily revealed 27 zebrafish gst genes. Further insights into the orthology relationships between human and zebrafish GSTs/Gsts were obtained by the conserved synteny analysis. Expression of gst genes in six tissues (liver, kidney, gills, intestine, brain and gonads) of adult male and female zebrafish was determined using qRT-PCR. Functional characterization was performed on 9 cytosolic Gst enzymes after overexpression in E. coli and subsequent protein purification. Enzyme kinetics was measured for GSH and a series of model substrates. Our data revealed ubiquitously high expression of gstp, gstm (except in liver), gstr1, mgst3a and mgst3b, high expression of gsto2 in gills and ovaries, gsta in intestine and testes, gstt1a in liver, and gstz1 in liver, kidney and brain. All zebrafish Gsts catalyzed the conjugation of GSH to model GST substrates 1-chloro-2,4-dinitrobenzene (CDNB) and monochlorobimane (MCB), apart from Gsto2 and Gstz1 that catalyzed GSH conjugation to dehydroascorbate (DHA) and dichloroacetic acid (DCA), respectively. Affinity toward CDNB varied from 0.28 mM (Gstp2) to 3.69 mM (Gstm3), while affinity toward MCB was in the range of 5 μM (Gstt1a) to 250 μM (Gstp1). Affinity toward GSH varied from 0.27 mM (Gstz1) to 4.45 mM (Gstt1a). Turnover number for CDNB varied from 5.25s(-1) (Gstt1a) to 112s(-1) (Gstp2). Only Gst Pi enzymes utilized ethacrynic acid (ETA). We suggest that Gstp1, Gstp2, Gstt1a, Gstz1, Gstr1, Mgst3a and Mgst3b have important role in the biotransformation of xenobiotics, while Gst Alpha, Mu, Pi, Zeta and Rho classes are involved in the crucial physiological processes. In summary, this study provides the

  10. Maternal nodal and zebrafish embryogenesis.

    PubMed

    Bennett, James T; Stickney, Heather L; Choi, Wen-Yee; Ciruna, Brian; Talbot, William S; Schier, Alexander F

    2007-11-08

    In fish and amphibians, the dorsal axis is specified by the asymmetric localization of maternally provided components of the Wnt signalling pathway. Gore et al. suggest that the Nodal signal Squint (Sqt) is required as a maternally provided dorsal determinant in zebrafish. Here we test their proposal and show that the maternal activities of sqt and the related Nodal gene cyclops (cyc) are not required for dorsoventral patterning.

  11. Gene Trapping Using Gal4 in Zebrafish

    PubMed Central

    Balciuniene, Jorune; Balciunas, Darius

    2013-01-01

    Large clutch size and external development of optically transparent embryos make zebrafish an exceptional vertebrate model system for in vivo insertional mutagenesis using fluorescent reporters to tag expression of mutated genes. Several laboratories have constructed and tested enhancer- and gene-trap vectors in zebrafish, using fluorescent proteins, Gal4- and lexA- based transcriptional activators as reporters 1-7. These vectors had two potential drawbacks: suboptimal stringency (e.g. lack of ability to differentiate between enhancer- and gene-trap events) and low mutagenicity (e.g. integrations into genes rarely produced null alleles). Gene Breaking Transposon (GBTs) were developed to address these drawbacks 8-10. We have modified one of the first GBT vectors, GBT-R15, for use with Gal4-VP16 as the primary gene trap reporter and added UAS:eGFP as the secondary reporter for direct detection of gene trap events. Application of Gal4-VP16 as the primary gene trap reporter provides two main advantages. First, it increases sensitivity for genes expressed at low expression levels. Second, it enables researchers to use gene trap lines as Gal4 drivers to direct expression of other transgenes in very specific tissues. This is especially pertinent for genes with non-essential or redundant functions, where gene trap integration may not result in overt phenotypes. The disadvantage of using Gal4-VP16 as the primary gene trap reporter is that genes coding for proteins with N-terminal signal sequences are not amenable to trapping, as the resulting Gal4-VP16 fusion proteins are unlikely to be able to enter the nucleus and activate transcription. Importantly, the use of Gal4-VP16 does not pre-select for nuclear proteins: we recovered gene trap mutations in genes encoding proteins which function in the nucleus, the cytoplasm and the plasma membrane. PMID:24121167

  12. Development of the zebrafish mesonephros.

    PubMed

    Diep, Cuong Q; Peng, Zhenzhen; Ukah, Tobechukwu K; Kelly, Paul M; Daigle, Renee V; Davidson, Alan J

    2015-01-01

    The vertebrate kidney plays an essential role in removing metabolic waste and balancing water and salt. This is carried out by nephrons, which comprise a blood filter attached to an epithelial tubule with proximal and distal segments. In zebrafish, two nephrons are first formed as part of the embryonic kidney (pronephros) and hundreds are formed later to make up the adult kidney (mesonephros). Previous studies have focused on the development of the pronephros while considerably less is known about how the mesonephros is formed. Here, we characterize mesonephros development in zebrafish and examine the nephrons that form during larval metamorphosis. These nephrons, arising from proliferating progenitor cells that express the renal transcription factor genes wt1b, pax2a, and lhx1a, form on top of the pronephric tubules and develop a segmentation pattern similar to pronephric nephrons. We find that the pronephros acts as a scaffold for the mesonephros, where new nephrons fuse with the distal segments of the pronephric tubules to form the final branching network that characterizes the adult zebrafish kidney. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  13. Development of the zebrafish mesonephros

    PubMed Central

    Diep, Cuong Q.; Peng, Zhenzhen; Ukah, Tobechukwu K.; Kelly, Paul M.; Daigle, Renee V.; Davidson, Alan J.

    2015-01-01

    The vertebrate kidney plays an essential role in removing metabolic waste and balancing water and salt. This is carried out by nephrons, which comprise a blood filter attached to an epithelial tubule with proximal and distal segments. In zebrafish, two nephrons are first formed as part of the embryonic kidney (pronephros) and hundreds are formed later to make up the adult kidney (mesonephros). Previous studies have focused on the development of the pronephros while considerably less is known about how the mesonephros is formed. Here, we characterize mesonephros development in zebrafish and examine the nephrons that form during larval metamorphosis. These nephrons, arising from proliferating progenitor cells that express the renal transcription factor genes wt1b, pax2a, and lhx1a, form on top of the pronephric tubules and develop a segmentation pattern similar to pronephric nephrons. We find that the pronephros acts as a scaffold for the mesonephros, where new nephrons fuse with the distal segments of the pronephric tubules to form the final branching network that characterizes the adult zebrafish kidney. PMID:25677367

  14. Zebrafish Discoveries in Cancer Epigenetics.

    PubMed

    Chernyavskaya, Yelena; Kent, Brandon; Sadler, Kirsten C

    2016-01-01

    The cancer epigenome is fundamentally different than that of normal cells. How these differences arise in and contribute to carcinogenesis is not known, and studies using model organisms such as zebrafish provide an opportunity to address these important questions. Modifications of histones and DNA comprise the complex epigenome, and these influence chromatin structure, genome stability and gene expression, all of which are fundamental to the cellular changes that cause cancer. The cancer genome atlas covers the wide spectrum of genetic changes associated with nearly every cancer type, however, this catalog is currently uni-dimensional. As the pattern of epigenetic marks and chromatin structure in cancer cells is described and overlaid on the mutational landscape, the map of the cancer genome becomes multi-dimensional and highly complex. Two major questions remain in the field: (1) how the epigenome becomes repatterned in cancer and (2) which of these changes are cancer-causing. Zebrafish provide a tractable in vivo system to monitor the epigenome during transformation and to identify epigenetic drivers of cancer. In this chapter, we review principles of cancer epigenetics and discuss recent work using zebrafish whereby epigenetic modifiers were established as cancer driver genes, thus providing novel insights into the mechanisms of epigenetic reprogramming in cancer.

  15. Transvection Arising from Transgene Interactions in Zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Keefe, Matthew D; Bonkowsky, Joshua L

    2017-02-01

    There has been a rapid expansion in use of transgenic technologies in zebrafish. We report a novel example of transinteractions of genetic elements, or transvection. This interaction led to a novel expression pattern and illustrates a precautionary example regarding use of transgenes in zebrafish.

  16. spadetail-dependent cell compaction of the dorsal zebrafish blastula.

    PubMed

    Warga, R M; Nüsslein-volhard, C

    1998-11-01

    The dorsal marginal zone of the zebrafish blastula, equivalent to the amphibian Spemann organizer, is destined to become the tissues of the notochord and prechordal plate. Preceding gastrulation in the zebrafish, we find that these future mesendodermal cells acquire a cohesive cell behavior characterized by flattening and maximization of intercellular contacts, somewhat resembling cell compaction in mouse blastocysts. This behavior may suppress cell intermingling. Surprisingly, this blastula cell compaction requires normal function of spadetail, a gene known to be necessary for the dorsal convergent cell movement of paraxial mesoderm later in the gastrula. We propose that spadetail-dependent cell compaction subtly controls the early mixing and dispersal of dorsal cells that coalesce into the prospective organizer region. This early process may be necessary for the correct location of the boundary separating axial and paraxial cells. Copyright 1998 Academic Press.

  17. Optogenetics: a new enlightenment age for zebrafish neurobiology.

    PubMed

    Del Bene, Filippo; Wyart, Claire

    2012-03-01

    Zebrafish became a model of choice for neurobiology because of the transparency of its brain and because of its amenability to genetic manipulation. In particular, at early stages of development the intact larva is an ideal system to apply optical techniques for deep imaging in the nervous system, as well as genetically encoded tools for targeting subsets of neurons and monitoring and manipulating their activity. For these applications,new genetically encoded optical tools, fluorescent sensors, and light-gated channels have been generated,creating the field of "optogenetics." It is now possible to monitor and control neuronal activity with minimal perturbation and unprecedented spatio-temporal resolution.We describe here the main achievements that have occurred in the last decade in imaging and manipulating neuronal activity in intact zebrafish larvae. We provide also examples of functional dissection of neuronal circuits achieved with the applications of these techniques in the visual and locomotor systems.

  18. Nested Expression Domains for Odorant Receptors in Zebrafish Olfactory Epithelium

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weth, Franco; Nadler, Walter; Korsching, Sigrun

    1996-11-01

    The mapping of high-dimensional olfactory stimuli onto the two-dimensional surface of the nasal sensory epithelium constitutes the first step in the neuronal encoding of olfactory input. We have used zebrafish as a model system to analyze the spatial distribution of odorant receptor molecules in the olfactory epithelium by quantitative in situ hybridization. To this end, we have cloned 10 very divergent zebrafish odorant receptor molecules by PCR. Individual genes are expressed in sparse olfactory receptor neurons. Analysis of the position of labeled cells in a simplified coordinate system revealed three concentric, albeit overlapping, expression domains for the four odorant receptors analyzed in detail. Such regionalized expression should result in a corresponding segregation of functional response properties. This might represent the first step of spatial encoding of olfactory input or be essential for the development of the olfactory system.

  19. Antisense Oligonucleotide-Mediated Transcript Knockdown in Zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Pauli, Andrea; Montague, Tessa G; Lennox, Kim A; Behlke, Mark A; Schier, Alexander F

    2015-01-01

    Antisense oligonucleotides (ASOs) are synthetic, single-strand RNA-DNA hybrids that induce catalytic degradation of complementary cellular RNAs via RNase H. ASOs are widely used as gene knockdown reagents in tissue culture and in Xenopus and mouse model systems. To test their effectiveness in zebrafish, we targeted 20 developmental genes and compared the morphological changes with mutant and morpholino (MO)-induced phenotypes. ASO-mediated transcript knockdown reproduced the published loss-of-function phenotypes for oep, chordin, dnd, ctnnb2, bmp7a, alk8, smad2 and smad5 in a dosage-sensitive manner. ASOs knocked down both maternal and zygotic transcripts, as well as the long noncoding RNA (lncRNA) MALAT1. ASOs were only effective within a narrow concentration range and were toxic at higher concentrations. Despite this drawback, quantitation of knockdown efficiency and the ability to degrade lncRNAs make ASOs a useful knockdown reagent in zebrafish.

  20. TNF signaling and macrophages govern fin regeneration in zebrafish larvae.

    PubMed

    Nguyen-Chi, Mai; Laplace-Builhé, Béryl; Travnickova, Jana; Luz-Crawford, Patricia; Tejedor, Gautier; Lutfalla, Georges; Kissa, Karima; Jorgensen, Christian; Djouad, Farida

    2017-08-10

    Macrophages are essential for appendage regeneration after amputation in regenerative species. The molecular mechanisms through which macrophages orchestrate blastema formation and regeneration are still unclear. Here, we use the genetically tractable and transparent zebrafish larvae to study the functions of polarized macrophage subsets during caudal fin regeneration. After caudal fin amputation, we show an early and transient accumulation of pro-inflammatory macrophages concomitant with the accumulation of non-inflammatory macrophages which, in contrast to pro-inflammatory macrophages, remain associated to the fin until the end of the regeneration. Chemical and genetic depletion of macrophages suggested that early recruited macrophages that express TNFα are critical for blastema formation. Combining parabiosis and morpholino knockdown strategies, we show that TNFα/TNFR1 signaling pathway is required for the fin regeneration. Our study reveals that TNFR1 has a necessary and direct role in blastema cell activation suggesting that macrophage subset balance provides the accurate TNFα signal to prime regeneration in zebrafish.

  1. Application of Zebrafish Model to Environmental Toxicology.

    PubMed

    Komoike, Yuta; Matsuoka, Masato

    2016-01-01

    Recently, a tropical freshwater fish, the zebrafish, has been generally used as a useful model organism in various fields of life science worldwide. The zebrafish model has also been applied to environmental toxicology; however, in Japan, it has not yet become widely used. In this review, we will introduce the biological and historical backgrounds of zebrafish as an animal model and their breeding. We then present the current status of toxicological experiments using zebrafish that were treated with some important environmental contaminants, including cadmium, organic mercury, 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin, and tributyltin. Finally, the future possible application of genetically modified zebrafish to the study of environmental toxicology is discussed.

  2. Zebrafish numb and numblike are involved in primitive erythrocyte differentiation.

    PubMed

    Bresciani, Erica; Confalonieri, Stefano; Cermenati, Solei; Cimbro, Simona; Foglia, Efrem; Beltrame, Monica; Di Fiore, Pier Paolo; Cotelli, Franco

    2010-12-13

    Notch signaling is an evolutionarily conserved regulatory circuitry implicated in cell fate determination in various developmental processes including hematopoietic stem cell self-renewal and differentiation of blood lineages. Known endogenous inhibitors of Notch activity are Numb-Nb and Numblike-Nbl, which play partially redundant functions in specifying and maintaining neuronal differentiation. Nb and Nbl are expressed in most tissues including embryonic and adult hematopoietic tissues in mice and humans, suggesting possible roles for these proteins in hematopoiesis. We employed zebrafish to investigate the possible functional role of Numb and Numblike during hematopoiesis, as this system allows a detailed analysis even in embryos with severe defects that would be lethal in other organisms. Here we describe that nb/nbl knockdown results in severe reduction or absence of embryonic erythrocytes in zebrafish. Interestingly, nb/nbl knocked-down embryos present severe downregulation of the erythroid transcription factor gata1. This results in erythroblasts which fail to mature and undergo apoptosis. Our results indicate that Notch activity is increased in embryos injected with nb/nbl morpholino, and we show that inhibition of Notch activation can partially rescue the hematopoietic phenotype. Our results provide the first in vivo evidence of an involvement of Numb and Numblike in zebrafish erythroid differentiation during primitive hematopoiesis. Furthermore, we found that, at least in part, the nb/nbl morphant phenotype is due to enhanced Notch activation within hematopoietic districts, which in turn results in primitive erythroid differentiation defects.

  3. A novel perivascular cell population in the zebrafish brain

    PubMed Central

    Galanternik, Marina Venero; Castranova, Daniel; Gore, Aniket V; Blewett, Nathan H; Jung, Hyun Min; Stratman, Amber N; Kirby, Martha R; Iben, James; Miller, Mayumi F; Kawakami, Koichi; Maraia, Richard J; Weinstein, Brant M

    2017-01-01

    The blood-brain barrier is essential for the proper homeostasis and function of the CNS, but its mechanism of function is poorly understood. Perivascular cells surrounding brain blood vessels are thought to be important for blood-brain barrier establishment, but their roles are not well defined. Here, we describe a novel perivascular cell population closely associated with blood vessels on the zebrafish brain. Based on similarities in their morphology, location, and scavenger behavior, these cells appear to be the zebrafish equivalent of cells variably characterized as Fluorescent Granular Perithelial cells (FGPs), perivascular macrophages, or ‘Mato Cells’ in mammals. Despite their macrophage-like morphology and perivascular location, zebrafish FGPs appear molecularly most similar to lymphatic endothelium, and our imaging studies suggest that these cells emerge by differentiation from endothelium of the optic choroidal vascular plexus. Our findings provide the first report of a perivascular cell population in the brain derived from vascular endothelium. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.24369.001 PMID:28395729

  4. Neurobehavioral impairments caused by developmental imidacloprid exposure in zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Crosby, Emily B; Bailey, Jordan M; Oliveri, Anthony N; Levin, Edward D

    2015-01-01

    Neonicotinoid insecticides are becoming more widely applied as organophosphate (OP) insecticides are decreasing in use. Because of their relative specificity to insect nicotinic receptors, they are thought to have reduced risk of neurotoxicity in vertebrates. However, there is scant published literature concerning the neurobehavioral effects of developmental exposure of vertebrates to neonicotinoids. Using zebrafish, we investigated the neurobehavioral effects of developmental exposure to imidacloprid, a prototypic neonicotinoid pesticide. Nicotine was also administered for comparison. Zebrafish were exposed via immersion in aqueous solutions containing 45 μM or 60 μM of imidacloprid or nicotine (or vehicle control) from 4h to 5d post fertilization. The functional effects of developmental exposure to both imidacloprid and nicotine were assessed in larvae using an activity assay and during adolescence and adulthood using a battery of neurobehavioral assays, including assessment of sensorimotor response and habituation in a tactile startle test, novel tank swimming, and shoaling behavior. In larvae, developmental imidacloprid exposure at both doses significantly decreased swimming activity. The 5D strains of zebrafish were more sensitive to both nicotine and imidacloprid than the AB* strain. In adolescent and adult fish, developmental exposure to imidacloprid significantly decreased novel tank exploration and increased sensorimotor response to startle stimuli. While nicotine did not affect novel tank swimming, it increased sensorimotor response to startle stimuli at the low dose. No effects of either compound were found on shoaling behavior or habituation to a startling stimulus. Early developmental exposure to imidacloprid has both early-life and persisting effects on neurobehavioral function in zebrafish. Its developmental neurotoxicity should be further investigated. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. Dmrt1 is necessary for male sexual development in zebrafish

    PubMed Central

    Webster, Kaitlyn A.; Schach, Ursula; Ordaz, Angel; Steinfeld, Jocelyn S.; Draper, Bruce W.; Siegfried, Kellee R.

    2018-01-01

    The dmrt1 (doublesex and mab-3 related transcription factor 1) gene is a key regulator of sex determination and/or gonadal sex differentiation across metazoan animals. This is unusual given that sex determination genes are typically not well conserved. The mechanisms by which zebrafish sex is determined have remained elusive due to the lack of sex chromosomes and the complex polygenic nature of sex determination in domesticated strains. To investigate the role of dmrt1 in zebrafish sex determination and gonad development, we isolated mutations disrupting this gene. We found that the majority of dmrt1 mutant fish develop as fertile females suggesting a complete male-to-female sex reversal in mutant animals that would have otherwise developed as males. A small percentage of mutant animals became males, but were sterile and displayed testicular dysgenesis. Therefore zebrafish dmrt1 functions in male sex determination and testis development. Mutant males had aberrant gonadal development at the onset of gonadal sex-differentiation, displaying reduced oocyte apoptosis followed by development of intersex gonads and failed testis morphogenesis and spermatogenesis. By contrast, female ovaries developed normally. We found that Dmrt1 is necessary for normal transcriptional regulation of the amh (anti-Müllerian hormone) and foxl2 (forkhead box L2) genes, which are thought to be important for male or female sexual development respectively. Interestingly, we identified one dmrt1 mutant allele that cooperates with a linked segregation distorter locus to generate an apparent XY sex determination mechanism. We conclude that dmrt1 is dispensable for ovary development but necessary for testis development in zebrafish, and that dmrt1 promotes male development by transcriptionally regulating male and female genes as has been described in other animals. Furthermore, the strong sex-ratio bias caused by dmrt1 reduction-of-function points to potential mechanisms through which sex

  6. Neurobehavioral Impairments Caused by Developmental Imidacloprid Exposure in Zebrafish

    PubMed Central

    Crosby, Emily B.; Bailey, Jordan M.; Oliveri, Anthony N.; Levin, Edward D.

    2015-01-01

    BACKGROUND Neonicotinoid insecticides are becoming more widely applied as organophosphate (OP) insecticides are decreasing in use. Because of their relative specificity to insect nicotinic receptors, they are thought to have reduced risk of neurotoxicity in vertebrates. However, there is scant published literature concerning the neurobehavioral effects of developmental exposure of vertebrates to neonicotinoids. METHODS Using zebrafish, we investigated the neurobehavioral effects of developmental exposure to imidacloprid, a prototypic neonicotinoid pesticide. Nicotine was also administered for comparison. Zebrafish were exposed via immersion in aqueous solutions containing 45 μM or 60 μM of imidacloprid or nicotine (or vehicle control) from 4 h to 5 d post fertilization. The functional effects of developmental exposure to both imidacloprid and nicotine were assessed in larvae using an activity assay and during adolescence and adulthood using a battery of neurobehavioral assays, including assessment of sensorimotor response and habituation in a tactile startle test, novel tank swimming, and shoaling behavior. RESULTS In larvae, developmental imidacloprid exposure at both doses significantly decreased swimming activity. The 5D strain of zebrafish were more sensitive to both nicotine and imidacloprid than the AB* strain. In adolescent and adult fish, developmental exposure to imidacloprid significantly decreased novel tank exploration and increased sensorimotor response to startle stimuli. While nicotine did not affect novel tank swimming, it increased sensorimotor response to startle stimuli at the low dose. No effects of either compound were found on shoaling behavior or habituation to a startling stimulus. DISCUSSION Early developmental exposure to imidacloprid has both early-life and persisting effects on neurobehavioral function in zebrafish. Its developmental neurotoxicity should be further investigated. PMID:25944383

  7. Zebrafish zic2 controls formation of periocular neural crest and choroid fissure morphogenesis.

    PubMed

    Sedykh, Irina; Yoon, Baul; Roberson, Laura; Moskvin, Oleg; Dewey, Colin N; Grinblat, Yevgenya

    2017-09-01

    The vertebrate retina develops in close proximity to the forebrain and neural crest-derived cartilages of the face and jaw. Coloboma, a congenital eye malformation, is associated with aberrant forebrain development (holoprosencephaly) and with craniofacial defects (frontonasal dysplasia) in humans, suggesting a critical role for cross-lineage interactions during retinal morphogenesis. ZIC2, a zinc-finger transcription factor, is linked to human holoprosencephaly. We have previously used morpholino assays to show zebrafish zic2 functions in the developing forebrain, retina and craniofacial cartilage. We now report that zebrafish with genetic lesions in zebrafish zic2 orthologs, zic2a and zic2b, develop with retinal coloboma and craniofacial anomalies. We demonstrate a requirement for zic2 in restricting pax2a expression and show evidence that zic2 function limits Hh signaling. RNA-seq transcriptome analysis identified an early requirement for zic2 in periocular neural crest as an activator of alx1, a transcription factor with essential roles in craniofacial and ocular morphogenesis in human and zebrafish. Collectively, these data establish zic2 mutant zebrafish as a powerful new genetic model for in-depth dissection of cell interactions and genetic controls during craniofacial complex development. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. Cerebellar Output in Zebrafish: An Analysis of Spatial Patterns and Topography in Eurydendroid Cell Projections

    PubMed Central

    Heap, Lucy A.; Goh, Chi Ching; Kassahn, Karin S.; Scott, Ethan K.

    2013-01-01

    The cerebellum is a brain region responsible for motor coordination and for refining motor programs. While a great deal is known about the structure and connectivity of the mammalian cerebellum, fundamental questions regarding its function in behavior remain unanswered. Recently, the zebrafish has emerged as a useful model organism for cerebellar studies, owing in part to the similarity in cerebellar circuits between zebrafish and mammals. While the cell types composing their cerebellar cortical circuits are generally conserved with mammals, zebrafish lack deep cerebellar nuclei, and instead a majority of cerebellar output comes from a single type of neuron: the eurydendroid cell. To describe spatial patterns of cerebellar output in zebrafish, we have used genetic techniques to label and trace eurydendroid cells individually and en masse. We have found that cerebellar output targets the thalamus and optic tectum, and have confirmed the presence of pre-synaptic terminals from eurydendroid cells in these structures using a synaptically targeted GFP. By observing individual eurydendroid cells, we have shown that different medial-lateral regions of the cerebellum have eurydendroid cells projecting to different targets. Finally, we found topographic organization in the connectivity between the cerebellum and the optic tectum, where more medial eurydendroid cells project to the rostral tectum while lateral cells project to the caudal tectum. These findings indicate that there is spatial logic underpinning cerebellar output in zebrafish with likely implications for cerebellar function. PMID:23554587

  9. Zebrafish globin switching occurs in two developmental stages and is controlled by the LCR.

    PubMed

    Ganis, Jared J; Hsia, Nelson; Trompouki, Eirini; de Jong, Jill L O; DiBiase, Anthony; Lambert, Janelle S; Jia, Zhiying; Sabo, Peter J; Weaver, Molly; Sandstrom, Richard; Stamatoyannopoulos, John A; Zhou, Yi; Zon, Leonard I

    2012-06-15

    Globin gene switching is a complex, highly regulated process allowing expression of distinct globin genes at specific developmental stages. Here, for the first time, we have characterized all of the zebrafish globins based on the completed genomic sequence. Two distinct chromosomal loci, termed major (chromosome 3) and minor (chromosome 12), harbor the globin genes containing α/β pairs in a 5'-3' to 3'-5' orientation. Both these loci share synteny with the mammalian α-globin locus. Zebrafish globin expression was assayed during development and demonstrated two globin switches, similar to human development. A conserved regulatory element, the locus control region (LCR), was revealed by analyzing DNase I hypersensitive sites, H3K4 trimethylation marks and GATA1 binding sites. Surprisingly, the position of these sites with relation to the globin genes is evolutionarily conserved, despite a lack of overall sequence conservation. Motifs within the zebrafish LCR include CACCC, GATA, and NFE2 sites, suggesting functional interactions with known transcription factors but not the same LCR architecture. Functional homology to the mammalian α-LCR MCS-R2 region was confirmed by robust and specific reporter expression in erythrocytes of transgenic zebrafish. Our studies provide a comprehensive characterization of the zebrafish globin loci and clarify the regulation of globin switching. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. Structural and temporal requirements of Wnt/PCP protein Vangl2 function for convergence and extension movements and facial branchiomotor neuron migration in zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Pan, Xiufang; Sittaramane, Vinoth; Gurung, Suman; Chandrasekhar, Anand

    2014-02-01

    Van gogh-like 2 (Vangl2), a core component of the Wnt/planar cell polarity (PCP) signaling pathway, is a four-pass transmembrane protein with N-terminal and C-terminal domains located in the cytosol, and is structurally conserved from flies to mammals. In vertebrates, Vangl2 plays an essential role in convergence and extension (CE) movements during gastrulation and in facial branchiomotor (FBM) neuron migration in the hindbrain. However, the roles of specific Vangl2 domains, of membrane association, and of specific extracellular and intracellular motifs have not been examined, especially in the context of FBM neuron migration. Through heat shock-inducible expression of various Vangl2 transgenes, we found that membrane associated functions of the N-terminal and C-terminal domains of Vangl2 are involved in regulating FBM neuron migration. Importantly, through temperature shift experiments, we found that the critical period for Vangl2 function coincides with the initial stages of FBM neuron migration out of rhombomere 4. Intriguingly, we have also uncovered a putative nuclear localization motif in the C-terminal domain that may play a role in regulating CE movements. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Extraction Protocols for Individual Zebrafish's Ventricle Myosin and Skeletal Muscle Actin for In vitro Motility Assays

    PubMed Central

    Scheid, Lisa-Mareike; Weber, Cornelia; Bopp, Nasrin; Mosqueira, Matias; Fink, Rainer H. A.

    2017-01-01

    The in vitro motility assay (IVMA) is a technique that enables the measurement of the interaction between actin and myosin providing a relatively simple model to understand the mechanical muscle function. For actin-myosin IVMA, myosin is immobilized in a measurement chamber, where it converts chemical energy provided by ATP hydrolysis into mechanical energy. The result is the movement of fluorescently labeled actin filaments that can be recorded microscopically and analyzed quantitatively. Resulting sliding speeds and patterns help to characterize the underlying actin-myosin interaction that can be affected by different factors such as mutations or active compounds. Additionally, modulatory actions of the regulatory proteins tropomyosin and troponin in the presence of calcium on actin-myosin interaction can be studied with the IVMA. Zebrafish is considered a suitable model organism for cardiovascular and skeletal muscle research. In this context, straightforward protocols for the isolation and use of zebrafish muscle proteins in the IVMA would provide a useful tool in molecular studies. Currently, there are no protocols available for the mentioned purpose. Therefore, we developed fast and easy protocols for characterization of zebrafish proteins in the IVMA. Our protocols enable the interested researcher to (i) isolate actin from zebrafish skeletal muscle and (ii) extract functionally intact myosin from cardiac and skeletal muscle of individual adult zebrafish. Zebrafish tail muscle actin is isolated after acetone powder preparation, polymerized, and labeled with Rhodamine-Phalloidin. Myosin from ventricles of adult zebrafish is extracted directly into IVMA flow-cells. The same extraction protocol is applicable for comparably small tissue pieces as from zebrafish tail, mouse and frog muscle. After addition of the fluorescently labeled F-actin from zebrafish—or other origin—and ATP, sliding movement can be visualized using a fluorescence microscope and an

  12. Maternal thyroid hormones are essential for neural development in zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Campinho, Marco A; Saraiva, João; Florindo, Claudia; Power, Deborah M

    2014-07-01

    Teleost eggs contain an abundant store of maternal thyroid hormones (THs), and early in zebrafish embryonic development, all the genes necessary for TH signaling are expressed. Nonetheless the function of THs in embryonic development remains elusive. To test the hypothesis that THs are fundamental for zebrafish embryonic development, an monocarboxilic transporter 8 (Mct8) knockdown strategy was deployed to prevent maternal TH uptake. Absence of maternal THs did not affect early specification of the neural epithelia but profoundly modified later dorsal specification of the brain and spinal cord as well as specific neuron differentiation. Maternal THs acted upstream of pax2a, pax7, and pax8 genes but downstream of shha and fgf8a signaling. The lack of inhibitory spinal cord interneurons and increased motoneurons in the mct8 morphants is consistent with their stiff axial body and impaired mobility. The mct8 mutations are associated with X-linked mental retardation in humans, and the cellular and molecular consequences of MCT8 knockdown during embryonic development in zebrafish provides new insight into the potential role of THs in this condition.

  13. Localization of BDNF expression in the developing brain of zebrafish

    PubMed Central

    De Felice, E; Porreca, I; Alleva, E; De Girolamo, P; Ambrosino, C; Ciriaco, E; Germanà, A; Sordino, P

    2014-01-01

    The brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) gene is expressed in differentiating and post-mitotic neurons of the zebrafish embryo, where it has been implicated in Huntington's disease. Little is known, however, about the full complement of neuronal cell types that express BDNF in this important vertebrate model. Here, we further explored the transcriptional profiles during the first week of development using real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) and whole-mount in situ hybridization (WISH). RT-qPCR results revealed a high level of maternal contribution followed by a steady increase of zygotic transcription, consistent with the notion of a prominent role of BDNF in neuronal maturation and maintenance. Based on WISH, we demonstrate for the first time that BDNF expression in the developing brain of zebrafish is structure specific. Anatomical criteria and co-staining with genetic markers (shh, pax2a, emx1, krox20, lhx2b and lhx9) visualized major topological domains of BDNF-positive cells in the pallium, hypothalamus, posterior tuberculum and optic tectum. Moreover, the relative timing of BDNF transcription in the eye and tectum may illustrate a mechanism for coordinated development of the retinotectal system. Taken together, our results are compatible with a local delivery and early role of BDNF in the developing brain of zebrafish, adding basic knowledge to the study of neurotrophin functions in neural development and disease. PMID:24588510

  14. Maternal Thyroid Hormones Are Essential for Neural Development in Zebrafish

    PubMed Central

    Saraiva, João; Florindo, Claudia; Power, Deborah M.

    2014-01-01

    Teleost eggs contain an abundant store of maternal thyroid hormones (THs), and early in zebrafish embryonic development, all the genes necessary for TH signaling are expressed. Nonetheless the function of THs in embryonic development remains elusive. To test the hypothesis that THs are fundamental for zebrafish embryonic development, an monocarboxilic transporter 8 (Mct8) knockdown strategy was deployed to prevent maternal TH uptake. Absence of maternal THs did not affect early specification of the neural epithelia but profoundly modified later dorsal specification of the brain and spinal cord as well as specific neuron differentiation. Maternal THs acted upstream of pax2a, pax7, and pax8 genes but downstream of shha and fgf8a signaling. The lack of inhibitory spinal cord interneurons and increased motoneurons in the mct8 morphants is consistent with their stiff axial body and impaired mobility. The mct8 mutations are associated with X-linked mental retardation in humans, and the cellular and molecular consequences of MCT8 knockdown during embryonic development in zebrafish provides new insight into the potential role of THs in this condition. PMID:24877564

  15. Localization of BDNF expression in the developing brain of zebrafish.

    PubMed

    De Felice, E; Porreca, I; Alleva, E; De Girolamo, P; Ambrosino, C; Ciriaco, E; Germanà, A; Sordino, P

    2014-05-01

    The brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) gene is expressed in differentiating and post-mitotic neurons of the zebrafish embryo, where it has been implicated in Huntington's disease. Little is known, however, about the full complement of neuronal cell types that express BDNF in this important vertebrate model. Here, we further explored the transcriptional profiles during the first week of development using real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) and whole-mount in situ hybridization (WISH). RT-qPCR results revealed a high level of maternal contribution followed by a steady increase of zygotic transcription, consistent with the notion of a prominent role of BDNF in neuronal maturation and maintenance. Based on WISH, we demonstrate for the first time that BDNF expression in the developing brain of zebrafish is structure specific. Anatomical criteria and co-staining with genetic markers (shh, pax2a, emx1, krox20, lhx2b and lhx9) visualized major topological domains of BDNF-positive cells in the pallium, hypothalamus, posterior tuberculum and optic tectum. Moreover, the relative timing of BDNF transcription in the eye and tectum may illustrate a mechanism for coordinated development of the retinotectal system. Taken together, our results are compatible with a local delivery and early role of BDNF in the developing brain of zebrafish, adding basic knowledge to the study of neurotrophin functions in neural development and disease. © 2014 Anatomical Society.

  16. Quantum Dot Nanotoxicity Assessment Using the Zebrafish Embryo

    PubMed Central

    King-Heiden, Tisha C.; Wiecinski, Paige N.; Mangham, Andrew N.; Metz, Kevin M.; Nesbit, Dorothy; Pedersen, Joel A.; Hamers, Robert J.; Heideman, Warren; Peterson, Richard E.

    2009-01-01

    Quantum dots (QDs) hold promise for several biomedical, life sciences and photovoltaic applications. Substantial production volumes and environmental release are anticipated. QD toxicity may be intrinsic to their physicochemical properties, or result from the release of toxic components during breakdown. We hypothesized that developing zebrafish could be used to identify and distinguish these different types of toxicity. Embryos were exposed to aqueous suspensions of CdSecore/ZnSshell QDs functionalized with either poly-L-lysine or poly(ethylene glycol) terminated with methoxy, carboxylate, or amine groups. Toxicity was influenced by the QD coating, which also contributed to the QD suspension stability. At sublethal concentrations, many QD preparations produced characteristic signs of Cd toxicity that weakly correlated with metallothionein expression, indicating that QDs are only slightly degraded in vivo. QDs also produced distinctly different toxicity that could not be explained by Cd release. Using the zebrafish model, we were able to distinguish toxicity intrinsic to QDs from that caused by released metal ions. We conclude that developing zebrafish provide a rapid, low- cost approach for assessing structure-toxicity relationships of nanoparticles. PMID:19350942

  17. Sensory hair cell regeneration in the zebrafish lateral line.

    PubMed

    Lush, Mark E; Piotrowski, Tatjana

    2014-10-01

    Damage or destruction of sensory hair cells in the inner ear leads to hearing or balance deficits that can be debilitating, especially in older adults. Unfortunately, the damage is permanent, as regeneration of the inner ear sensory epithelia does not occur in mammals. Zebrafish and other non-mammalian vertebrates have the remarkable ability to regenerate sensory hair cells and understanding the molecular and cellular basis for this regenerative ability will hopefully aid us in designing therapies to induce regeneration in mammals. Zebrafish not only possess hair cells in the ear but also in the sensory lateral line system. Hair cells in both organs are functionally analogous to hair cells in the inner ear of mammals. The lateral line is a mechanosensory system found in most aquatic vertebrates that detects water motion and aids in predator avoidance, prey capture, schooling, and mating. Although hair cell regeneration occurs in both the ear and lateral line, most research to date has focused on the lateral line due to its relatively simple structure and accessibility. Here we review the recent discoveries made during the characterization of hair cell regeneration in zebrafish. Copyright © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  18. Coordinating cell and tissue behavior during zebrafish neural tube morphogenesis.

    PubMed

    Araya, Claudio; Ward, Laura C; Girdler, Gemma C; Miranda, Miguel

    2016-03-01

    The development of a vertebrate neural epithelium with well-organized apico-basal polarity and a central lumen is essential for its proper function. However, how this polarity is established during embryonic development and the potential influence of surrounding signals and tissues on such organization has remained less understood. In recent years the combined superior transparency and genetics of the zebrafish embryo has allowed for in vivo visualization and quantification of the cellular and molecular dynamics that govern neural tube structure. Here, we discuss recent studies revealing how co-ordinated cell-cell interactions coupled with adjacent tissue dynamics are critical to regulate final neural tissue architecture. Furthermore, new findings show how the spatial regulation and timing of orientated cell division is key in defining precise lumen formation at the tissue midline. In addition, we compare zebrafish neurulation with that of amniotes and amphibians in an attempt to understand the conserved cellular mechanisms driving neurulation and resolve the apparent differences among animals. Zebrafish neurulation not only offers fundamental insights into early vertebrate brain development but also the opportunity to explore in vivo cell and tissue dynamics during complex three-dimensional animal morphogenesis. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  19. Smoc2 modulates embryonic myelopoiesis during zebrafish development.

    PubMed

    Mommaerts, Hendrik; Esguerra, Camila V; Hartmann, Ursula; Luyten, Frank P; Tylzanowski, Przemko

    2014-11-01

    SMOC2 is a member of the BM-40 (SPARC) family of matricellular proteins, reported to influence signaling in the extracellular compartment. In mice, Smoc2 is expressed in many different tissues and was shown to enhance the response to angiogenic growth factors, mediate cell adhesion, keratinocyte migration, and metastasis. Additionally, SMOC2 is associated with vitiligo and craniofacial and dental defects. The function of Smoc2 during early zebrafish development has not been determined to date. In pregastrula zebrafish embryos, smoc2 is expressed ubiquitously. As development progresses, the expression pattern becomes more anteriorly restricted. At the onset of blood cell circulation, smoc2 morphants presented a mild ventralization of posterior structures. Molecular analysis of the smoc2 morphants indicated myelopoietic defects in the rostral blood islands during segmentation stages. Hemangioblast development and further specification of the myeloid progenitor cells were shown to be impaired. Additional experiments indicated that Bmp target genes were down-regulated in smoc2 morphants. Our findings reveal that Smoc2 is an essential player in the development of myeloid cells of the anterior lateral plate mesoderm during embryonic zebrafish development. Furthermore, our data show that Smoc2 affects the transcription of Bmp target genes without affecting initial dorsoventral patterning or mesoderm development. Copyright © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  20. SENSORY HAIR CELL REGENERATION IN THE ZEBRAFISH LATERAL LINE

    PubMed Central

    Lush, Mark E.; Piotrowski, Tatjana

    2014-01-01

    Damage or destruction of sensory hair cells in the inner ear leads to hearing or balance deficits that can be debilitating, especially in older adults. Unfortunately, the damage is permanent, as regeneration of the inner ear sensory epithelia does not occur in mammals. Zebrafish and other non-mammalian vertebrates have the remarkable ability to regenerate sensory hair cells and understanding the molecular and cellular basis for this regenerative ability will hopefully aid us in designing therapies to induce regeneration in mammals. Zebrafish not only possess hair cells in the ear but also in the sensory lateral line system. Hair cells in both organs are functionally analogous to hair cells in the inner ear of mammals. The lateral line is a mechanosensory system found in most aquatic vertebrates that detects water motion and aids in predator avoidance, prey capture, schooling and mating. Although hair cell regeneration occurs in both the ear and lateral line, most research to date has focused on the lateral line due to its relatively simple structure and accessibility. Here we review the recent discoveries made during the characterization of hair cell regeneration in zebrafish. PMID:25045019

  1. Forkhead transcription factor foxe1 regulates chondrogenesis in zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Nakada, Chisako; Iida, Atsumi; Tabata, Yoko; Watanabe, Sumiko

    2009-12-15

    Forkhead transcription factor (Fox) e1 is a causative gene for Bamforth-Lazarus syndrome, which is characterized by hypothyroidism and cleft palate. Applying degenerate polymerase chain reaction using primers specific for the conserved forkhead domain, we identified zebrafish foxe1 (foxe1). Foxe1 is expressed in the thyroid, pharynx, and pharyngeal skeleton during development; strongly expressed in the gill and weakly expressed in the brain, eye, and heart in adult zebrafish. A loss of function of foxe1 by morpholino antisense oligo (MO) exhibited abnormal craniofacial development, shortening of Meckel's cartilage and the ceratohyals, and suppressed chondrycytic proliferation. However, at 27 hr post fertilization, the foxe1 MO-injected embryos showed normal dlx2, hoxa2, and hoxb2 expression, suggesting that the initial steps of pharyngeal skeletal development, including neural crest migration and specification of the pharyngeal arch occurred normally. In contrast, at 2 dpf, a severe reduction in the expression of sox9a, colIIaI, and runx2b, which play roles in chondrocytic proliferation and differentiation, was observed. Interestingly, fgfr2 was strongly upregulated in the branchial arches of the foxe1 MO-injected embryos. Unlike Foxe1-null mice, normal thyroid development in terms of morphology and thyroid-specific marker expression was observed in foxe1 MO-injected zebrafish embryos. Taken together, our results indicate that Foxe1 plays an important role in chondrogenesis during development of the pharyngeal skeleton in zebrafish, probably through regulation of fgfr2 expression. Furthermore, the roles reported for FOXE1 in mammalian thyroid development may have been acquired during evolution. (c) 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  2. Intrinsic Properties of Larval Zebrafish Neurons in Ethanol

    PubMed Central

    Ikeda, Hiromi; Delargy, Alison H.; Yokogawa, Tohei; Urban, Jason M.; Burgess, Harold A.; Ono, Fumihito

    2013-01-01

    The behavioral effects of ethanol have been studied in multiple animal models including zebrafish. Locomotion of zebrafish larvae is resistant to high concentrations of ethanol in bath solution. This resistance has been attributed to a lower systemic concentration of ethanol in zebrafish when compared with bath solution, although the mechanism to maintain such a steep gradient is unclear. Here we examined whether the intrinsic properties of neurons play roles in this resistance. In order to minimize the contribution of metabolism and diffusional barriers, larvae were hemisected and the anterior half immersed in a range of ethanol concentrations thereby ensuring the free access of bath ethanol to the brain. The response to vibrational stimuli of three types of reticulospinal neurons: Mauthner neurons, vestibulospinal neurons, and MiD3 neurons were examined using an intracellular calcium indicator. The intracellular [Ca2+] response in MiD3 neurons decreased in 100 mM ethanol, while Mauthner neurons and vestibulospinal neurons required >300 mM ethanol to elicit similar effects. The ethanol effect in Mauthner neurons was reversible following removal of ethanol. Interestingly, activities of MiD3 neurons displayed spontaneous recovery in 300 mM ethanol, suggestive of acute tolerance. Finally, we examined with mechanical vibration the startle response of free-swimming larvae in 300 mM ethanol. Ethanol treatment abolished long latency startle responses, suggesting a functional change in neural processing. These data support the hypothesis that individual neurons in larval zebrafish brains have distinct patterns of response to ethanol dictated by specific molecular targets. PMID:23658822

  3. Short-term memory in zebrafish (Danio rerio).

    PubMed

    Jia, Jason; Fernandes, Yohaan; Gerlai, Robert

    2014-08-15

    Learning and memory represent perhaps the most complex behavioral phenomena. Although their underlying mechanisms have been extensively analyzed, only a fraction of the potential molecular components have been identified. The zebrafish has been proposed as a screening tool with which mechanisms of complex brain functions may be systematically uncovered. However, as a relative newcomer in behavioral neuroscience, the zebrafish has not been well characterized for its cognitive and mnemonic features, thus learning and/or memory screens with adults have not been feasible. Here we study short-term memory of adult zebrafish. We show animated images of conspecifics (the stimulus) to the experimental subject during 1 min intervals on ten occasions separated by different (2, 4, 8 or 16 min long) inter-stimulus intervals (ISI), a between subject experimental design. We quantify the distance of the subject from the image presentation screen during each stimulus presentation interval, during each of the 1-min post-stimulus intervals immediately following the stimulus presentations and during each of the 1-min intervals furthest away from the last stimulus presentation interval and just before the next interval (pre-stimulus interval), respectively. Our results demonstrate significant retention of short-term memory even in the longest ISI group but suggest no acquisition of reference memory. Because in the employed paradigm both stimulus presentation and behavioral response quantification is computer automated, we argue that high-throughput screening for drugs or mutations that alter short-term memory performance of adult zebrafish is now becoming feasible. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  4. Chlorpyrifos-Oxon Disrupts Zebrafish Axonal Growth and Motor Behavior

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Dongren; Lauridsen, Holly; Buels, Kalmia; Chi, Lai-Har; La Du, Jane; Bruun, Donald A.; Olson, James R.; Tanguay, Robert L.; Lein, Pamela J.

    2011-01-01

    Axonal morphology is a critical determinant of neuronal connectivity, and perturbation of the rate or extent of axonal growth during development has been linked to neurobehavioral deficits in animal models and humans. We previously demonstrated that the organophosphorus pesticide (OP) chlorpyrifos (CPF) inhibits axonal growth in cultured neurons. In this study, we used a zebrafish model to determine whether CPF, its oxon metabolite (CPFO), or the excreted metabolite trichloro-2-pyridinol (TCPy) alter spatiotemporal patterns of axonal growth in vivo. Static waterborne exposure to CPFO, but not CPF or TCPy, at concentrations ≥ 0.03μM from 24- to 72-h post fertilization significantly inhibited acetylcholinesterase, and high-performance liquid chromatography detected significantly more TCPy in zebrafish exposed to 0.1μM CPFO versus 1.0μM CPF. These data suggest that zebrafish lack the metabolic enzymes to activate CPF during these early developmental stages. Consistent with this, CPFO, but not CPF, significantly inhibited axonal growth of sensory neurons, primary motoneurons, and secondary motoneurons at concentrations ≥ 0.1μM. Secondary motoneurons were the most sensitive to axonal growth inhibition by CPFO, which was observed at concentrations that did not cause mortality, gross developmental defects, or aberrant somatic muscle differentiation. CPFO effects on axonal growth correlated with adverse effects on touch-induced swimming behavior, suggesting the functional relevance of these structural changes. These data suggest that altered patterns of neuronal connectivity contribute to the developmental neurotoxicity of CPF and demonstrate the relevance of zebrafish as a model for studying OP developmental neurotoxicity. PMID:21346248

  5. The importance of Zebrafish in biomedical research.

    PubMed

    Tavares, Bárbara; Santos Lopes, Susana

    2013-01-01

    Zebrafish (Danio rerio) is an ideal model organism for the study of vertebrate development. This is due to the large clutches that each couple produces, with up to 200 embryos every 7 days, and to the fact that the embryos and larvae are small, transparent and undergo rapid external development. Using scientific literature research tools available online and the keywords Zebrafish, biomedical research, human disease, and drug screening, we reviewed original studies and reviews indexed in PubMed. In this review we summarized work conducted with this model for the advancement of our knowledge related to several human diseases. We also focused on the biomedical research being performed in Portugal with the zebrafish model. Powerful live imaging and genetic tools are currently available for zebrafish making it a valuable model in biomedical research. The combination of these properties with the optimization of automated systems for drug screening has transformed the zebrafish into "a top model" in biomedical research, drug discovery and toxicity testing. Furthermore, with the optimization of xenografts technology it will be possible to use zebrafish to aide in the choice of the best therapy for each patient. Zebrafish is an excellent model organism in biomedical research, drug development and in clinical therapy.

  6. Injury-induced ctgfa directs glial bridging and spinal cord regeneration in zebrafish

    PubMed Central

    Mokalled, Mayssa H.; Patra, Chinmoy; Dickson, Amy L.; Endo, Toyokazu; Stainier, Didier Y. R.; Poss, Kenneth D.

    2016-01-01

    Unlike mammals, zebrafish efficiently regenerate functional nervous system tissue after major spinal cord injury. Whereas glial scarring presents a roadblock for mammalian spinal cord repair, glial cells in zebrafish form a bridge across severed spinal cord tissue and facilitate regeneration, a relatively unexplored process. Here, we performed a genome-wide profiling screen for secreted factors that are upregulated during zebrafish spinal cord regeneration. We find that connective tissue growth factor a (ctgfa) is induced in and around glial cells that participate in initial bridging events. Mutations in ctgfa disrupt spinal cord repair, while transgenic ctgfa overexpression and local human CTGF recombinant protein delivery accelerate bridging and functional regeneration. Our study reveals that CTGF is necessary and sufficient to stimulate glial bridging and natural spinal cord regeneration. PMID:27811277

  7. 2017 Midwest Zebrafish Meeting Report.

    PubMed

    Sandquist, Elizabeth; Petersen, Sarah C; Smith, Cody J

    2017-12-01

    The 2017 Midwest Zebrafish meeting was held from June 16 to 18 at the University of Cincinnati, sponsored by the Cincinnati Children's Hospital Divisions of Developmental Biology, Molecular Cardiovascular Biology, and Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition. The meeting, organized by Saulius Sumanas, Joshua Waxman, and Chunyue Yin, hosted >130 attendees from 16 different states. Scientific sessions were focused on morphogenesis, neural development, novel technologies, and disease models, with Steve Ekker, Stephen Potter, and Lila Solnica-Krezel presenting keynote talks. In this article, we highlight the results and emerging themes from the meeting.

  8. Sprouting Buds of Zebrafish Research in Malaysia: First Malaysia Zebrafish Disease Model Workshop.

    PubMed

    Okuda, Kazuhide Shaun; Tan, Pei Jean; Patel, Vyomesh

    2016-04-01

    Zebrafish is gaining prominence as an important vertebrate model for investigating various human diseases. Zebrafish provides unique advantages such as optical clarity of embryos, high fecundity rate, and low cost of maintenance, making it a perfect complement to the murine model equivalent in biomedical research. Due to these advantages, researchers in Malaysia are starting to take notice and incorporate the zebrafish model into their research activities. However, zebrafish research in Malaysia is still in its infancy stage and many researchers still remain unaware of the full potential of the zebrafish model or have limited access to related tools and techniques that are widely utilized in many zebrafish laboratories worldwide. To overcome this, we organized the First Malaysia Zebrafish Disease Model Workshop in Malaysia that took place on 11th and 12th of November 2015. In this workshop, we showcased how the zebrafish model is being utilized in the biomedical field in international settings as well as in Malaysia. For this, notable international speakers and those from local universities known to be carrying out impactful research using zebrafish were invited to share some of the cutting edge techniques that are used in their laboratories that may one day be incorporated in the Malaysian scientific community.

  9. Zebrafish tracking using convolutional neural networks.

    PubMed

    Xu, Zhiping; Cheng, Xi En

    2017-02-17

    Keeping identity for a long term after occlusion is still an open problem in the video tracking of zebrafish-like model animals, and accurate animal trajectories are the foundation of behaviour analysis. We utilize the highly accurate object recognition capability of a convolutional neural network (CNN) to distinguish fish of the same congener, even though these animals are indistinguishable to the human eye. We used data augmentation and an iterative CNN training method to optimize the accuracy for our classification task, achieving surprisingly accurate trajectories of zebrafish of different size and age zebrafish groups over different time spans. This work will make further behaviour analysis more reliable.

  10. Zebrafish tracking using convolutional neural networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xu, Zhiping; Cheng, Xi En

    2017-02-01

    Keeping identity for a long term after occlusion is still an open problem in the video tracking of zebrafish-like model animals, and accurate animal trajectories are the foundation of behaviour analysis. We utilize the highly accurate object recognition capability of a convolutional neural network (CNN) to distinguish fish of the same congener, even though these animals are indistinguishable to the human eye. We used data augmentation and an iterative CNN training method to optimize the accuracy for our classification task, achieving surprisingly accurate trajectories of zebrafish of different size and age zebrafish groups over different time spans. This work will make further behaviour analysis more reliable.

  11. Learning and memory in zebrafish larvae

    PubMed Central

    Roberts, Adam C.; Bill, Brent R.; Glanzman, David L.

    2013-01-01

    Larval zebrafish possess several experimental advantages for investigating the molecular and neural bases of learning and memory. Despite this, neuroscientists have only recently begun to use these animals to study memory. However, in a relatively short period of time a number of forms of learning have been described in zebrafish larvae, and significant progress has been made toward their understanding. Here we provide a comprehensive review of this progress; we also describe several promising new experimental technologies currently being used in larval zebrafish that are likely to contribute major insights into the processes that underlie learning and memory. PMID:23935566

  12. Systematic approaches to toxicology in the zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Peterson, Randall T; Macrae, Calum A

    2012-01-01

    As the current paradigms of drug discovery evolve, it has become clear that a more comprehensive understanding of the interactions between small molecules and organismal biology will be vital. The zebrafish is emerging as a complement to existing in vitro technologies and established preclinical in vivo models that can be scaled for high-throughput. In this review, we highlight the current status of zebrafish toxicology studies, identify potential future niches for the model in the drug development pipeline, and define the hurdles that must be overcome as zebrafish technologies are refined for systematic toxicology.

  13. Senescence marker protein 30 (SMP30)/regucalcin (RGN) expression decreases with aging, acute liver injuries and tumors in zebrafish

    SciT

    Fujisawa, Koichi; Terai, Shuji, E-mail: terais@yamaguchi-u.ac.jp; Hirose, Yoshikazu

    2011-10-22

    Highlights: {yields} Zebrafish SMP30/RGN mRNA expression decreases with aging. {yields} Decreased expression was observed in liver tumors as compared to the surrounding area. {yields} SMP30/RGN is important for liver proliferation and tumorigenesis. -- Abstract: Senescence marker protein 30 (SMP30)/regucalcin (RGN) is known to be related to aging, hepatocyte proliferation and tumorigenesis. However, expression and function of non-mammalian SMP30/RGN is poorly understood. We found that zebrafish SMP30/RGN mRNA expression decreases with aging, partial hepatectomy and thioacetamide-induced acute liver injury. SMP30/RGN expression was also greatly decreased in a zebrafish liver cell line. In addition, we induced liver tumors in adult zebrafish bymore » administering diethylnitrosamine. Decreased expression was observed in foci, hepatocellular carcinomas, cholangiocellular carcinomas and mixed tumors as compared to the surrounding area. We thus showed the importance of SMP30/RGN in liver proliferation and tumorigenesis.« less

  14. Advances in the Study of Heart Development and Disease Using Zebrafish

    PubMed Central

    Brown, Daniel R.; Samsa, Leigh Ann; Qian, Li; Liu, Jiandong

    2016-01-01

    Animal models of cardiovascular disease are key players in the translational medicine pipeline used to define the conserved genetic and molecular basis of disease. Congenital heart diseases (CHDs) are the most common type of human birth defect and feature structural abnormalities that arise during cardiac development and maturation. The zebrafish, Danio rerio, is a valuable vertebrate model organism, offering advantages over traditional mammalian models. These advantages include the rapid, stereotyped and external development of transparent embryos produced in large numbers from inexpensively housed adults, vast capacity for genetic manipulation, and amenability to high-throughput screening. With the help of modern genetics and a sequenced genome, zebrafish have led to insights in cardiovascular diseases ranging from CHDs to arrhythmia and cardiomyopathy. Here, we discuss the utility of zebrafish as a model system and summarize zebrafish cardiac morphogenesis with emphasis on parallels to human heart diseases. Additionally, we discuss the specific tools and experimental platforms utilized in the zebrafish model including forward screens, functional characterization of candidate genes, and high throughput applications. PMID:27335817

  15. Development of an opioid self-administration assay to study drug seeking in zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Bossé, Gabriel D; Peterson, Randall T

    2017-09-29

    The zebrafish (Danio rerio) has become an excellent tool to study mental health disorders, due to its physiological and genetic similarity to humans, ease of genetic manipulation, and feasibility of small molecule screening. Zebrafish have been shown to exhibit characteristics of addiction to drugs of abuse in non-contingent assays, including conditioned place preference, but contingent assays have been limited to a single assay for alcohol consumption. Using inexpensive electronic, mechanical, and optical components, we developed an automated opioid self-administration assay for zebrafish, enabling us to measure drug seeking and gain insight into the underlying biological pathways. Zebrafish trained in the assay for five days exhibited robust self-administration, which was dependent on the function of the μ-opioid receptor. In addition, a progressive ratio protocol was used to test conditioned animals for motivation. Furthermore, conditioned fish continued to seek the drug despite an adverse consequence and showed signs of stress and anxiety upon withdrawal of the drug. Finally, we validated our assay by confirming that self-administration in zebrafish is dependent on several of the same molecular pathways as in other animal models. Given the ease and throughput of this assay, it will enable identification of important biological pathways regulating drug seeking and could lead to the development of new therapeutic molecules to treat addiction. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. In vivo cell biology in zebrafish - providing insights into vertebrate development and disease.

    PubMed

    Vacaru, Ana M; Unlu, Gokhan; Spitzner, Marie; Mione, Marina; Knapik, Ela W; Sadler, Kirsten C

    2014-02-01

    Over the past decades, studies using zebrafish have significantly advanced our understanding of the cellular basis for development and human diseases. Zebrafish have rapidly developing transparent embryos that allow comprehensive imaging of embryogenesis combined with powerful genetic approaches. However, forward genetic screens in zebrafish have generated unanticipated findings that are mirrored by human genetic studies: disruption of genes implicated in basic cellular processes, such as protein secretion or cytoskeletal dynamics, causes discrete developmental or disease phenotypes. This is surprising because many processes that were assumed to be fundamental to the function and survival of all cell types appear instead to be regulated by cell-specific mechanisms. Such discoveries are facilitated by experiments in whole animals, where zebrafish provides an ideal model for visualization and manipulation of organelles and cellular processes in a live vertebrate. Here, we review well-characterized mutants and newly developed tools that underscore this notion. We focus on the secretory pathway and microtubule-based trafficking as illustrative examples of how studying cell biology in vivo using zebrafish has broadened our understanding of the role fundamental cellular processes play in embryogenesis and disease.

  17. An open-source method to analyze optokinetic reflex responses in larval zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Scheetz, Seth D; Shao, Enhua; Zhou, Yangzhong; Cario, Clinton L; Bai, Qing; Burton, Edward A

    2018-01-01

    Optokinetic reflex (OKR) responses provide a convenient means to evaluate oculomotor, integrative and afferent visual function in larval zebrafish models, which are commonly used to elucidate molecular mechanisms underlying development, disease and repair of the vertebrate nervous system. We developed an open-source MATLAB-based solution for automated quantitative analysis of OKR responses in larval zebrafish. The package includes applications to: (i) generate sinusoidally-transformed animated grating patterns suitable for projection onto a cylindrical screen to elicit the OKR; (ii) determine and record the angular orientations of the eyes in each frame of a video recording showing the OKR response; and (iii) analyze angular orientation data from the tracking program to yield a set of parameters that quantify essential elements of the OKR. The method can be employed without modification using the operating manual provided. In addition, annotated source code is included, allowing users to modify or adapt the software for other applications. We validated the algorithms and measured OKR responses in normal larval zebrafish, showing good agreement with published quantitative data, where available. We provide the first open-source method to elicit and analyze the OKR in larval zebrafish. The wide range of parameters that are automatically quantified by our algorithms significantly expands the scope of quantitative analysis previously reported. Our method for quantifying OKR responses will be useful for numerous applications in neuroscience using the genetically- and chemically-tractable zebrafish model. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  18. Myotonia congenita-associated mutations in chloride channel-1 affect zebrafish body wave swimming kinematics.

    PubMed

    Cheng, Wei; Tian, Jing; Burgunder, Jean-Marc; Hunziker, Walter; Eng, How-Lung

    2014-01-01

    Myotonia congenita is a human muscle disorder caused by mutations in CLCN1, which encodes human chloride channel 1 (CLCN1). Zebrafish is becoming an increasingly useful model for human diseases, including muscle disorders. In this study, we generated transgenic zebrafish expressing, under the control of a muscle specific promoter, human CLCN1 carrying mutations that have been identified in human patients suffering from myotonia congenita. We developed video analytic tools that are able to provide precise quantitative measurements of movement abnormalities in order to analyse the effect of these CLCN1 mutations on adult transgenic zebrafish swimming. Two new parameters for body-wave kinematics of swimming reveal changes in body curvature and tail offset in transgenic zebrafish expressing the disease-associated CLCN1 mutants, presumably due to their effect on muscle function. The capability of the developed video analytic tool to distinguish wild-type from transgenic zebrafish could provide a useful asset to screen for compounds that reverse the disease phenotype, and may be applicable to other movement disorders besides myotonia congenita.

  19. Novel Insights into the Genetic Controls of Primitive and Definitive Hematopoiesis from Zebrafish Models

    PubMed Central

    Sood, Raman; Liu, Paul

    2012-01-01

    Hematopoiesis is a dynamic process where initiation and maintenance of hematopoietic stem cells, as well as their differentiation into erythroid, myeloid and lymphoid lineages, are tightly regulated by a network of transcription factors. Understanding the genetic controls of hematopoiesis is crucial as perturbations in hematopoiesis lead to diseases such as anemia, thrombocytopenia, or cancers, including leukemias and lymphomas. Animal models, particularly conventional and conditional knockout mice, have played major roles in our understanding of the genetic controls of hematopoiesis. However, knockout mice for most of the hematopoietic transcription factors are embryonic lethal, thus precluding the analysis of their roles during the transition from embryonic to adult hematopoiesis. Zebrafish are an ideal model organism to determine the function of a gene during embryonic-to-adult transition of hematopoiesis since bloodless zebrafish embryos can develop normally into early larval stage by obtaining oxygen through diffusion. In this review, we discuss the current status of the ontogeny and regulation of hematopoiesis in zebrafish. By providing specific examples of zebrafish morphants and mutants, we have highlighted the contributions of the zebrafish model to our overall understanding of the roles of transcription factors in regulation of primitive and definitive hematopoiesis. PMID:22888355

  20. A novel TRIM family member, Trim69, regulates zebrafish development through p53-mediated apoptosis.

    PubMed

    Han, Ruiqin; Zhao, Qing; Zong, Shudong; Miao, Shiying; Song, Wei; Wang, Linfang

    2016-05-01

    Trim69 contains the hallmark domains of a tripartite motif (TRIM) protein, including a Ring-finger domain, B-box domain, and coiled-coil domain. Trim69 is structurally and evolutionarily conserved in zebrafish, mouse, rat, human, and chimpanzee. The role of this protein is unclear, however, so we investigated its function in zebrafish development. Trim69 is extensively expressed in zebrafish adults and developing embryos-particularly in the testis, brain, ovary, and heart-and its expression decreases in a time- and stage-dependent manner. Loss of trim69 in zebrafish induces apoptosis and activates apoptosis-related processes; indeed, the tp53 pathway was up-regulated in response to the knockdown. Expression of human trim69 rescued the apoptotic phenotype, while overexpression of trim69 does not increase cellular apoptosis. Taken together, our results suggest that trim69 participates in tp53-mediated apoptosis during zebrafish development. Mol. Reprod. Dev. 83: 442-454, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  1. Induction of Social Behavior in Zebrafish: Live Versus Computer Animated Fish as Stimuli

    PubMed Central

    Qin, Meiying; Wong, Albert; Seguin, Diane

    2014-01-01

    Abstract The zebrafish offers an excellent compromise between system complexity and practical simplicity and has been suggested as a translational research tool for the analysis of human brain disorders associated with abnormalities of social behavior. Unlike laboratory rodents zebrafish are diurnal, thus visual cues may be easily utilized in the analysis of their behavior and brain function. Visual cues, including the sight of conspecifics, have been employed to induce social behavior in zebrafish. However, the method of presentation of these cues and the question of whether computer animated images versus live stimulus fish have differential effects have not been systematically analyzed. Here, we compare the effects of five stimulus presentation types: live conspecifics in the experimental tank or outside the tank, playback of video-recorded live conspecifics, computer animated images of conspecifics presented by two software applications, the previously employed General Fish Animator, and a new application Zebrafish Presenter. We report that all stimuli were equally effective and induced a robust social response (shoaling) manifesting as reduced distance between stimulus and experimental fish. We conclude that presentation of live stimulus fish, or 3D images, is not required and 2D computer animated images are sufficient to induce robust and consistent social behavioral responses in zebrafish. PMID:24575942

  2. In-silico experiments of zebrafish behaviour: modeling swimming in three dimensions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mwaffo, Violet; Butail, Sachit; Porfiri, Maurizio

    2017-01-01

    Zebrafish is fast becoming a species of choice in biomedical research for the investigation of functional and dysfunctional processes coupled with their genetic and pharmacological modulation. As with mammals, experimentation with zebrafish constitutes a complicated ethical issue that calls for the exploration of alternative testing methods to reduce the number of subjects, refine experimental designs, and replace live animals. Inspired by the demonstrated advantages of computational studies in other life science domains, we establish an authentic data-driven modelling framework to simulate zebrafish swimming in three dimensions. The model encapsulates burst-and-coast swimming style, speed modulation, and wall interaction, laying the foundations for in-silico experiments of zebrafish behaviour. Through computational studies, we demonstrate the ability of the model to replicate common ethological observables such as speed and spatial preference, and anticipate experimental observations on the correlation between tank dimensions on zebrafish behaviour. Reaching to other experimental paradigms, our framework is expected to contribute to a reduction in animal use and suffering.

  3. Effect of Tbx1 knock-down on cardiac performance in zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Li-feng; Gui, Yong-hao; Wang, Yue-xiang; Jiang, Qiu; Song, Hou-yan

    2010-05-05

    Tbx1 is the major candidate gene for DiGeorge syndrome (DGS). Similar to defects observed in DGS patients, the structures disrupted in Tbx1(-/-) animal models are derived from the neural crest cells during development. Although the morphological phenotypes of some Tbx1 knock-down animal models have been well described, analysis of the cardiac performance is limited. Therefore, myocardial performance was explored in Tbx1 morpholino injected zebrafish embryos. To elucidate these issues, Tbx1 specific morpholino was used to reduce the function of Tbx1 in zebrafish. The differentiation of the myocardial cells was observed using whole mount in situ hybridization. Heart rates were observed and recorded under the microscope from 24 to 72 hours post fertilization (hpf). The cardiac performance was analyzed by measuring ventricular shortening fraction and atrial shortening fraction. Tbx1 morpholino injected embryos were characterized by defects in the pharyngeal arches, otic vesicle, aortic arches and thymus. In addition, Tbx1 knock down reduced the amount of pharyngeal neural crest cells in zebrafish. Abnormal cardiac morphology was visible in nearly 20% of the Tbx1 morpholino injected embryos. The hearts in these embryos did not loop or loop incompletely. Importantly, cardiac performance and heart rate were reduced in Tbx1 morpholino injected embryos. Tbx1 might play an essential role in the development of pharyngeal neural crest cells in zebrafish. Cardiac performance is impaired by Tbx1 knock down in zebrafish.

  4. Comprehensive Expression Map of Transcription Regulators in the Adult Zebrafish Telencephalon Reveals Distinct Neurogenic Niches

    PubMed Central

    Diotel, Nicolas; Rodriguez Viales, Rebecca; Armant, Olivier; März, Martin; Ferg, Marco; Rastegar, Sepand; Strähle, Uwe

    2015-01-01

    The zebrafish has become a model to study adult vertebrate neurogenesis. In particular, the adult telencephalon has been an intensely studied structure in the zebrafish brain. Differential expression of transcriptional regulators (TRs) is a key feature of development and tissue homeostasis. Here we report an expression map of 1,202 TR genes in the telencephalon of adult zebrafish. Our results are summarized in a database with search and clustering functions to identify genes expressed in particular regions of the telencephalon. We classified 562 genes into 13 distinct patterns, including genes expressed in the proliferative zone. The remaining 640 genes displayed unique and complex patterns of expression and could thus not be grouped into distinct classes. The neurogenic ventricular regions express overlapping but distinct sets of TR genes, suggesting regional differences in the neurogenic niches in the telencephalon. In summary, the small telencephalon of the zebrafish shows a remarkable complexity in TR gene expression. The adult zebrafish telencephalon has become a model to study neurogenesis. We established the expression pattern of more than 1200 transcription regulators (TR) in the adult telencephalon. The neurogenic regions express overlapping but distinct sets of TR genes suggesting regional differences in the neurogenic potential. J. Comp. Neurol. 523:1202–1221, 2015. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:25556858

  5. Comprehensive expression map of transcription regulators in the adult zebrafish telencephalon reveals distinct neurogenic niches.

    PubMed

    Diotel, Nicolas; Rodriguez Viales, Rebecca; Armant, Olivier; März, Martin; Ferg, Marco; Rastegar, Sepand; Strähle, Uwe

    2015-06-01

    The zebrafish has become a model to study adult vertebrate neurogenesis. In particular, the adult telencephalon has been an intensely studied structure in the zebrafish brain. Differential expression of transcriptional regulators (TRs) is a key feature of development and tissue homeostasis. Here we report an expression map of 1,202 TR genes in the telencephalon of adult zebrafish. Our results are summarized in a database with search and clustering functions to identify genes expressed in particular regions of the telencephalon. We classified 562 genes into 13 distinct patterns, including genes expressed in the proliferative zone. The remaining 640 genes displayed unique and complex patterns of expression and could thus not be grouped into distinct classes. The neurogenic ventricular regions express overlapping but distinct sets of TR genes, suggesting regional differences in the neurogenic niches in the telencephalon. In summary, the small telencephalon of the zebrafish shows a remarkable complexity in TR gene expression. The adult zebrafish telencephalon has become a model to study neurogenesis. We established the expression pattern of more than 1200 transcription regulators (TR) in the adult telencephalon. The neurogenic regions express overlapping but distinct sets of TR genes suggesting regional differences in the neurogenic potential. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  6. Induction of social behavior in zebrafish: live versus computer animated fish as stimuli.

    PubMed

    Qin, Meiying; Wong, Albert; Seguin, Diane; Gerlai, Robert

    2014-06-01

    The zebrafish offers an excellent compromise between system complexity and practical simplicity and has been suggested as a translational research tool for the analysis of human brain disorders associated with abnormalities of social behavior. Unlike laboratory rodents zebrafish are diurnal, thus visual cues may be easily utilized in the analysis of their behavior and brain function. Visual cues, including the sight of conspecifics, have been employed to induce social behavior in zebrafish. However, the method of presentation of these cues and the question of whether computer animated images versus live stimulus fish have differential effects have not been systematically analyzed. Here, we compare the effects of five stimulus presentation types: live conspecifics in the experimental tank or outside the tank, playback of video-recorded live conspecifics, computer animated images of conspecifics presented by two software applications, the previously employed General Fish Animator, and a new application Zebrafish Presenter. We report that all stimuli were equally effective and induced a robust social response (shoaling) manifesting as reduced distance between stimulus and experimental fish. We conclude that presentation of live stimulus fish, or 3D images, is not required and 2D computer animated images are sufficient to induce robust and consistent social behavioral responses in zebrafish.

  7. Tensile properties of craniofacial tendons in the mature and aged zebrafish

    PubMed Central

    Shah, Rishita R.; Nerurkar, Nandan L.; Wang, Calvin; Galloway, Jenna L.

    2015-01-01

    The zebrafish Danio rerio is a powerful model for the study of development, regenerative biology, and human disease. However, the analysis of load-bearing tissues such as tendons and ligaments has been limited in this system. This is largely due to technical limitations that preclude accurate measurement of their mechanical properties. Here, we present a custom tensile testing system that applies nano-Newton scale forces to zebrafish tendons as small as 1 mm in length. Tendon properties were remarkably similar to mammalian tendons, including stress-strain nonlinearity and a linear modulus (515±152 MPa) that aligned closely with mammalian data. Additionally, a simple exponential constitutive law used to describe tendon mechanics was successfully fit to zebrafish tendons; the associated material constants agreed with literature values for mammalian tendons. Finally, mature and aged zebrafish comparisons revealed a significant decline in mechanical function with age. Based on the exponential constitutive model, age related changes were primarily caused by a reduction in nonlinearity (e.g. changes in collagen crimp or fiber recruitment). These findings demonstrate the utility of zebrafish as a model to study tendon biomechanics in health and disease. Moreover, these findings suggest that tendon mechanical behavior is highly conserved across vertebrates. PMID:25665155

  8. Zebrafish in the sea of mineral (iron, zinc, and copper) metabolism

    PubMed Central

    Zhao, Lu; Xia, Zhidan; Wang, Fudi

    2014-01-01

    Iron, copper, zinc, and eight other minerals are classified as essential trace elements because they present in minute in vivo quantities and are essential for life. Because either excess or insufficient levels of trace elements can be detrimental to life (causing human diseases such as iron-deficiency anemia, hemochromatosis, Menkes syndrome and Wilson's disease), the endogenous levels of trace minerals must be tightly regulated. Many studies have demonstrated the existence of systems that maintain trace element homeostasis, and these systems are highly conserved in multiple species ranging from yeast to mice. As a model for studying trace mineral metabolism, the zebrafish is indispensable to researchers. Several large-scale mutagenesis screens have been performed in zebrafish, and these screens led to the identification of a series of metal transporters and the generation of several mutagenesis lines, providing an in-depth functional analysis at the system level. Moreover, because of their developmental advantages, zebrafish have also been used in mineral metabolism-related chemical screens and toxicology studies. Here, we systematically review the major findings of trace element homeostasis studies using the zebrafish model, with a focus on iron, zinc, copper, selenium, manganese, and iodine. We also provide a homology analysis of trace mineral transporters in fish, mice and humans. Finally, we discuss the evidence that zebrafish is an ideal experimental tool for uncovering novel mechanisms of trace mineral metabolism and for improving approaches to treat mineral imbalance-related diseases. PMID:24639652

  9. Bioactive Molecule from Streptomyces sp. Mitigates MDR Klebsiella pneumoniae in Zebrafish Infection Model

    PubMed Central

    Cheepurupalli, Lalitha; Raman, Thiagarajan; Rathore, Sudarshan S.; Ramakrishnan, Jayapradha

    2017-01-01

    The emergence and spread of multi-drug resistant (MDR) especially carbapenem-resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae is a major emerging threat to public health, leading to excess in mortality rate as high as 50–86%. MDR K. pneumoniae manifests all broad mechanisms of drug resistance, hence development of new drugs to treat MDR K. pneumoniae infection has become a more relevant question in the scientific community. In the present study a potential Streptomyces sp. ASK2 was isolated from rhizosphere soil of medicinal plant. The multistep HPLC purification identified the active principle exhibiting antagonistic activity against MDR K. pneumoniae. The purified compound was found to be an aromatic compound with aliphatic side chain molecule having a molecular weight of 444.43 Da. FT-IR showed the presence of OH and C=O as functional groups. The bioactive compound was further evaluated for drug induced toxicity and efficacy in adult zebrafish infection model. As this is the first study on K. pneumoniae – zebrafish model, the infectious doses to manifest sub-clinical and clinical infection were optimized. Furthermore, the virulence of K. pneumoniae in planktonic and biofilm state was studied in zebrafish. The MTT assay of ex vivo culture of zebrafish liver reveals non-toxic nature of the proposed ASK2 compound at an effective dose. Moreover, significant increase in survival rate of infected zebrafish suggests that ASK2 compound from a new strain of Streptomyces sp. was potent in mitigating MDR K. pneumoniae infection. PMID:28446900

  10. In vivo cell biology in zebrafish – providing insights into vertebrate development and disease

    PubMed Central

    Vacaru, Ana M.; Unlu, Gokhan; Spitzner, Marie; Mione, Marina; Knapik, Ela W.; Sadler, Kirsten C.

    2014-01-01

    ABSTRACT Over the past decades, studies using zebrafish have significantly advanced our understanding of the cellular basis for development and human diseases. Zebrafish have rapidly developing transparent embryos that allow comprehensive imaging of embryogenesis combined with powerful genetic approaches. However, forward genetic screens in zebrafish have generated unanticipated findings that are mirrored by human genetic studies: disruption of genes implicated in basic cellular processes, such as protein secretion or cytoskeletal dynamics, causes discrete developmental or disease phenotypes. This is surprising because many processes that were assumed to be fundamental to the function and survival of all cell types appear instead to be regulated by cell-specific mechanisms. Such discoveries are facilitated by experiments in whole animals, where zebrafish provides an ideal model for visualization and manipulation of organelles and cellular processes in a live vertebrate. Here, we review well-characterized mutants and newly developed tools that underscore this notion. We focus on the secretory pathway and microtubule-based trafficking as illustrative examples of how studying cell biology in vivo using zebrafish has broadened our understanding of the role fundamental cellular processes play in embryogenesis and disease. PMID:24481493

  11. Rhodopsin expression in the zebrafish pineal gland from larval to adult stage.

    PubMed

    Magnoli, Domenico; Zichichi, Rosalia; Laurà, Rosaria; Guerrera, Maria Cristina; Campo, Salvatore; de Carlos, Felix; Suárez, Alberto Álvarez; Abbate, Francesco; Ciriaco, Emilia; Vega, Jose Antonio; Germanà, Antonino

    2012-03-09

    The zebrafish pineal gland plays an important role in different physiological functions including the regulation of the circadian clock. In the fish pineal gland the pinealocytes are made up of different segments: outer segment, inner segment and basal pole. Particularly, in the outer segment the rhodopsin participates in the external environment light reception that represents the first biochemical step in the melatonin production. It is well known that the rhodopsin in the adult zebrafish is well expressed in the pineal gland but both the expression and the cellular localization of this protein during development remain still unclear. In this study using qRT-PCR, sequencing and immunohistochemistry the expression as well as the protein localization of the rhodopsin in the zebrafish from larval (10 dpf) to adult stage (90 dpf) were demonstrated. The rhodopsin mRNA expression presents a peak of expression at 10 dpf, a further reduction to 50 dpf before increasing again in the adult stage. Moreover, the cellular localization of the rhodopsin-like protein was always localized in the pinealocyte at all ages examined. Our results demonstrated the involvement of the rhodopsin in the zebrafish pineal gland physiology particularly in the light capture during the zebrafish lifespan. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  12. In-silico experiments of zebrafish behaviour: modeling swimming in three dimensions

    PubMed Central

    Mwaffo, Violet; Butail, Sachit; Porfiri, Maurizio

    2017-01-01

    Zebrafish is fast becoming a species of choice in biomedical research for the investigation of functional and dysfunctional processes coupled with their genetic and pharmacological modulation. As with mammals, experimentation with zebrafish constitutes a complicated ethical issue that calls for the exploration of alternative testing methods to reduce the number of subjects, refine experimental designs, and replace live animals. Inspired by the demonstrated advantages of computational studies in other life science domains, we establish an authentic data-driven modelling framework to simulate zebrafish swimming in three dimensions. The model encapsulates burst-and-coast swimming style, speed modulation, and wall interaction, laying the foundations for in-silico experiments of zebrafish behaviour. Through computational studies, we demonstrate the ability of the model to replicate common ethological observables such as speed and spatial preference, and anticipate experimental observations on the correlation between tank dimensions on zebrafish behaviour. Reaching to other experimental paradigms, our framework is expected to contribute to a reduction in animal use and suffering. PMID:28071731

  13. Myotonia Congenita-Associated Mutations in Chloride Channel-1 Affect Zebrafish Body Wave Swimming Kinematics

    PubMed Central

    Cheng, Wei; Tian, Jing; Burgunder, Jean-Marc; Hunziker, Walter; Eng, How-Lung

    2014-01-01

    Myotonia congenita is a human muscle disorder caused by mutations in CLCN1, which encodes human chloride channel 1 (CLCN1). Zebrafish is becoming an increasingly useful model for human diseases, including muscle disorders. In this study, we generated transgenic zebrafish expressing, under the control of a muscle specific promoter, human CLCN1 carrying mutations that have been identified in human patients suffering from myotonia congenita. We developed video analytic tools that are able to provide precise quantitative measurements of movement abnormalities in order to analyse the effect of these CLCN1 mutations on adult transgenic zebrafish swimming. Two new parameters for body-wave kinematics of swimming reveal changes in body curvature and tail offset in transgenic zebrafish expressing the disease-associated CLCN1 mutants, presumably due to their effect on muscle function. The capability of the developed video analytic tool to distinguish wild-type from transgenic zebrafish could provide a useful asset to screen for compounds that reverse the disease phenotype, and may be applicable to other movement disorders besides myotonia congenita. PMID:25083883

  14. Properties of the Visible Light Phototaxis and UV Avoidance Behaviors in the Larval Zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Guggiana-Nilo, Drago A; Engert, Florian

    2016-01-01

    For many organisms, color is an essential source of information from visual scenes. The larval zebrafish has the potential to be a model for the study of this topic, given its tetrachromatic retina and high dependence on vision. In this study we took a step toward understanding how the larval zebrafish might use color sensing. To this end, we used a projector-based paradigm to force a choice of a color stimulus at every turn of the larva. The stimuli used spanned most of the larval spectral range, including activation of its Ultraviolet (UV) cone, which has not been described behaviorally before. We found that zebrafish larvae swim toward visible wavelengths (>400 nm) when choosing between them and darkness, as has been reported with white light. However, when presented with UV light and darkness zebrafish show an intensity dependent avoidance behavior. This UV avoidance does not interact cooperatively with phototaxis toward longer wavelengths, but can compete against it in an intensity dependent manner. Finally, we show that the avoidance behavior depends on the presence of eyes with functional UV cones. These findings open future avenues for studying the neural circuits that underlie color sensing in the larval zebrafish.

  15. Properties of the Visible Light Phototaxis and UV Avoidance Behaviors in the Larval Zebrafish

    PubMed Central

    Guggiana-Nilo, Drago A.; Engert, Florian

    2016-01-01

    For many organisms, color is an essential source of information from visual scenes. The larval zebrafish has the potential to be a model for the study of this topic, given its tetrachromatic retina and high dependence on vision. In this study we took a step toward understanding how the larval zebrafish might use color sensing. To this end, we used a projector-based paradigm to force a choice of a color stimulus at every turn of the larva. The stimuli used spanned most of the larval spectral range, including activation of its Ultraviolet (UV) cone, which has not been described behaviorally before. We found that zebrafish larvae swim toward visible wavelengths (>400 nm) when choosing between them and darkness, as has been reported with white light. However, when presented with UV light and darkness zebrafish show an intensity dependent avoidance behavior. This UV avoidance does not interact cooperatively with phototaxis toward longer wavelengths, but can compete against it in an intensity dependent manner. Finally, we show that the avoidance behavior depends on the presence of eyes with functional UV cones. These findings open future avenues for studying the neural circuits that underlie color sensing in the larval zebrafish. PMID:27594828

  16. A zebrafish transgenic model of Ewing's sarcoma reveals conserved mediators of EWS-FLI1 tumorigenesis.

    PubMed

    Leacock, Stefanie W; Basse, Audrey N; Chandler, Garvin L; Kirk, Anne M; Rakheja, Dinesh; Amatruda, James F

    2012-01-01

    Ewing's sarcoma, a malignant bone tumor of children and young adults, is a member of the small-round-blue-cell tumor family. Ewing's sarcoma family tumors (ESFTs), which include peripheral primitive neuroectodermal tumors (PNETs), are characterized by chromosomal translocations that generate fusions between the EWS gene and ETS-family transcription factors, most commonly FLI1. The EWS-FLI1 fusion oncoprotein represents an attractive therapeutic target for treatment of Ewing's sarcoma. The cell of origin of ESFT and the molecular mechanisms by which EWS-FLI1 mediates tumorigenesis remain unknown, and few animal models of Ewing's sarcoma exist. Here, we report the use of zebrafish as a vertebrate model of EWS-FLI1 function and tumorigenesis. Mosaic expression of the human EWS-FLI1 fusion protein in zebrafish caused the development of tumors with histology strongly resembling that of human Ewing's sarcoma. The incidence of tumors increased in a p53 mutant background, suggesting that the p53 pathway suppresses EWS-FLI1-driven tumorigenesis. Gene expression profiling of the zebrafish tumors defined a set of genes that might be regulated by EWS-FLI1, including the zebrafish ortholog of a crucial EWS-FLI1 target gene in humans. Stable zebrafish transgenic lines expressing EWS-FLI1 under the control of the heat-shock promoter exhibit altered embryonic development and defective convergence and extension, suggesting that EWS-FLI1 interacts with conserved developmental pathways. These results indicate that functional targets of EWS-FLI1 that mediate tumorigenesis are conserved from zebrafish to human and provide a novel context in which to study the function of this fusion oncogene.

  17. Zebrafish as a Model for Epilepsy-Induced Cognitive Dysfunction: A Pharmacological, Biochemical and Behavioral Approach

    PubMed Central

    Kundap, Uday P.; Kumari, Yatinesh; Othman, Iekhsan; Shaikh, Mohd. Farooq

    2017-01-01

    Epilepsy is a neuronal disorder allied with distinct neurological and behavioral alterations characterized by recurrent spontaneous epileptic seizures. Impairment of the cognitive performances such as learning and memory is frequently observed in epileptic patients. Anti-epileptic drugs (AEDs) are efficient to the majority of patients. However, 30% of this population seems to be refractory to the drug treatment. These patients are not seizure-free and frequently they show impaired cognitive functions. Unfortunately, as a side effect, some AEDs could contribute to such impairment. The major problem associated with conducting studies on epilepsy-related cognitive function is the lack of easy, rapid, specific and sensitive in vivo testing models. However, by using a number of different techniques and parameters in the zebrafish, we can incorporate the unique feature of specific disorder to study the molecular and behavior basis of this disease. In the view of current literature, the goal of the study was to develop a zebrafish model of epilepsy induced cognitive dysfunction. In this study, the effect of AEDs on locomotor activity and seizure-like behavior was tested against the pentylenetetrazole (PTZ) induced seizures in zebrafish and epilepsy associated cognitive dysfunction was determined using T-maze test followed by neurotransmitter estimation and gene expression analysis. It was observed that all the AEDs significantly reversed PTZ induced seizure in zebrafish, but had a negative impact on cognitive functions of zebrafish. AEDs were found to modulate neurotransmitter levels, especially GABA, glutamate, and acetylcholine and gene expression in the drug treated zebrafish brains. Therefore, combination of behavioral, neurochemical and genenetic information, makes this model a useful tool for future research and discovery of newer and safer AEDs. PMID:28824436

  18. Morphologic analysis of the zebrafish digestive system.

    PubMed

    Trotter, Andrew J; Parslow, Adam C; Heath, Joan K

    2009-01-01

    The zebrafish provides an ideal model for the study of vertebrate organogenesis, including the formation of the digestive tract and its associated organs. Despite optical transparency of embryos, the internal position of the developing digestive system and its close juxtaposition with the yolk initially made morphological analysis relatively challenging, particularly during the first 3 d of development. However, methodologies have been successfully developed to address these problems and comprehensive morphologic analysis of the developing digestive system has now been achieved using a combination of light and fluorescence microscope approaches-including confocal analysis-to visualize wholemount and histological preparations of zebrafish embryos. Furthermore, the expanding number of antibodies that cross-react with zebrafish proteins and the generation of tissue-specific transgenic green fluorescent protein reporter lines that mark specific cell and tissue compartments have greatly enhanced our ability to successfully image the developing zebrafish digestive system.

  19. Zebrafish Models for Human Acute Organophosphorus Poisoning.

    PubMed

    Faria, Melissa; Garcia-Reyero, Natàlia; Padrós, Francesc; Babin, Patrick J; Sebastián, David; Cachot, Jérôme; Prats, Eva; Arick Ii, Mark; Rial, Eduardo; Knoll-Gellida, Anja; Mathieu, Guilaine; Le Bihanic, Florane; Escalon, B Lynn; Zorzano, Antonio; Soares, Amadeu M V M; Raldúa, Demetrio

    2015-10-22

    Terrorist use of organophosphorus-based nerve agents and toxic industrial chemicals against civilian populations constitutes a real threat, as demonstrated by the terrorist attacks in Japan in the 1990 s or, even more recently, in the Syrian civil war. Thus, development of more effective countermeasures against acute organophosphorus poisoning is urgently needed. Here, we have generated and validated zebrafish models for mild, moderate and severe acute organophosphorus poisoning by exposing zebrafish larvae to different concentrations of the prototypic organophosphorus compound chlorpyrifos-oxon. Our results show that zebrafish models mimic most of the pathophysiological mechanisms behind this toxidrome in humans, including acetylcholinesterase inhibition, N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor activation, and calcium dysregulation as well as inflammatory and immune responses. The suitability of the zebrafish larvae to in vivo high-throughput screenings of small molecule libraries makes these models a valuable tool for identifying new drugs for multifunctional drug therapy against acute organophosphorus poisoning.

  20. Episodic-like memory in zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Hamilton, Trevor J; Myggland, Allison; Duperreault, Erika; May, Zacnicte; Gallup, Joshua; Powell, Russell A; Schalomon, Melike; Digweed, Shannon M

    2016-11-01

    Episodic-like memory tests often aid in determining an animal's ability to recall the what, where, and which (context) of an event. To date, this type of memory has been demonstrated in humans, wild chacma baboons, corvids (Scrub jays), humming birds, mice, rats, Yucatan minipigs, and cuttlefish. The potential for this type of memory in zebrafish remains unexplored even though they are quickly becoming an essential model organism for the study of a variety of human cognitive and mental disorders. Here we explore the episodic-like capabilities of zebrafish (Danio rerio) in a previously established mammalian memory paradigm. We demonstrate that when zebrafish were presented with a familiar object in a familiar context but a novel location within that context, they spend more time in the novel quadrant. Thus, zebrafish display episodic-like memory as they remember what object they saw, where they saw it (quadrant location), and on which occasion (yellow or blue walls) it was presented.

  1. Polygenic Sex Determination System in Zebrafish

    PubMed Central

    Liew, Woei Chang; Bartfai, Richard; Lim, Zijie; Sreenivasan, Rajini; Siegfried, Kellee R.; Orban, Laszlo

    2012-01-01

    Background Despite the popularity of zebrafish as a research model, its sex determination (SD) mechanism is still unknown. Most cytogenetic studies failed to find dimorphic sex chromosomes and no primary sex determining switch has been identified even though the assembly of zebrafish genome sequence is near to completion and a high resolution genetic map is available. Recent publications suggest that environmental factors within the natural range have minimal impact on sex ratios of zebrafish populations. The primary aim of this study is to find out more about how sex is determined in zebrafish. Methodology/Principal Findings Using classical breeding experiments, we found that sex ratios across families were wide ranging (4.8% to 97.3% males). On the other hand, repeated single pair crossings produced broods of very similar sex ratios, indicating that parental genotypes have a role in the sex ratio of the offspring. Variation among family sex ratios was reduced after selection for breeding pairs with predominantly male or female offspring, another indication that zebrafish sex is regulated genetically. Further examinations by a PCR-based “blind assay" and array comparative genomic hybridization both failed to find universal sex-linked differences between the male and female genomes. Together with the ability to increase the sex bias of lines by selective breeding, these data suggest that zebrafish is unlikely to utilize a chromosomal sex determination (CSD) system. Conclusions/Significance Taken together, our study suggests that zebrafish sex is genetically determined with limited, secondary influences from the environment. As we have not found any sign for CSD in the species, we propose that the zebrafish has a polygenic sex determination system. PMID:22506019

  2. Label-free imaging of developing vasculature in zebrafish with phase variance optical coherence microscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Yu; Fingler, Jeff; Trinh, Le A.; Fraser, Scott E.

    2016-03-01

    A phase variance optical coherence microscope (pvOCM) has been created to visualize blood flow in the vasculature of zebrafish embryos, without using exogenous labels. The pvOCM imaging system has axial and lateral resolutions of 2 μm in tissue, and imaging depth of more than 100 μm. Imaging of 2-5 days post-fertilization zebrafish embryos identified the detailed structures of somites, spinal cord, gut and notochord based on intensity contrast. Visualization of the blood flow in the aorta, veins and intersegmental vessels was achieved with phase variance contrast. The pvOCM vasculature images were confirmed with corresponding fluorescence microscopy of a zebrafish transgene that labels the vasculature with green fluorescent protein. The pvOCM images also revealed functional information of the blood flow activities that is crucial for the study of vascular development.

  3. Using fluorescent lipids in live zebrafish larvae: From imaging whole animal physiology to subcellular lipid trafficking.

    PubMed

    Anderson, J L; Carten, J D; Farber, S A

    2016-01-01

    Lipids serve essential functions in cells as signaling molecules, membrane components, and sources of energy. Defects in lipid metabolism are implicated in a number of pandemic human diseases, including diabetes, obesity, and hypercholesterolemia. Many aspects of how fatty acids and cholesterol are absorbed and processed by intestinal cells remain unclear and present a hurdle to developing approaches for disease prevention and treatment. Numerous studies have shown that the zebrafish is an excellent model for vertebrate lipid metabolism. In this chapter, we review commercially available fluorescent lipids that can be deployed in live zebrafish to better understand lipid signaling and metabolism. In this chapter, we present criteria one should consider when selecting specific fluorescent lipids for the study of digestive physiology or lipid metabolism in larval zebrafish. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. Zebrafish Get Connected: Investigating Neurotransmission Targets and Alterations in Chemical Toxicity

    PubMed Central

    Horzmann, Katharine A.; Freeman, Jennifer L.

    2016-01-01

    Neurotransmission is the basis of neuronal communication and is critical for normal brain development, behavior, learning, and memory. Exposure to drugs and chemicals can alter neurotransmission, often through unknown pathways and mechanisms. The zebrafish (Danio rerio) model system is increasingly being used to study the brain and chemical neurotoxicity. In this review, the major neurotransmitter systems, including glutamate, GABA, dopamine, norepinephrine, serotonin, acetylcholine, histamine, and glutamate are surveyed and pathways of synthesis, transport, metabolism, and action are examined. Differences between human and zebrafish neurochemical pathways are highlighted. We also review techniques for evaluating neurological function, including the measurement of neurotransmitter levels, assessment of gene expression through transcriptomic analysis, and the recording of neurobehavior. Finally examples of chemical toxicity studies evaluating alterations in neurotransmitter systems in the zebrafish model are reviewed. PMID:28730152

  5. The small molecule probe PT-Yellow labels the renal proximal tubules in zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Sander, Veronika; Patke, Shantanu; Sahu, Srikanta; Teoh, Chai Lean; Peng, Zhenzhen; Chang, Young-Tae; Davidson, Alan J

    2015-01-01

    We report the development of a small fluorescent molecule, BDNCA3-D2, herein referred to as PT-Yellow. Soaking zebrafish embryos in PT-Yellow or intraperitoneal injection into adults results in non-toxic in vivo fluorescent labeling of the renal proximal tubules, the major site of blood filtrate reabsorption and a common target of injury in acute kidney injury. We demonstrate the applicability of this new compound as a rapid and simple readout for zebrafish kidney filtration and proximal tubule reabsorption function.

  6. Recent Advances in Elucidating the Genetic Mechanisms of Nephrogenesis Using Zebrafish

    PubMed Central

    Cheng, Christina N.; Verdun, Valerie A.; Wingert, Rebecca A.

    2015-01-01

    The kidney is comprised of working units known as nephrons, which are epithelial tubules that contain a series of specialized cell types organized into a precise pattern of functionally distinct segment domains. There is a limited understanding of the genetic mechanisms that establish these discrete nephron cell types during renal development. The zebrafish embryonic kidney serves as a simplified yet conserved vertebrate model to delineate how nephron segments are patterned from renal progenitors. Here, we provide a concise review of recent advances in this emerging field, and discuss how continued research using zebrafish genetics can be applied to gain insightsabout nephrogenesis. PMID:26024215

  7. Using Zebrafish to Test the Genetic Basis of Human Craniofacial Diseases.

    PubMed

    Machado, R Grecco; Eames, B Frank

    2017-10-01

    Genome-wide association studies (GWASs) opened an innovative and productive avenue to investigate the molecular basis of human craniofacial disease. However, GWASs identify candidate genes only; they do not prove that any particular one is the functional villain underlying disease or just an unlucky genomic bystander. Genetic manipulation of animal models is the best approach to reveal which genetic loci identified from human GWASs are functionally related to specific diseases. The purpose of this review is to discuss the potential of zebrafish to resolve which candidate genetic loci are mechanistic drivers of craniofacial diseases. Many anatomic, embryonic, and genetic features of craniofacial development are conserved among zebrafish and mammals, making zebrafish a good model of craniofacial diseases. Also, the ability to manipulate gene function in zebrafish was greatly expanded over the past 20 y, enabling systems such as Gateway Tol2 and CRISPR-Cas9 to test gain- and loss-of-function alleles identified from human GWASs in coding and noncoding regions of DNA. With the optimization of genetic editing methods, large numbers of candidate genes can be efficiently interrogated. Finding the functional villains that underlie diseases will permit new treatments and prevention strategies and will increase understanding of how gene pathways operate during normal development.

  8. Neuropeptidergic Signaling Partitions Arousal Behaviors in Zebrafish

    PubMed Central

    Schoppik, David; Shi, Veronica J.; Zimmerman, Steven; Coleman, Haley A.; Greenwood, Joel; Soucy, Edward R.

    2014-01-01

    Animals modulate their arousal state to ensure that their sensory responsiveness and locomotor activity match environmental demands. Neuropeptides can regulate arousal, but studies of their roles in vertebrates have been constrained by the vast array of neuropeptides and their pleiotropic effects. To overcome these limitations, we systematically dissected the neuropeptidergic modulation of arousal in larval zebrafish. We quantified spontaneous locomotor activity and responsiveness to sensory stimuli after genetically induced expression of seven evolutionarily conserved neuropeptides, including adenylate cyclase activating polypeptide 1b (adcyap1b), cocaine-related and amphetamine-related transcript (cart), cholecystokinin (cck), calcitonin gene-related peptide (cgrp), galanin, hypocretin, and nociceptin. Our study reveals that arousal behaviors are dissociable: neuropeptide expression uncoupled spontaneous activity from sensory responsiveness, and uncovered modality-specific effects upon sensory responsiveness. Principal components analysis and phenotypic clustering revealed both shared and divergent features of neuropeptidergic functions: hypocretin and cgrp stimulated spontaneous locomotor activity, whereas galanin and nociceptin attenuated these behaviors. In contrast, cart and adcyap1b enhanced sensory responsiveness yet had minimal impacts on spontaneous activity, and cck expression induced the opposite effects. Furthermore, hypocretin and nociceptin induced modality-specific differences in responsiveness to changes in illumination. Our study provides the first systematic and high-throughput analysis of neuropeptidergic modulation of arousal, demonstrates that arousal can be partitioned into independent behavioral components, and reveals novel and conserved functions of neuropeptides in regulating arousal. PMID:24573274

  9. Zebrafish neurobehavioral phenomics for aquatic neuropharmacology and toxicology research.

    PubMed

    Kalueff, Allan V; Echevarria, David J; Homechaudhuri, Sumit; Stewart, Adam Michael; Collier, Adam D; Kaluyeva, Aleksandra A; Li, Shaomin; Liu, Yingcong; Chen, Peirong; Wang, JiaJia; Yang, Lei; Mitra, Anisa; Pal, Subharthi; Chaudhuri, Adwitiya; Roy, Anwesha; Biswas, Missidona; Roy, Dola; Podder, Anupam; Poudel, Manoj K; Katare, Deepshikha P; Mani, Ruchi J; Kyzar, Evan J; Gaikwad, Siddharth; Nguyen, Michael; Song, Cai

    2016-01-01

    Zebrafish (Danio rerio) are rapidly emerging as an important model organism for aquatic neuropharmacology and toxicology research. The behavioral/phenotypic complexity of zebrafish allows for thorough dissection of complex human brain disorders and drug-evoked pathological states. As numerous zebrafish models become available with a wide spectrum of behavioral, genetic, and environmental methods to test novel drugs, here we discuss recent zebrafish phenomics methods to facilitate drug discovery, particularly in the field of biological psychiatry. Additionally, behavioral, neurological, and endocrine endpoints are becoming increasingly well-characterized in zebrafish, making them an inexpensive, robust and effective model for toxicology research and pharmacological screening. We also discuss zebrafish behavioral phenotypes, experimental considerations, pharmacological candidates and relevance of zebrafish neurophenomics to other 'omics' (e.g., genomic, proteomic) approaches. Finally, we critically evaluate the limitations of utilizing this model organism, and outline future strategies of research in the field of zebrafish phenomics. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  10. Can Zebrafish be used to Identify Developmentally Neurotoxic Chemicals

    EPA Science Inventory

    Can Zebrafish be Used to Identify Developmentally Neurotoxic Chemicals? The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is evaluating methods to screen and prioritize large numbers of chemicals for developmental neurotoxicity. We are exploring behavioral methods using zebrafish by desig...

  11. Zebrafish on a chip: a novel platform for real-time monitoring of drug-induced developmental toxicity.

    PubMed

    Li, Yinbao; Yang, Fan; Chen, Zuanguang; Shi, Lijuan; Zhang, Beibei; Pan, Jianbin; Li, Xinchun; Sun, Duanping; Yang, Hongzhi

    2014-01-01

    Pharmaceutical safety testing requires a cheap, fast and highly efficient platform for real-time evaluation of drug toxicity and secondary effects. In this study, we have developed a microfluidic system for phenotype-based evaluation of toxic and teratogenic effects of drugs using zebrafish (Danio rerio) embryos and larvae as the model organism. The microfluidic chip is composed of two independent functional units, enabling the assessment of zebrafish embryos and larvae. Each unit consists of a fluidic concentration gradient generator and a row of seven culture chambers to accommodate zebrafish. To test the accuracy of this new chip platform, we examined the toxicity and teratogenicity of an anti-asthmatic agent-aminophylline (Apl) on 210 embryos and 210 larvae (10 individuals per chamber). The effect of Apl on zebrafish embryonic development was quantitatively assessed by recording a series of physiological indicators such as heart rate, survival rate, body length and hatch rate. Most importantly, a new index called clonic convulsion rate, combined with mortality was used to evaluate the toxicities of Apl on zebrafish larvae. We found that Apl can induce deformity and cardiovascular toxicity in both zebrafish embryos and larvae. This microdevice is a multiplexed testing apparatus that allows for the examination of indexes beyond toxicity and teratogenicity at the sub-organ and cellular levels and provides a potentially cost-effective and rapid pharmaceutical safety assessment tool.

  12. Maternal topoisomerase II alpha, not topoisomerase II beta, enables embryonic development of zebrafish top2a-/- mutants

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Genetic alterations in human topoisomerase II alpha (TOP2A) are linked to cancer susceptibility. TOP2A decatenates chromosomes and thus is necessary for multiple aspects of cell division including DNA replication, chromosome condensation and segregation. Topoisomerase II alpha is also required for embryonic development in mammals, as mouse Top2a knockouts result in embryonic lethality as early as the 4-8 cell stage. The purpose of this study was to determine whether the extended developmental capability of zebrafish top2a mutants arises from maternal expression of top2a or compensation from its top2b paralogue. Results Here, we describe bloody minded (blm), a novel mutant of zebrafish top2a. In contrast to mouse Top2a nulls, zebrafish top2a mutants survive to larval stages (4-5 day post fertilization). Developmental analyses demonstrate abundant expression of maternal top2a but not top2b. Inhibition or poisoning of maternal topoisomerase II delays embryonic development by extending the cell cycle M-phase. Zygotic top2a and top2b are co-expressed in the zebrafish CNS, but endogenous or ectopic top2b RNA appear unable to prevent the blm phenotype. Conclusions We conclude that maternal top2a enables zebrafish development before the mid-zygotic transition (MZT) and that zebrafish top2a and top2b are not functionally redundant during development after activation of the zygotic genome. PMID:22111588

  13. The Prx1 limb enhancers: targeted gene expression in developing zebrafish pectoral fins.

    PubMed

    Hernández-Vega, Amayra; Minguillón, Carolina

    2011-08-01

    Limbs represent an excellent model to study the induction, growth, and patterning of several organs. A breakthrough to study gene function in various tissues has been the characterization of regulatory elements that allow tissue-specific interference of gene function. The mouse Prx1 promoter has been used to generate limb-specific mutants and overexpress genes in tetrapod limbs. Although zebrafish possess advantages that favor their use to study limb morphogenesis, there is no driver described suitable for specifically interfering with gene function in developing fins. We report the generation of zebrafish lines that express enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) driven by the mouse Prx1 enhancer in developing pectoral fins. We also describe the expression pattern of the zebrafish prrx1 genes and identify three conserved non-coding elements (CNEs) that we use to generate fin-specific EGFP reporter lines. Finally, we show that the mouse and zebrafish regulatory elements may be used to modify gene function in pectoral fins. Copyright © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  14. CTCF knockout reveals an essential role for this protein during the zebrafish development.

    PubMed

    Carmona-Aldana, Francisco; Zampedri, Cecilia; Suaste-Olmos, Fernando; Murillo-de-Ozores, Adrián; Guerrero, Georgina; Arzate-Mejía, Rodrigo; Maldonado, Ernesto; Navarro, Rosa; Chimal-Monroy, Jesús; Recillas-Targa, Félix

    2018-05-01

    Chromatin regulation and organization are essential processes that regulate gene activity. The CCCTC-binding factor (CTCF) is a protein with different and important molecular functions related with chromatin dynamics. It is conserved since invertebrates to vertebrates, posing it as a factor with an important role in the physiology. In this work, we aimed to understand the distribution and functional relevance of CTCF during the embryonic development of the zebrafish (Danio rerio). We generated a zebrafish specific anti-Ctcf antibody, and found this protein to be ubiquitous, through different stages and tissues. We used the CRISPR-Cas9 system to induce molecular alterations in the locus. This resulted in early lethality. We delayed the lethality performing knockdown morpholino experiments, and found an aberrant embryo morphology involving malformations in structures through all the length of the embryo. These phenotypes were rescued with human CTCF mRNA injections, showing the specificity of the morpholinos and a partial functional conservation between the fish and the human proteins. Lastly, we found that the pro-apoptotic genes p53 and bbc3/PUMA are deregulated in the ctcf morpholino-injected embryos. In conclusion, CTCF is a ubiquitous factor during the zebrafish development, which regulates the correct formation of different structures of the embryo, and its deregulation impacts on essential cell survival genes. Overall, this work provides a basis to look for the particular functions of CTCF in the different developing tissues and organs of the zebrafish. Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  15. Modeling Leukemogenesis in the Zebrafish Using Genetic and Xenograft Models.

    PubMed

    Rajan, Vinothkumar; Dellaire, Graham; Berman, Jason N

    2016-01-01

    The zebrafish is a widely accepted model to study leukemia. The major advantage of studying leukemogenesis in zebrafish is attributed to its short life cycle and superior imaging capacity. This chapter highlights using transgenic- and xenograft-based models in zebrafish to study a specific leukemogenic mutation and analyze therapeutic responses in vivo.

  16. Viral Diseases in Zebrafish: What Is Known and Unknown

    PubMed Central

    Crim, Marcus J.; Riley, Lela K.

    2013-01-01

    Naturally occurring viral infections have the potential to introduce confounding variability that leads to invalid and misinterpreted data. Whereas the viral diseases of research rodents are well characterized and closely monitored, no naturally occurring viral infections have been characterized for the laboratory zebrafish (Danio rerio), an increasingly important biomedical research model. Despite the ignorance about naturally occurring zebrafish viruses, zebrafish models are rapidly expanding in areas of biomedical research where the confounding effects of unknown infectious agents present a serious concern. In addition, many zebrafish research colonies remain linked to the ornamental (pet) zebrafish trade, which can contribute to the introduction of new pathogens into research colonies, whereas mice used for research are purpose bred, with no introduction of new mice from the pet industry. Identification, characterization, and monitoring of naturally occurring viruses in zebrafish are crucial to the improvement of zebrafish health, the reduction of unwanted variability, and the continued development of the zebrafish as a model organism. This article addresses the importance of identifying and characterizing the viral diseases of zebrafish as the scope of zebrafish models expands into new research areas and also briefly addresses zebrafish susceptibility to experimental viral infection and the utility of the zebrafish as an infection and immunology model. PMID:23382345

  17. Visuomotor Transformations Underlying Hunting Behavior in Zebrafish

    PubMed Central

    Bianco, Isaac H.; Engert, Florian

    2015-01-01

    Summary Visuomotor circuits filter visual information and determine whether or not to engage downstream motor modules to produce behavioral outputs. However, the circuit mechanisms that mediate and link perception of salient stimuli to execution of an adaptive response are poorly understood. We combined a virtual hunting assay for tethered larval zebrafish with two-photon functional calcium imaging to simultaneously monitor neuronal activity in the optic tectum during naturalistic behavior. Hunting responses showed mixed selectivity for combinations of visual features, specifically stimulus size, speed, and contrast polarity. We identified a subset of tectal neurons with similar highly selective tuning, which show non-linear mixed selectivity for visual features and are likely to mediate the perceptual recognition of prey. By comparing neural dynamics in the optic tectum during response versus non-response trials, we discovered premotor population activity that specifically preceded initiation of hunting behavior and exhibited anatomical localization that correlated with motor variables. In summary, the optic tectum contains non-linear mixed selectivity neurons that are likely to mediate reliable detection of ethologically relevant sensory stimuli. Recruitment of small tectal assemblies appears to link perception to action by providing the premotor commands that release hunting responses. These findings allow us to propose a model circuit for the visuomotor transformations underlying a natural behavior. PMID:25754638

  18. Visuomotor transformations underlying hunting behavior in zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Bianco, Isaac H; Engert, Florian

    2015-03-30

    Visuomotor circuits filter visual information and determine whether or not to engage downstream motor modules to produce behavioral outputs. However, the circuit mechanisms that mediate and link perception of salient stimuli to execution of an adaptive response are poorly understood. We combined a virtual hunting assay for tethered larval zebrafish with two-photon functional calcium imaging to simultaneously monitor neuronal activity in the optic tectum during naturalistic behavior. Hunting responses showed mixed selectivity for combinations of visual features, specifically stimulus size, speed, and contrast polarity. We identified a subset of tectal neurons with similar highly selective tuning, which show non-linear mixed selectivity for visual features and are likely to mediate the perceptual recognition of prey. By comparing neural dynamics in the optic tectum during response versus non-response trials, we discovered premotor population activity that specifically preceded initiation of hunting behavior and exhibited anatomical localization that correlated with motor variables. In summary, the optic tectum contains non-linear mixed selectivity neurons that are likely to mediate reliable detection of ethologically relevant sensory stimuli. Recruitment of small tectal assemblies appears to link perception to action by providing the premotor commands that release hunting responses. These findings allow us to propose a model circuit for the visuomotor transformations underlying a natural behavior. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  19. Characterization of Na+ and Ca2+ Channels in Zebrafish Dorsal Root Ganglion Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Won, Yu-Jin; Ono, Fumihito; Ikeda, Stephen R.

    2012-01-01

    Background Dorsal root ganglia (DRG) somata from rodents have provided an excellent model system to study ion channel properties and modulation using electrophysiological investigation. As in other vertebrates, zebrafish (Danio rerio) DRG are organized segmentally and possess peripheral axons that bifurcate into each body segment. However, the electrical properties of zebrafish DRG sensory neurons, as compared with their mammalian counterparts, are relatively unexplored because a preparation suitable for electrophysiological studies has not been available. Methodology/Principal Findings We show enzymatically dissociated DRG neurons from juvenile zebrafish expressing Isl2b-promoter driven EGFP were easily identified with fluorescence microscopy and amenable to conventional whole-cell patch-clamp studies. Two kinetically distinct TTX-sensitive Na+ currents (rapidly- and slowly-inactivating) were discovered. Rapidly-inactivating INa were preferentially expressed in relatively large neurons, while slowly-inactivating INa was more prevalent in smaller DRG neurons. RT-PCR analysis suggests zscn1aa/ab, zscn8aa/ab, zscn4ab and zscn5Laa are possible candidates for these INa components. Voltage-gated Ca2+ currents (ICa) were primarily (87%) comprised of a high-voltage activated component arising from ω-conotoxin GVIA-sensitive CaV2.2 (N-type) Ca2+ channels. A few DRG neurons (8%) displayed a miniscule low-voltage-activated component. ICa in zebrafish DRG neurons were modulated by neurotransmitters via either voltage-dependent or -independent G-protein signaling pathway with large cell-to-cell response variability. Conclusions/Significance Our present results indicate that, as in higher vertebrates, zebrafish DRG neurons are heterogeneous being composed of functionally distinct subpopulations that may correlate with different sensory modalities. These findings provide the first comparison of zebrafish and rodent DRG neuron electrical properties and thus provide a basis for

  20. Toward developmental models of psychiatric disorders in zebrafish

    PubMed Central

    Norton, William H. J.

    2013-01-01

    Psychiatric disorders are a diverse set of diseases that affect all aspects of mental function including social interaction, thinking, feeling, and mood. Although psychiatric disorders place a large economic burden on society, the drugs available to treat them are often palliative with variable efficacy and intolerable side-effects. The development of novel drugs has been hindered by a lack of knowledge about the etiology of these diseases. It is thus necessary to further investigate psychiatric disorders using a combination of human molecular genetics, gene-by-environment studies, in vitro pharmacological and biochemistry experiments, animal models, and investigation of the non-biological basis of these diseases, such as environmental effects. Many psychiatric disorders, including autism spectrum disorder, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, mental retardation, and schizophrenia can be triggered by alterations to neural development. The zebrafish is a popular model for developmental biology that is increasingly used to study human disease. Recent work has extended this approach to examine psychiatric disorders as well. However, since psychiatric disorders affect complex mental functions that might be human specific, it is not possible to fully model them in fish. In this review, I will propose that the suitability of zebrafish for developmental studies, and the genetic tools available to manipulate them, provide a powerful model to study the roles of genes that are linked to psychiatric disorders during neural development. The relative speed and ease of conducting experiments in zebrafish can be used to address two areas of future research: the contribution of environmental factors to disease onset, and screening for novel therapeutic compounds. PMID:23637652

  1. Studying disorders of vertebrate iron and heme metabolism using zebrafish

    PubMed Central

    van der Vorm, Lisa N.; Paw, Barry H.

    2017-01-01

    Iron is a crucial component of heme- and iron-sulfur clusters, involved in vital cellular functions such as oxygen transport, DNA synthesis, and respiration. Both excess and insufficient levels of iron and heme-precursors cause human disease, such as iron-deficiency anemia, hemochromatosis, and porphyrias. Hence, their levels must be tightly regulated, requiring a complex network of transporters and feedback mechanisms. The use of zebrafish to study these pathways and the underlying genetics offers many advantages, among others their optical transparency, ex-vivo development and high genetic and physiological conservations. This chapter first reviews well-established methods, such as large-scale mutagenesis screens that have led to the initial identification of a series of iron and heme transporters and the generation of a variety of mutant lines. Other widely used techniques are based on injection of RNA, including complementary morpholino knockdown and gene overexpression. In addition, we highlight several recently developed approaches, most notably endonuclease-based gene knockouts such as TALENs or the CRISPR/Cas9 system that have been used to study how loss of function can induce human disease phenocopies in zebrafish. Rescue by chemical complementation with iron-based compounds or small molecules can subsequently be used to confirm causality of the genetic defect for the observed phenotype. All together, zebrafish have proven to be – and will continue to serve as an ideal model to advance our understanding of the pathogenesis of human iron and heme-related diseases and to develop novel therapies to treat these conditions. PMID:28129844

  2. Atrogin-1 Deficiency Leads to Myopathy and Heart Failure in Zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Bühler, Anja; Kustermann, Monika; Bummer, Tiziana; Rottbauer, Wolfgang; Sandri, Marco; Just, Steffen

    2016-01-30

    Orchestrated protein synthesis and degradation is fundamental for proper cell function. In muscle, impairment of proteostasis often leads to severe cellular defects finally interfering with contractile function. Here, we analyze for the first time the role of Atrogin-1, a muscle-specific E3 ubiquitin ligase known to be involved in the regulation of protein degradation via the ubiquitin proteasome and the autophagy/lysosome systems, in the in vivo model system zebrafish (Danio rerio). We found that targeted inactivation of zebrafish Atrogin-1 leads to progressive impairment of heart and skeletal muscle function and disruption of muscle structure without affecting early cardiogenesis and skeletal muscle development. Autophagy is severely impaired in Atrogin-1-deficient zebrafish embryos resulting in the disturbance of the cytoarchitecture of cardiomyocytes and skeletal muscle cells. These observations are consistent with molecular and ultrastructural findings in an Atrogin-1 knockout mouse and demonstrate that the zebrafish is a suitable vertebrate model to study the molecular mechanisms of Atrogin-1-mediated autophagic muscle pathologies and to screen for novel therapeutically active substances in high-throughput in vivo small compound screens (SCS).

  3. Developmental defects in zebrafish for classification of EGF pathway inhibitors

    SciT

    Pruvot, Benoist; Curé, Yoann; Djiotsa, Joachim

    2014-01-15

    One of the major challenges when testing drug candidates targeted at a specific pathway in whole animals is the discrimination between specific effects and unwanted, off-target effects. Here we used the zebrafish to define several developmental defects caused by impairment of Egf signaling, a major pathway of interest in tumor biology. We inactivated Egf signaling by genetically blocking Egf expression or using specific inhibitors of the Egf receptor function. We show that the combined occurrence of defects in cartilage formation, disturbance of blood flow in the trunk and a decrease of myelin basic protein expression represent good indicators for impairmentmore » of Egf signaling. Finally, we present a classification of known tyrosine kinase inhibitors according to their specificity for the Egf pathway. In conclusion, we show that developmental indicators can help to discriminate between specific effects on the target pathway from off-target effects in molecularly targeted drug screening experiments in whole animal systems. - Highlights: • We analyze the functions of Egf signaling on zebrafish development. • Genetic blocking of Egf expression causes cartilage, myelin and circulatory defects. • Chemical inhibition of Egf receptor function causes similar defects. • Developmental defects can reveal the specificity of Egf pathway inhibitors.« less

  4. Abcb4 acts as multixenobiotic transporter and active barrier against chemical uptake in zebrafish (Danio rerio) embryos

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background In mammals, ABCB1 constitutes a cellular “first line of defense” against a wide array of chemicals and drugs conferring cellular multidrug or multixenobiotic resistance (MDR/MXR). We tested the hypothesis that an ABCB1 ortholog serves as protection for the sensitive developmental processes in zebrafish embryos against adverse compounds dissolved in the water. Results Indication for ABCB1-type efflux counteracting the accumulation of chemicals in zebrafish embryos comes from experiments with fluorescent and toxic transporter substrates and inhibitors. With inhibitors present, levels of fluorescent dyes in embryo tissue and sensitivity of embryos to toxic substrates were generally elevated. We verified two predicted sequences from zebrafish, previously annotated as abcb1, by cloning; our synteny analyses, however, identified them as abcb4 and abcb5, respectively. The abcb1 gene is absent in the zebrafish genome and we explored whether instead Abcb4 and/or Abcb5 show toxicant defense properties. Quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) analyses showed the presence of transcripts of both genes throughout the first 48 hours of zebrafish development. Similar to transporter inhibitors, morpholino knock-down of Abcb4 increased accumulation of fluorescent substrates in embryo tissue and sensitivity of embryos toward toxic compounds. In contrast, morpholino knock-down of Abcb5 did not exert this effect. ATPase assays with recombinant protein obtained with the baculovirus expression system confirmed that dye and toxic compounds act as substrates of zebrafish Abcb4 and inhibitors block its function. The compounds tested comprised model substrates of human ABCB1, namely the fluorescent dyes rhodamine B and calcein-am and the toxic compounds vinblastine, vincristine and doxorubicin; cyclosporin A, PSC833, MK571 and verapamil were applied as inhibitors. Additionally, tests were performed with ecotoxicologically relevant compounds: phenanthrene (a

  5. Production of Androgenetic Zebrafish (Danio Rerio)

    PubMed Central

    Corley-Smith, G. E.; Lim, C. J.; Brandhorst, B. P.

    1996-01-01

    To help investigate the evolutionary origin of the imprinting (parent-of-origin mono-allelic expression) of paternal genes observed in mammals, we constructed haploid and diploid androgenetic zebrafish (Danio rerio). Haploid androgenotes were produced by fertilizing eggs that had been X-ray irradiated to eliminate the maternal genome. Subsequent inhibition of the first mitotic division of haploid androgenotes by heat shock produced diploid androgenotes. The lack of inheritance of maternal-specific DNA markers (RAPD and SSR) by putative diploid and haploid androgenotes confirmed the androgenetic origin of their genomes. Marker analysis was performed on 18 putative androgenotes (five diploids and 13 haploids) from six families. None of 157 maternal-specific RAPD markers analyzed, some of which were apparently homozygous, were passed on to any of these putative androgenotes. A mean of 7.7 maternal-specific markers were assessed per family. The survival of androgenetic zebrafish suggests that if paternal imprinting occurs in zebrafish, it does not result in essential genes being inactivated when their expression is required for development. Production of haploid androgenotes can be used to determine the meiotic recombination rate in male zebrafish. Androgenesis may also provide useful information about the mechanism of sex determination in zebrafish. PMID:8846903

  6. Primary Spinal OPC Culture System from Adult Zebrafish to Study Oligodendrocyte Differentiation In Vitro.

    PubMed

    Kroehne, Volker; Tsata, Vasiliki; Marrone, Lara; Froeb, Claudia; Reinhardt, Susanne; Gompf, Anne; Dahl, Andreas; Sterneckert, Jared; Reimer, Michell M

    2017-01-01

    Endogenous oligodendrocyte progenitor cells (OPCs) are a promising target to improve functional recovery after spinal cord injury (SCI) by remyelinating denuded, and therefore vulnerable, axons. Demyelination is the result of a primary insult and secondary injury, leading to conduction blocks and long-term degeneration of the axons, which subsequently can lead to the loss of their neurons. In response to SCI, dormant OPCs can be activated and subsequently start to proliferate and differentiate into mature myelinating oligodendrocytes (OLs). Therefore, researchers strive to control OPC responses, and utilize small molecule screening approaches in order to identify mechanisms of OPC activation, proliferation, migration and differentiation. In zebrafish, OPCs remyelinate axons of the optic tract after lysophosphatidylcholine (LPC)-induced demyelination back to full thickness myelin sheaths. In contrast to zebrafish, mammalian OPCs are highly vulnerable to excitotoxic stress, a cause of secondary injury, and remyelination remains insufficient. Generally, injury induced remyelination leads to shorter internodes and thinner myelin sheaths in mammals. In this study, we show that myelin sheaths are lost early after a complete spinal transection injury, but are re-established within 14 days after lesion. We introduce a novel, easy-to-use, inexpensive and highly reproducible OPC culture system based on dormant spinal OPCs from adult zebrafish that enables in vitro analysis. Zebrafish OPCs are robust, can easily be purified with high viability and taken into cell culture. This method enables to examine why zebrafish OPCs remyelinate better than their mammalian counterparts, identify cell intrinsic responses, which could lead to pro-proliferating or pro-differentiating strategies, and to test small molecule approaches. In this methodology paper, we show efficient isolation of OPCs from adult zebrafish spinal cord and describe culture conditions that enable analysis up to 10

  7. From Omics to Drug Metabolism and High Content Screen of Natural Product in Zebrafish: A New Model for Discovery of Neuroactive Compound

    PubMed Central

    Hung, Ming Wai; Zhang, Zai Jun; Li, Shang; Lei, Benson; Yuan, Shuai; Cui, Guo Zhen; Man Hoi, Pui; Chan, Kelvin; Lee, Simon Ming Yuen

    2012-01-01

    The zebrafish (Danio rerio) has recently become a common model in the fields of genetics, environmental science, toxicology, and especially drug screening. Zebrafish has emerged as a biomedically relevant model for in vivo high content drug screening and the simultaneous determination of multiple efficacy parameters, including behaviour, selectivity, and toxicity in the content of the whole organism. A zebrafish behavioural assay has been demonstrated as a novel, rapid, and high-throughput approach to the discovery of neuroactive, psychoactive, and memory-modulating compounds. Recent studies found a functional similarity of drug metabolism systems in zebrafish and mammals, providing a clue with why some compounds are active in zebrafish in vivo but not in vitro, as well as providing grounds for the rationales supporting the use of a zebrafish screen to identify prodrugs. Here, we discuss the advantages of the zebrafish model for evaluating drug metabolism and the mode of pharmacological action with the emerging omics approaches. Why this model is suitable for identifying lead compounds from natural products for therapy of disorders with multifactorial etiopathogenesis and imbalance of angiogenesis, such as Parkinson's disease, epilepsy, cardiotoxicity, cerebral hemorrhage, dyslipidemia, and hyperlipidemia, is addressed. PMID:22919414

  8. An automatic method to calculate heart rate from zebrafish larval cardiac videos.

    PubMed

    Kang, Chia-Pin; Tu, Hung-Chi; Fu, Tzu-Fun; Wu, Jhe-Ming; Chu, Po-Hsun; Chang, Darby Tien-Hao

    2018-05-09

    Zebrafish is a widely used model organism for studying heart development and cardiac-related pathogenesis. With the ability of surviving without a functional circulation at larval stages, strong genetic similarity between zebrafish and mammals, prolific reproduction and optically transparent embryos, zebrafish is powerful in modeling mammalian cardiac physiology and pathology as well as in large-scale high throughput screening. However, an economical and convenient tool for rapid evaluation of fish cardiac function is still in need. There have been several image analysis methods to assess cardiac functions in zebrafish embryos/larvae, but they are still improvable to reduce manual intervention in the entire process. This work developed a fully automatic method to calculate heart rate, an important parameter to analyze cardiac function, from videos. It contains several filters to identify the heart region, to reduce video noise and to calculate heart rates. The proposed method was evaluated with 32 zebrafish larval cardiac videos that were recording at three-day post-fertilization. The heart rate measured by the proposed method was comparable to that determined by manual counting. The experimental results show that the proposed method does not lose accuracy while largely reducing the labor cost and uncertainty of manual counting. With the proposed method, researchers do not have to manually select a region of interest before analyzing videos. Moreover, filters designed to reduce video noise can alleviate background fluctuations during the video recording stage (e.g. shifting), which makes recorders generate usable videos easily and therefore reduce manual efforts while recording.

  9. Multiple Sex-Associated Regions and a Putative Sex Chromosome in Zebrafish Revealed by RAD Mapping and Population Genomics

    PubMed Central

    Anderson, Jennifer L.; Rodríguez Marí, Adriana; Braasch, Ingo; Amores, Angel; Hohenlohe, Paul; Batzel, Peter; Postlethwait, John H.

    2012-01-01

    Within vertebrates, major sex determining genes can differ among taxa and even within species. In zebrafish (Danio rerio), neither heteromorphic sex chromosomes nor single sex determination genes of large effect, like Sry in mammals, have yet been identified. Furthermore, environmental factors can influence zebrafish sex determination. Although progress has been made in understanding zebrafish gonad differentiation (e.g. the influence of germ cells on gonad fate), the primary genetic basis of zebrafish sex determination remains poorly understood. To identify genetic loci associated with sex, we analyzed F2 offspring of reciprocal crosses between Oregon *AB and Nadia (NA) wild-type zebrafish stocks. Genome-wide linkage analysis, using more than 5,000 sequence-based polymorphic restriction site associated (RAD-tag) markers and population genomic analysis of more than 30,000 single nucleotide polymorphisms in our *ABxNA crosses revealed a sex-associated locus on the end of the long arm of chr-4 for both cross families, and an additional locus in the middle of chr-3 in one cross family. Additional sequencing showed that two SNPs in dmrt1 previously suggested to be functional candidates for sex determination in a cross of ABxIndia wild-type zebrafish, are not associated with sex in our AB fish. Our data show that sex determination in zebrafish is polygenic and that different genes may influence sex determination in different strains or that different genes become more important under different environmental conditions. The association of the end of chr-4 with sex is remarkable because, unique in the karyotype, this chromosome arm shares features with known sex chromosomes: it is highly heterochromatic, repetitive, late replicating, and has reduced recombination. Our results reveal that chr-4 has functional and structural properties expected of a sex chromosome. PMID:22792396

  10. Using visual lateralization to model learning and memory in zebrafish larvae

    PubMed Central

    Andersson, Madelene Åberg; Ek, Fredrik; Olsson, Roger

    2015-01-01

    Impaired learning and memory are common symptoms of neurodegenerative and neuropsychiatric diseases. Present, there are several behavioural test employed to assess cognitive functions in animal models, including the frequently used novel object recognition (NOR) test. However, although atypical functional brain lateralization has been associated with neuropsychiatric conditions, spanning from schizophrenia to autism, few animal models are available to study this phenomenon in learning and memory deficits. Here we present a visual lateralization NOR model (VLNOR) in zebrafish larvae as an assay that combines brain lateralization and NOR. In zebrafish larvae, learning and memory are generally assessed by habituation, sensitization, or conditioning paradigms, which are all representatives of nondeclarative memory. The VLNOR is the first model for zebrafish larvae that studies a memory similar to the declarative memory described for mammals. We demonstrate that VLNOR can be used to study memory formation, storage, and recall of novel objects, both short and long term, in 10-day-old zebrafish. Furthermore we show that the VLNOR model can be used to study chemical modulation of memory formation and maintenance using dizocilpine (MK-801), a frequently used non-competitive antagonist of the NMDA receptor, used to test putative antipsychotics in animal models. PMID:25727677

  11. Purification of zebrafish erythrocytes as a means of identifying a novel regulator of haematopoiesis.

    PubMed

    Kulkeaw, Kasem; Inoue, Tomoko; Ishitani, Tohru; Nakanishi, Yoichi; Zon, Leonard I; Sugiyama, Daisuke

    2018-02-01

    Zebrafish embryos are useful to study haematopoietic gene function in vertebrates, although lack of antibodies to zebrafish proteins has limited the purification of specific cell populations. Here, we purified primitive zebrafish erythrocytes using 1, 5-bis{[2-(di-methylamino)ethyl]amino}-4, 8-dihydroxyanthracene-9, 10-dione (DRAQ5 TM ), a DNA-staining fluorescent dye. At 48-h post-fertilization, we sorted small-sized cells from embryos using forward scatter and found that they consisted of DRAQ5 high and DRAQ5 low populations. DRAQ5 high cells contained haemoglobin, lacked myeloperoxidase activity and expressed high levels of embryonic globin (hbae3 and hbbe1.1) mRNA, all characteristics of primitive erythrocytes. Following DRAQ5 TM analysis of gata1:dsRed transgenic embryos, we purified primitive DRAQ5 high dsRed+ erythrocytes from haematopoietic progenitor cells. Using this method, we identified docking protein 2 (Dok2) as functioning in differentiation of primitive erythrocytes. We conclude that DRAQ5 TM -based flow cytometry enables purification of primitive zebrafish erythrocytes. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  12. Ultrastructural Mapping of the Zebrafish Gastrointestinal System as a Basis for Experimental Drug Studies.

    PubMed

    Cheng, Delfine; Shami, Gerald J; Morsch, Marco; Chung, Roger S; Braet, Filip

    2016-01-01

    Research in the field of gastroenterology is increasingly focused on the use of alternative nonrodent model organisms to provide new experimental tools to study chronic diseases. The zebrafish is a particularly valuable experimental platform to explore organ and cell structure-function relationships under relevant biological and pathobiological settings. This is due to its optical transparency and its close-to-human genetic makeup. To-date, the structure-function properties of the GIS of the zebrafish are relatively unexplored and limited to histology and fluorescent microscopy. Occasionally those studies include EM of a given subcellular process but lack the required full histological picture. In this work, we employed a novel combined biomolecular imaging approach in order to cross-correlate 3D ultrastructure over different length scales (optical-, X-ray micro-CT, and high-resolution EM). Our correlated imaging studies and subsequent data modelling provide to our knowledge the first detailed 3D picture of the zebrafish larvae GIS. Our results provide unequivocally a limit of confidence for studying various digestive disorders and drug delivery pathways in the zebrafish.

  13. Ultrastructural Mapping of the Zebrafish Gastrointestinal System as a Basis for Experimental Drug Studies

    PubMed Central

    Shami, Gerald J.; Morsch, Marco; Chung, Roger S.; Braet, Filip

    2016-01-01

    Research in the field of gastroenterology is increasingly focused on the use of alternative nonrodent model organisms to provide new experimental tools to study chronic diseases. The zebrafish is a particularly valuable experimental platform to explore organ and cell structure-function relationships under relevant biological and pathobiological settings. This is due to its optical transparency and its close-to-human genetic makeup. To-date, the structure-function properties of the GIS of the zebrafish are relatively unexplored and limited to histology and fluorescent microscopy. Occasionally those studies include EM of a given subcellular process but lack the required full histological picture. In this work, we employed a novel combined biomolecular imaging approach in order to cross-correlate 3D ultrastructure over different length scales (optical-, X-ray micro-CT, and high-resolution EM). Our correlated imaging studies and subsequent data modelling provide to our knowledge the first detailed 3D picture of the zebrafish larvae GIS. Our results provide unequivocally a limit of confidence for studying various digestive disorders and drug delivery pathways in the zebrafish. PMID:27340669

  14. High-Resolution Tissue Doppler Imaging of the Zebrafish Heart During Its Regeneration

    PubMed Central

    Su, Ta-Han; Shih, Cho-Chiang

    2015-01-01

    Abstract The human heart cannot regenerate after injury, whereas the adult zebrafish can fully regenerate its heart even after 20% of the ventricle is amputated. Many studies have begun to reveal the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying this regenerative process, which have exciting implications for human cardiac diseases. However, the dynamic functions of the zebrafish heart during regeneration are not yet understood. This study established a high-resolution echocardiography for tissue Doppler imaging (TDI) of the zebrafish heart to explore the cardiac functions during different regeneration phases. Experiments were performed on AB-line adult zebrafish (n=40) in which 15% of the ventricle was surgically removed. An 80-MHz ultrasound TDI based on color M-mode imaging technology was employed. The cardiac flow velocities and patterns from both the ventricular chamber and myocardium were measured at different regeneration phases relative to the day of amputation. The peak velocities of early diastolic inflow, early diastolic myocardial motion, late diastolic myocardial motion, early diastolic deceleration slope, and heart rate were increased at 3 days after the myocardium amputation, but these parameters gradually returned to close to their baseline values for the normal heart at 7 days after amputation. The peak velocities of late diastolic inflow, ventricular systolic outflow, and systolic myocardial motion did not significantly differ during the heart regeneration. PMID:25517185

  15. The zebrafish as a gerontology model in nervous system aging, disease, and repair.

    PubMed

    Van Houcke, Jessie; De Groef, Lies; Dekeyster, Eline; Moons, Lieve

    2015-11-01

    Considering the increasing number of elderly in the world's population today, developing effective treatments for age-related pathologies is one of the biggest challenges in modern medical research. Age-related neurodegeneration, in particular, significantly impacts important sensory, motor, and cognitive functions, seriously constraining life quality of many patients. Although our understanding of the causal mechanisms of aging has greatly improved in recent years, animal model systems still have much to tell us about this complex process. Zebrafish (Danio rerio) have gained enormous popularity for this research topic over the past decade, since their life span is relatively short but, like humans, they are still subject to gradual aging. In addition, the extensive characterization of its well-conserved molecular and cellular physiology makes the zebrafish an excellent model to unravel the underlying mechanisms of aging, disease, and repair. This review provides a comprehensive overview of the progress made in zebrafish gerontology, with special emphasis on nervous system aging. We review the evidence that classic hallmarks of aging can also be recognized within this small vertebrate, both at the molecular and cellular level. Moreover, we illustrate the high level of similarity with age-associated human pathologies through a survey of the functional deficits that arise as zebrafish age. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. Fibroblast growth factor (Fgf) signaling pathway regulates liver homeostasis in zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Tsai, Su-Mei; Liu, Da-Wei; Wang, Wen-Pin

    2013-04-01

    In mammals, fibroblast growth factor (FGF) signaling controls liver specification and regulates the metabolism of lipids, cholesterol, and bile acids. FGF signaling also promotes hepatocyte proliferation, and helps detoxify hepatotoxin during liver regeneration after partial hepatectomy. However, the function of Fgf in zebrafish liver is not yet well understood, specifically for postnatal homeostasis. The current study analyzed the expression of fgf receptors (fgfrs) in the liver of zebrafish. We then investigated the function of Fgf signaling in the zebrafish liver by expressing a dominant-negative Fgf receptor in hepatocytes (lfabp:dnfgfr1-egfp, lf:dnfr). Histological analysis showed that our genetic intervention resulted in a small liver size with defected medial expansion of developing livers in transgenic (Tg) larvae. Morphologically, the liver lobe of lf:dnfr adult fish was shorter than that of control. Ballooning degeneration of hepatocytes was observed in fish as young as 3 months. Further examination revealed the development of hepatic steatosis and cholestasis. In adult Tg fish, we unexpectedly observed increased liver-to-body-weight ratios, with higher percentages of proliferating hepatocytes. Considering all these findings, we concluded that as in mammals, in adult zebrafish the metabolism of lipid and bile acids in the liver are regulated by Fgf signaling. Disruption of the Fgf signal-mediated metabolism might indirectly affect hepatocyte proliferation.

  17. NAD+ Biosynthesis Ameliorates a Zebrafish Model of Muscular Dystrophy

    PubMed Central

    Goody, Michelle F.; Kelly, Meghan W.; Reynolds, Christine J.; Khalil, Andre; Crawford, Bryan D.; Henry, Clarissa A.

    2012-01-01

    Muscular dystrophies are common, currently incurable diseases. A subset of dystrophies result from genetic disruptions in complexes that attach muscle fibers to their surrounding extracellular matrix microenvironment. Cell-matrix adhesions are exquisite sensors of physiological conditions and mediate responses that allow cells to adapt to changing conditions. Thus, one approach towards finding targets for future therapeutic applications is to identify cell adhesion pathways that mediate these dynamic, adaptive responses in vivo. We find that nicotinamide riboside kinase 2b-mediated NAD+ biosynthesis, which functions as a small molecule agonist of muscle fiber-extracellular matrix adhesion, corrects dystrophic phenotypes in zebrafish lacking either a primary component of the dystrophin-glycoprotein complex or integrin alpha7. Exogenous NAD+ or a vitamin precursor to NAD+ reduces muscle fiber degeneration and results in significantly faster escape responses in dystrophic embryos. Overexpression of paxillin, a cell adhesion protein downstream of NAD+ in this novel cell adhesion pathway, reduces muscle degeneration in zebrafish with intact integrin receptors but does not improve motility. Activation of this pathway significantly increases organization of laminin, a major component of the extracellular matrix basement membrane. Our results indicate that the primary protective effects of NAD+ result from changes to the basement membrane, as a wild-type basement membrane is sufficient to increase resilience of dystrophic muscle fibers to damage. The surprising result that NAD+ supplementation ameliorates dystrophy in dystrophin-glycoprotein complex– or integrin alpha7–deficient zebrafish suggests the existence of an additional laminin receptor complex that anchors muscle fibers to the basement membrane. We find that integrin alpha6 participates in this pathway, but either integrin alpha7 or the dystrophin-glycoprotein complex is required in conjunction with integrin

  18. The endocannabinoid system and associative learning and memory in zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Ruhl, Tim; Moesbauer, Kirstin; Oellers, Nadine; von der Emde, Gerhard

    2015-09-01

    In zebrafish the medial pallium of the dorsal telencephalon represents an amygdala homolog structure, which is crucially involved in emotional associative learning and memory. Similar to the mammalian amygdala, the medial pallium contains a high density of endocannabinoid receptor CB1. To elucidate the role of the zebrafish endocannabinoid system in associative learning, we tested the influence of acute and chronic administration of receptor agonists (THC, WIN55,212-2) and antagonists (Rimonabant, AM-281) on two different learning paradigms. In an appetitively motivated two-alternative choice paradigm, animals learned to associate a certain color with a food reward. In a second set-up, a fish shuttle-box, animals associated the onset of a light stimulus with the occurrence of a subsequent electric shock (avoidance conditioning). Once fish successfully had learned to solve these behavioral tasks, acute receptor activation or inactivation had no effect on memory retrieval, suggesting that established associative memories were stable and not alterable by the endocannabinoid system. In both learning tasks, chronic treatment with receptor antagonists improved acquisition learning, and additionally facilitated reversal learning during color discrimination. In contrast, chronic CB1 activation prevented aversively motivated acquisition learning, while different effects were found on appetitively motivated acquisition learning. While THC significantly improved behavioral performance, WIN55,212-2 significantly impaired color association. Our findings suggest that the zebrafish endocannabinoid system can modulate associative learning and memory. Stimulation of the CB1 receptor might play a more specific role in acquisition and storage of aversive learning and memory, while CB1 blocking induces general enhancement of cognitive functions. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  19. Midline signals regulate retinal neurogenesis in zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Masai, I; Stemple, D L; Okamoto, H; Wilson, S W

    2000-08-01

    In zebrafish, neuronal differentiation progresses across the retina in a pattern that is reminiscent of the neurogenic wave that sweeps across the developing eye in Drosophila. We show that expression of a zebrafish homolog of Drosophila atonal, ath5, sweeps across the eye predicting the wave of neuronal differentiation. By analyzing the regulation of ath5 expression, we have elucidated the mechanisms that regulate initiation and spread of neurogenesis in the retina. ath5 expression is lost in Nodal pathway mutant embryos lacking axial tissues that include the prechordal plate. A likely role for axial tissue is to induce optic stalk cells that subsequently regulate ath5 expression. Our results suggest that a series of inductive events, initiated from the prechordal plate and progressing from the optic stalks, regulates the spread of neuronal differentiation across the zebrafish retina.

  20. Tributyltin and Zebrafish: Swimming in Dangerous Water

    PubMed Central

    Berto-Júnior, Clemilson; de Carvalho, Denise Pires; Soares, Paula; Miranda-Alves, Leandro

    2018-01-01

    Zebrafish has been established as a reliable biological model with important insertion in academy (morphologic, biochemical, and pathophysiological studies) and pharmaceutical industry (toxicology and drug development) due to its molecular complexity and similar systems biology that recapitulate those from other organisms. Considering the toxicological aspects, many efforts using zebrafish models are being done in order to elucidate the effects of endocrine disruptors, and some of them are focused on tributyltin (TBT) and its mechanism of action. TBT is an antifouling agent applied in ship’s hull that is constantly released into the water and absorbed by marine organisms, leading to bioaccumulation and biomagnification effects. Thus, several findings of malformations and changes in the normal biochemical and physiologic aspects of these marine animals have been related to TBT contamination. In the present review, we have compiled the most significant studies related to TBT effects in zebrafish, also taking into consideration the effects found in other study models. PMID:29692757

  1. 15 years of zebrafish chemical screening

    PubMed Central

    Rennekamp, Andrew J.; Peterson, Randall T.

    2015-01-01

    In 2000, the first chemical screen using living zebrafish in a multi-well plate was reported. Since then, more than 60 additional screens have been published describing whole-organism drug and pathway discovery projects in zebrafish. To investigate the scope of the work reported in the last 14 years and to identify trends in the field, we analyzed the discovery strategies of 64 primary research articles from the literature. We found that zebrafish screens have expanded beyond the use of developmental phenotypes to include behavioral, cardiac, metabolic, proliferative and regenerative endpoints. Additionally, many creative strategies have been used to uncover the mechanisms of action of new small molecules including chemical phenocopy, genetic phenocopy, mutant rescue, and spatial localization strategies. PMID:25461724

  2. Expression and activity profiling of the steroidogenic enzymes of glucocorticoid biosynthesis and the fdx1 co-factors in zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Weger, M; Diotel, N; Weger, B D; Beil, T; Zaucker, A; Eachus, H L; Oakes, J A; do Rego, J L; Storbeck, K-H; Gut, P; Strähle, U; Rastegar, S; Müller, F; Krone, N

    2018-04-01

    The spatial and temporal expression of steroidogenic genes in zebrafish has not been fully characterised. Because zebrafish are increasingly employed in endocrine and stress research, a better characterisation of steroidogenic pathways is required to target specific steps in the biosynthetic pathways. In the present study, we have systematically defined the temporal and spatial expression of steroidogenic enzymes involved in glucocorticoid biosynthesis (cyp21a2, cyp11c1, cyp11a1, cyp11a2, cyp17a1, cyp17a2, hsd3b1, hsd3b2), as well as the mitochondrial electron-providing ferredoxin co-factors (fdx1, fdx1b), during zebrafish development. Our studies showed an early expression of all these genes during embryogenesis. In larvae, expression of cyp11a2, cyp11c1, cyp17a2, cyp21a2, hsd3b1 and fdx1b can be detected in the interrenal gland, which is the zebrafish counterpart of the mammalian adrenal gland, whereas the fdx1 transcript is mainly found in the digestive system. Gene expression studies using quantitative reverse transcriptase-PCR and whole-mount in situ hybridisation in the adult zebrafish brain revealed a wide expression of these genes throughout the encephalon, including neurogenic regions. Using ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry, we were able to demonstrate the presence of the glucocorticoid cortisol in the adult zebrafish brain. Moreover, we demonstrate de novo biosynthesis of cortisol and the neurosteroid tetrahydrodeoxycorticosterone in the adult zebrafish brain from radiolabelled pregnenolone. Taken together, the present study comprises a comprehensive characterisation of the steroidogenic genes and the fdx co-factors facilitating glucocorticoid biosynthesis in zebrafish. Furthermore, we provide additional evidence of de novo neurosteroid biosynthesising in the brain of adult zebrafish facilitated by enzymes involved in glucocorticoid biosynthesis. Our study provides a valuable source for establishing the zebrafish as a

  3. Caspase-mediated apoptosis induction in zebrafish cerebellar Purkinje neurons.

    PubMed

    Weber, Thomas; Namikawa, Kazuhiko; Winter, Barbara; Müller-Brown, Karina; Kühn, Ralf; Wurst, Wolfgang; Köster, Reinhard W

    2016-11-15

    The zebrafish is a well-established model organism in which to study in vivo mechanisms of cell communication, differentiation and function. Existing cell ablation methods are either invasive or they rely on the cellular expression of prokaryotic enzymes and the use of antibiotic drugs as cell death-inducing compounds. We have recently established a novel inducible genetic cell ablation system based on tamoxifen-inducible Caspase 8 activity, thereby exploiting mechanisms of cell death intrinsic to most cell types. Here, we prove its suitability in vivo by monitoring the ablation of cerebellar Purkinje cells (PCs) in transgenic zebrafish that co-express the inducible caspase and a fluorescent reporter. Incubation of larvae in tamoxifen for 8 h activated endogenous Caspase 3 and cell death, whereas incubation for 16 h led to the near-complete loss of PCs by apoptosis. We observed synchronous cell death autonomous to the PC population and phagocytosing microglia in the cerebellum, reminiscent of developmental apoptosis in the forebrain. Thus, induction of apoptosis through targeted activation of caspase by tamoxifen (ATTAC TM ) further expands the repertoire of genetic tools for conditional interrogation of cellular functions. © 2016. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

  4. Identification and expression analysis of zebrafish glypicans during embryonic development.

    PubMed

    Gupta, Mansi; Brand, Michael

    2013-01-01

    Heparan sulfate Proteoglycans (HSPG) are ubiquitous molecules with indispensable functions in various biological processes. Glypicans are a family of HSPG's, characterized by a Gpi-anchor which directs them to the cell surface and/or extracellular matrix where they regulate growth factor signaling during development and disease. We report the identification and expression pattern of glypican genes from zebrafish. The zebrafish genome contains 10 glypican homologs, as opposed to six in mammals, which are highly conserved and are phylogenetically related to the mammalian genes. Some of the fish glypicans like Gpc1a, Gpc3, Gpc4, Gpc6a and Gpc6b show conserved synteny with their mammalian cognate genes. Many glypicans are expressed during the gastrulation stage, but their expression becomes more tissue specific and defined during somitogenesis stages, particularly in the developing central nervous system. Existence of multiple glypican orthologs in fish with diverse expression pattern suggests highly specialized and/or redundant function of these genes during embryonic development.

  5. Optical manipulation for optogenetics: otoliths manipulation in zebrafish (Conference Presentation)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Favre-Bulle, Itia A.; Scott, Ethan; Rubinsztein-Dunlop, Halina

    2016-03-01

    Otoliths play an important role in Zebrafish in terms of hearing and sense of balance. Many studies have been conducted to understand its structure and function, however the encoding of its movement in the brain remains unknown. Here we developed a noninvasive system capable of manipulating the otolith using optical trapping while we image its behavioral response and brain activity. We'll also present our tools for behavioral response detection and brain activity mapping. Acceleration is sensed through movements of the otoliths in the inner ear. Because experimental manipulations involve movements, electrophysiology and fluorescence microscopy are difficult. As a result, the neural codes underlying acceleration sensation are poorly understood. We have developed a technique for optically trapping otoliths, allowing us to simulate acceleration in stationary larval zebrafish. By applying forces to the otoliths, we can elicit behavioral responses consistent with compensation for perceived acceleration. Since the animal is stationary, we can use calcium imaging in these animals' brains to identify the functional circuits responsible for mediating responses to acceleration in natural settings.

  6. N-cadherin is required for cytodifferentiation during zebrafish odontogenesis.

    PubMed

    Verstraeten, B; van Hengel, J; Sanders, E; Van Roy, F; Huysseune, A

    2013-04-01

    N-cadherin is a well-studied classic cadherin involved in multiple developmental processes and is also known to have a signaling function. Using the zebrafish (Danio rerio) as a model, we tested the hypothesis that tooth morphogenesis is accompanied by dynamic changes in N-cadherin distribution and that absence of N-cadherin disturbs tooth development. N-cadherin, encoded by the gene cdh2, is absent during the initiation and morphogenesis stages of both primary (first-generation) and replacement teeth, as demonstrated by immunohistochemistry. However, N-cadherin is up-regulated at the onset of differentiation of cells of the inner dental epithelium and the dental papilla, i.e., the ameloblasts and odontoblasts, respectively. In the inner dental epithelium, N-cadherin is co-expressed with E-cadherin, excluding the occurrence of cadherin switching such as observed during human tooth development. While early lethality of N-cadherin knockout mice prevents any functional study of N-cadherin in mouse odontogenesis, zebrafish parachute (pac) mutants, deficient for N-cadherin, survive beyond the age when primary teeth normally start to form. In these mutants, the first tooth forms, but its development stops at the early cytodifferentiation stage. N-cadherin deficiency also completely inhibits the development of the other first-generation teeth, possibly due to the absence of N-cadherin signaling once the first tooth has differentiated.

  7. Culturable Gut Microbiota Diversity in Zebrafish

    PubMed Central

    Sørby, Jan Roger Torp; Aleström, Peter; Sørum, Henning

    2012-01-01

    Abstract The zebrafish (Danio rerio) is an increasingly used laboratory animal model in basic biology and biomedicine, novel drug development, and toxicology. The wide use has increased the demand for optimized husbandry protocols to ensure animal health care and welfare. The knowledge about the correlation between culturable zebrafish intestinal microbiota and health in relation to environmental factors and management procedures is very limited. A semi-quantitative level of growth of individual types of bacteria was determined and associated with sampling points. A total of 72 TAB line zebrafish from four laboratories (Labs A–D) in the Zebrafish Network Norway were used. Diagnostic was based on traditional bacterial culture methods and biochemical characterization using commercial kits, followed by 16S rDNA gene sequencing from pure subcultures. Also selected Gram-negative isolates were analyzed for antibiotic susceptibility to 8 different antibiotics. A total of 13 morphologically different bacterial species were the most prevalent: Aeromonas hydrophila, Aeromonas sobria, Vibrio parahaemolyticus, Photobacterium damselae, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Pseudomonas fluorescens, Pseudomonas luteola, Comamonas testosteroni, Ochrobactrum anthropi, Staphylococcus cohnii, Staphylococcus epidermidis, Staphylococcus capitis, and Staphylococcus warneri. Only Lab B had significantly higher levels of total bacterial growth (OR=2.03), whereas numbers from Lab C (OR=1.01) and Lab D (OR=1.12) were found to be similar to the baseline Lab A. Sexually immature individuals had a significantly higher level of harvested total bacterial growth than mature fish (OR=0.82), no statistically significant differences were found between male and female fish (OR=1.01), and the posterior intestinal segment demonstrated a higher degree of culturable bacteria than the anterior segment (OR=4.1). Multiple antibiotic (>3) resistance was observed in 17% of the strains. We propose that a rapid

  8. Culturable gut microbiota diversity in zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Cantas, Leon; Sørby, Jan Roger Torp; Aleström, Peter; Sørum, Henning

    2012-03-01

    The zebrafish (Danio rerio) is an increasingly used laboratory animal model in basic biology and biomedicine, novel drug development, and toxicology. The wide use has increased the demand for optimized husbandry protocols to ensure animal health care and welfare. The knowledge about the correlation between culturable zebrafish intestinal microbiota and health in relation to environmental factors and management procedures is very limited. A semi-quantitative level of growth of individual types of bacteria was determined and associated with sampling points. A total of 72 TAB line zebrafish from four laboratories (Labs A-D) in the Zebrafish Network Norway were used. Diagnostic was based on traditional bacterial culture methods and biochemical characterization using commercial kits, followed by 16S rDNA gene sequencing from pure subcultures. Also selected Gram-negative isolates were analyzed for antibiotic susceptibility to 8 different antibiotics. A total of 13 morphologically different bacterial species were the most prevalent: Aeromonas hydrophila, Aeromonas sobria, Vibrio parahaemolyticus, Photobacterium damselae, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Pseudomonas fluorescens, Pseudomonas luteola, Comamonas testosteroni, Ochrobactrum anthropi, Staphylococcus cohnii, Staphylococcus epidermidis, Staphylococcus capitis, and Staphylococcus warneri. Only Lab B had significantly higher levels of total bacterial growth (OR=2.03), whereas numbers from Lab C (OR=1.01) and Lab D (OR=1.12) were found to be similar to the baseline Lab A. Sexually immature individuals had a significantly higher level of harvested total bacterial growth than mature fish (OR=0.82), no statistically significant differences were found between male and female fish (OR=1.01), and the posterior intestinal segment demonstrated a higher degree of culturable bacteria than the anterior segment (OR=4.1). Multiple antibiotic (>3) resistance was observed in 17% of the strains. We propose that a rapid conventional

  9. Optogenetic Activation of Zebrafish Somatosensory Neurons using ChEF-tdTomato

    PubMed Central

    Palanca, Ana Marie S.; Sagasti, Alvaro

    2013-01-01

    Larval zebrafish are emerging as a model for describing the development and function of simple neural circuits. Due to their external fertilization, rapid development, and translucency, zebrafish are particularly well suited for optogenetic approaches to investigate neural circuit function. In this approach, light-sensitive ion channels are expressed in specific neurons, enabling the experimenter to activate or inhibit them at will and thus assess their contribution to specific behaviors. Applying these methods in larval zebrafish is conceptually simple but requires the optimization of technical details. Here we demonstrate a procedure for expressing a channelrhodopsin variant in larval zebrafish somatosensory neurons, photo-activating single cells, and recording the resulting behaviors. By introducing a few modifications to previously established methods, this approach could be used to elicit behavioral responses from single neurons activated up to at least 4 days post-fertilization (dpf). Specifically, we created a transgene using a somatosensory neuron enhancer, CREST3, to drive the expression of the tagged channelrhodopsin variant, ChEF-tdTomato. Injecting this transgene into 1-cell stage embryos results in mosaic expression in somatosensory neurons, which can be imaged with confocal microscopy. Illuminating identified cells in these animals with light from a 473 nm DPSS laser, guided through a fiber optic cable, elicits behaviors that can be recorded with a high-speed video camera and analyzed quantitatively. This technique could be adapted to study behaviors elicited by activating any zebrafish neuron. Combining this approach with genetic or pharmacological perturbations will be a powerful way to investigate circuit formation and function. PMID:23407374

  10. Characterization of the fusion core in zebrafish endogenous retroviral envelope protein

    SciT

    Shi, Jian; State Key Laboratory of Virology, Wuhan Institute of Virology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Wuhan, Hubei 430071; Zhang, Huaidong

    2015-05-08

    Zebrafish endogenous retrovirus (ZFERV) is the unique endogenous retrovirus in zebrafish, as yet, containing intact open reading frames of its envelope protein gene in zebrafish genome. Similarly, several envelope proteins of endogenous retroviruses in human and other mammalian animal genomes (such as syncytin-1 and 2 in human, syncytin-A and B in mouse) were identified and shown to be functional in induction of cell–cell fusion involved in placental development. ZFERV envelope protein (Env) gene appears to be also functional in vivo because it is expressible. After sequence alignment, we found ZFERV Env shares similar structural profiles with syncytin and other type Imore » viral envelopes, especially in the regions of N- and C-terminal heptad repeats (NHR and CHR) which were crucial for membrane fusion. We expressed the regions of N + C protein in the ZFERV Env (residues 459–567, including predicted NHR and CHR) to characterize the fusion core structure. We found N + C protein could form a stable coiled-coil trimer that consists of three helical NHR regions forming a central trimeric core, and three helical CHR regions packing into the grooves on the surface of the central core. The structural characterization of the fusion core revealed the possible mechanism of fusion mediated by ZFERV Env. These results gave comprehensive explanation of how the ancient virus infects the zebrafish and integrates into the genome million years ago, and showed a rational clue for discovery of physiological significance (e.g., medicate cell–cell fusion). - Highlights: • ZFERV Env shares similar structural profiles with syncytin and other type I viral envelopes. • The fusion core of ZFERV Env forms stable coiled-coil trimer including three NHRs and three CHRs. • The structural mechanism of viral entry mediated by ZFERV Env is disclosed. • The results are helpful for further discovery of physiological function of ZFERV Env in zebrafish.« less

  11. Zebrafish embryo developmental toxicology assay.

    PubMed

    Panzica-Kelly, Julieta M; Zhang, Cindy X; Augustine-Rauch, Karen

    2012-01-01

    A promising in vitro zebrafish developmental toxicology assay was generated to test compounds for their teratogenic potential. The assay's predictivity is approximately 87% in AB strain fish (Brannen KC et al., Birth Defects Res B Dev Reprod Toxicol 89:66-77, 2010). The procedure entails exposing dechorionated gastrulation-stage embryos to a range of compound concentrations for 5 days throughout embryonic and larva development. The larvae are evaluated for viability in order to identify an LC25 (the compound concentration in which 25% lethality is observed) and morphological anomalies using a numerical score system to identify the NOAEL (no observed adverse effect level). These values are used to calculate the teratogenic index (LC25/NOAEL ratio) of each compound. If the teratogenic index is equal to or greater than 10 then the compound is classified as a teratogen, and if the ratio is less than 10 then the compound is classified as a nonteratogen (Brannen KC et al., Birth Defects Res B Dev Reprod Toxicol 89:66-77, 2010).

  12. Glyphosate induces neurotoxicity in zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Roy, Nicole M; Carneiro, Bruno; Ochs, Jeremy

    2016-03-01

    Glyphosate based herbicides (GBH) like Roundup(®) are used extensively in agriculture as well as in urban and rural settings as a broad spectrum herbicide. Its mechanism of action was thought to be specific only to plants and thus considered safe and non-toxic. However, mounting evidence suggests that GBHs may not be as safe as once thought as initial studies in frogs suggest that GBHs may be teratogenic. Here we utilize the zebrafish vertebrate model system to study early effects of glyphosate exposure using technical grade glyphosate and the Roundup(®) Classic formulation. We find morphological abnormalities including cephalic and eye reductions and a loss of delineated brain ventricles. Concomitant with structural changes in the developing brain, using in situ hybridization analysis, we detect decreases in genes expressed in the eye, fore and midbrain regions of the brain including pax2, pax6, otx2 and ephA4. However, we do not detect changes in hindbrain expression domains of ephA4 nor exclusive hindbrain markers krox-20 and hoxb1a. Additionally, using a Retinoic Acid (RA) mediated reporter transgenic, we detect no alterations in the RA expression domains in the hindbrain and spinal cord, but do detect a loss of expression in the retina. We conclude that glyphosate and the Roundup(®) formulation is developmentally toxic to the forebrain and midbrain but does not affect the hindbrain after 24 h exposure. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. The role of Sox6 in zebrafish muscle fiber type specification.

    PubMed

    Jackson, Harriet E; Ono, Yosuke; Wang, Xingang; Elworthy, Stone; Cunliffe, Vincent T; Ingham, Philip W

    2015-01-01

    The transcription factor Sox6 has been implicated in regulating muscle fiber type-specific gene expression in mammals. In zebrafish, loss of function of the transcription factor Prdm1a results in a slow to fast-twitch fiber type transformation presaged by ectopic expression of sox6 in slow-twitch progenitors. Morpholino-mediated Sox6 knockdown can suppress this transformation but causes ectopic expression of only one of three slow-twitch specific genes assayed. Here, we use gain and loss of function analysis to analyse further the role of Sox6 in zebrafish muscle fiber type specification. The GAL4 binary misexpression system was used to express Sox6 ectopically in zebrafish embryos. Cis-regulatory elements were characterized using transgenic fish. Zinc finger nuclease mediated targeted mutagenesis was used to analyse the effects of loss of Sox6 function in embryonic, larval and adult zebrafish. Zebrafish transgenic for the GCaMP3 Calcium reporter were used to assay Ca2+ transients in wild-type and mutant muscle fibres. Ectopic Sox6 expression is sufficient to downregulate slow-twitch specific gene expression in zebrafish embryos. Cis-regulatory elements upstream of the slow myosin heavy chain 1 (smyhc1) and slow troponin c (tnnc1b) genes contain putative Sox6 binding sites required for repression of the former but not the latter. Embryos homozygous for sox6 null alleles expressed tnnc1b throughout the fast-twitch muscle whereas other slow-specific muscle genes, including smyhc1, were expressed ectopically in only a subset of fast-twitch fibers. Ca2+ transients in sox6 mutant fast-twitch fibers were intermediate in their speed and amplitude between those of wild-type slow- and fast-twitch fibers. sox6 homozygotes survived to adulthood and exhibited continued misexpression of tnnc1b as well as smaller slow-twitch fibers. They also exhibited a striking curvature of the spine. The Sox6 transcription factor is a key regulator of fast-twitch muscle fiber differentiation

  14. Curcumin affects development of zebrafish embryo.

    PubMed

    Wu, Jheng-Yu; Lin, Chin-Yi; Lin, Tien-Wei; Ken, Chuian-Fu; Wen, Yu-Der

    2007-07-01

    Embryotoxic and teratogenic effects of curcumin on the development of zebrafish embryo were investi-gated in this study. The LD(50) values of curcumin (24-h incubation) were estimated at 7.5 microM and 5 microM for embryos and larvae, respectively. The developmental defects caused by curcumin treatments include bent or hook-like tails, spinal column curving, edema in pericardial sac, retarded yolk sac resorption, and shorter body length. In curcumin-treated larvae, fluorescence signals of curcumin were found in edamae sac and some skin cells. Together, these results indicate that zebrafish are suitable model organisms to study the toxic effects of curcumin.

  15. Shp2–Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase Signaling Drives Proliferation during Zebrafish Embryo Caudal Fin Fold Regeneration

    PubMed Central

    Hale, Alexander James

    2017-01-01

    ABSTRACT Regeneration of the zebrafish caudal fin following amputation occurs through wound healing, followed by formation of a blastema, which produces cells to replace the lost tissue in the final phase of regenerative outgrowth. We show that ptpn11a−/− ptpn11b−/− zebrafish embryos, lacking functional Shp2, fail to regenerate their caudal fin folds. Rescue experiments indicated that Shp2a has a functional signaling role, requiring its catalytic activity and SH2 domains but not the two C-terminal tyrosine phosphorylation sites. Surprisingly, expression of Shp2a variants with increased and reduced catalytic activity, respectively, rescued caudal fin fold regeneration to similar extents. Expression of mmp9 and junbb, indicative of formation of the wound epidermis and distal blastema, respectively, suggested that these processes occurred in ptpn11a−/− ptpn11b−/− zebrafish embryos. However, cell proliferation and MAPK phosphorylation were reduced. Pharmacological inhibition of MEK1 in wild-type zebrafish embryos phenocopied loss of Shp2. Our results suggest an essential role for Shp2a–mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling in promoting cell proliferation during zebrafish embryo caudal fin fold regeneration. PMID:29203641

  16. Use of a highly transparent zebrafish mutant for investigations in the development of the vertebrate auditory system (Conference Presentation)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wisniowiecki, Anna M.; Mattison, Scott P.; Kim, Sangmin; Riley, Bruce; Applegate, Brian E.

    2016-03-01

    Zebrafish, an auditory specialist among fish, offer analogous auditory structures to vertebrates and is a model for hearing and deafness in vertebrates, including humans. Nevertheless, many questions remain on the basic mechanics of the auditory pathway. Phase-sensitive Optical Coherence Tomography has been proven as valuable technique for functional vibrometric measurements in the murine ear. Such measurements are key to building a complete understanding of auditory mechanics. The application of such techniques in the zebrafish is impeded by the high level of pigmentation, which develops superior to the transverse plane and envelops the auditory system superficially. A zebrafish double mutant for nacre and roy (mitfa-/- ;roya-/- [casper]), which exhibits defects for neural-crest derived melanocytes and iridophores, at all stages of development, is pursued to improve image quality and sensitivity for functional imaging. So far our investigations with the casper mutants have enabled the identification of the specialized hearing organs, fluid-filled canal connecting the ears, and sub-structures of the semicircular canals. In our previous work with wild-type zebrafish, we were only able to identify and observe stimulated vibration of the largest structures, specifically the anterior swim bladder and tripus ossicle, even among small, larval specimen, with fully developed inner ears. In conclusion, this genetic mutant will enable the study of the dynamics of the zebrafish ear from the early larval stages all the way into adulthood.

  17. Associative learning performance is impaired in zebrafish (Danio rerio) by the NMDA-R antagonist MK-801

    PubMed Central

    Sison, Margarette; Gerlai, Robert

    2011-01-01

    The zebrafish is gaining popularity in behavioral neuroscience perhaps because of a promise of efficient large scale mutagenesis and drug screens that could identify a substantial number of yet undiscovered molecular players involved in complex traits. Learning and memory are complex functions of the brain and the analysis of their mechanisms may benefit from such large scale zebrafish screens. One bottleneck in this research is the paucity of appropriate behavioral screening paradigms, which may be due to the relatively uncharacterized nature of the behavior of this species. Here we show that zebrafish exhibit good learning performance in a task adapted from the mammalian literature, a plus maze in which zebrafish are required to associate a neutral visual stimulus with the presence of conspecifics, the rewarding unconditioned stimulus. Furthermore, we show that MK-801, a non-competitive NMDA-R antagonist, impairs memory performance in this maze when administered right after training or just before recall but not when given before training at a dose that does not impair motor function, perception or motivation. These results suggest that the plus maze associative learning paradigm has face and construct validity and that zebrafish may become an appropriate and translationally relevant study species for the analysis of the mechanisms of vertebrate, including mammalian, learning and memory. PMID:21596149

  18. [Generation and phenotype analysis of zebrafish mutations of obesity-related genes lepr and mc4r].

    PubMed

    Fei, Fei; Sun, Shao-Yang; Yao, Yu-Xiao; Wang, Xu

    2017-02-25

    Obesity has become a severe public health problem across the world, and seriously affects the health and life quality of human beings. Here we generated lepr and mc4r mutant zebrafish via the CRISPR/Cas9 technique, and performed morphological and functional characterizations of those mutants. We observed that there was no significant phenotypic difference between homozygous mutants and wild-type controls before 2.5 months post-fertilization (mpf). However, the adult lepr -/- and mc4r -/- individuals displayed increased food intake, heavier weight, and higher body fat percentage, the characteristics of obesity phenotypes. Blood glucose test showed that overfeeding induced significantly impaired glucose tolerance in adult lepr -/- and mc4r -/- zebrafish. Furthermore, we analyzed 76 energy metabolism-related transcripts in lepr -/- and mc4r -/- zebrafish livers by using real-time RT-PCR, and compared the results with the published microarray data of Lep ob/ob mouse livers, and found that the changes in the expression of insulin/IGF signaling (IIS) pathway genes in lepr -/- zebrafish and Lep ob/ob mouse were positively correlated, suggesting that the IIS pathway maintains functional conservation between zebrafish and mammals during the evolution of the obesity-regulating molecule network.

  19. Acute toxicity of dichloroacetonitrile (DCAN), a typical nitrogenous disinfection by-product (N-DBP), on zebrafish (Danio rerio).

    PubMed

    Lin, Tao; Zhou, Dongju; Dong, Jian; Jiang, Fuchun; Chen, Wei

    2016-11-01

    Dichloroacetonitrile (DCAN) is a typical nitrogenous disinfection by-product (N-DBP) and its toxicity on aquatic animals is investigated for the first time. The present study was designed to investigate the potential adverse effects of DCAN on zebrafish. DCAN could induce developmental toxicity to zebrafish embryos. A significant decrease in hatchability and an increase in malformation and mortality occurred when DCAN concentration was above 100µg/L. Heart function alteration and neuronal function disturbance occurred at concentration higher than 500 and 100µg/L, respectively. Further, DCAN was easily accumulated in adult zebrafish. The rank order of declining bioconcentration factor (BCF) was liver (1240-1670)> gill (1210-1430)> muscle (644-877). DCAN caused acute metabolism damage to adult zebrafish especially at 8 days exposure, at which time the "Integrated Biomarker Response" (IBR) index value reached 798 at 1mg/L DCAN dose. Acute DNA damage was induced to adult zebrafish by DCAN even at 10µg/L dose. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. Distinct interactions of Sox5 and Sox10 in fate specification of pigment cells in medaka and zebrafish

    PubMed Central

    Nagao, Yusuke; Takada, Hiroyuki; Miyadai, Motohiro; Adachi, Tomoko; Kamei, Yasuhiro; Hara, Ikuyo; Naruse, Kiyoshi; Hibi, Masahiko

    2018-01-01

    Mechanisms generating diverse cell types from multipotent progenitors are fundamental for normal development. Pigment cells are derived from multipotent neural crest cells and their diversity in teleosts provides an excellent model for studying mechanisms controlling fate specification of distinct cell types. Zebrafish have three types of pigment cells (melanocytes, iridophores and xanthophores) while medaka have four (three shared with zebrafish, plus leucophores), raising questions about how conserved mechanisms of fate specification of each pigment cell type are in these fish. We have previously shown that the Sry-related transcription factor Sox10 is crucial for fate specification of pigment cells in zebrafish, and that Sox5 promotes xanthophores and represses leucophores in a shared xanthophore/leucophore progenitor in medaka. Employing TILLING, TALEN and CRISPR/Cas9 technologies, we generated medaka and zebrafish sox5 and sox10 mutants and conducted comparative analyses of their compound mutant phenotypes. We show that specification of all pigment cells, except leucophores, is dependent on Sox10. Loss of Sox5 in Sox10-defective fish partially rescued the formation of all pigment cells in zebrafish, and melanocytes and iridophores in medaka, suggesting that Sox5 represses Sox10-dependent formation of these pigment cells, similar to their interaction in mammalian melanocyte specification. In contrast, in medaka, loss of Sox10 acts cooperatively with Sox5, enhancing both xanthophore reduction and leucophore increase in sox5 mutants. Misexpression of Sox5 in the xanthophore/leucophore progenitors increased xanthophores and reduced leucophores in medaka. Thus, the mode of Sox5 function in xanthophore specification differs between medaka (promoting) and zebrafish (repressing), which is also the case in adult fish. Our findings reveal surprising diversity in even the mode of the interactions between Sox5 and Sox10 governing specification of pigment cell types in

  1. Genome Editing to Study Ca2+ Homeostasis in Zebrafish Cone Photoreceptors.

    PubMed

    Brockerhoff, Susan E

    2017-01-01

    Photoreceptors are specialized sensory neurons with unique biological features. Phototransduction is well understood due in part to the exclusive expression and function of the molecular components of this cascade. Many other processes are less well understood, but also extremely important for understanding photoreceptor function and for treating disease. One example is the role of Ca 2+ in the cell body and overall compartmentalization and regulation of Ca 2+ within the cell. The recent development of CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing techniques has made it possible to rapidly and cheaply alter specific genes. This will help to define the biological function of elusive processes that have been more challenging to study. CRISPR/Cas9 has been optimized in many systems including zebrafish, which already has some distinct advantages for studying photoreceptor biology and function. These new genome editing technologies and the continued use of the zebrafish model system will help advance our understanding of important understudied aspects of photoreceptor biology.

  2. Zebrafish atoh1 genes: classic proneural activity in the inner ear and regulation by Fgf and Notch.

    PubMed

    Millimaki, Bonny B; Sweet, Elly M; Dhason, Mary S; Riley, Bruce B

    2007-01-01

    Hair cells of the inner ear develop from an equivalence group marked by expression of the proneural gene Atoh1. In mouse, Atoh1 is necessary for hair cell differentiation, but its role in specifying the equivalence group (proneural function) has been questioned and little is known about its upstream activators. We have addressed these issues in zebrafish. Two zebrafish homologs, atoh1a and atoh1b, are together necessary for hair cell development. These genes crossregulate each other but are differentially required during distinct developmental periods, first in the preotic placode and later in the otic vesicle. Interactions with the Notch pathway confirm that atoh1 genes have early proneural function. Fgf3 and Fgf8 are upstream activators of atoh1 genes during both phases, and foxi1, pax8 and dlx genes regulate atoh1b in the preplacode. A model is presented in which zebrafish atoh1 genes operate in a complex network leading to hair cell development.

  3. Zebrafish collagen XII is present in embryonic connective tissue sheaths (fascia) and basement membranes.

    PubMed

    Bader, Hannah L; Keene, Douglas R; Charvet, Benjamin; Veit, Guido; Driever, Wolfgang; Koch, Manuel; Ruggiero, Florence

    2009-01-01

    Connective tissues ensure the cohesion of the tissues of the body, but also form specialized structures such as tendon and bone. Collagen XII may enhance the stability of connective tissues by bridging collagen fibrils, but its function is still unclear. Here, we used the zebrafish model to visualize its expression pattern in the whole organism. The zebrafish col12a1 gene is homologous to the small isoform of the tetrapod col12a1 gene. In agreement with the biochemical data reported for the small isoform, the zebrafish collagen XII alpha1 chain was characterized as a collagenase sensitive band migrating at approximately 200 kDa. Using newly generated polyclonal antibodies and anti-sense probes, we performed a comprehensive analysis of its expression in developing zebrafish. Collagen XII exhibited a much broader expression pattern than previously thought: it was ubiquitously expressed in the connective tissue sheaths (fascia) that encase the tissues and organs of the body. For example, it was found in sclera, meninges, epimysia and horizontal and vertical myosepta. Collagen XII was also detected in head mesenchyme, pharyngeal arches and within the spinal cord, where it was first expressed within and then at the lateral borders of the floor plate and at the dorsal midline. Furthermore, double immunofluorescence staining with laminin and immunogold electron microscopy revealed that collagen XII is associated with basement membranes. These data suggest that collagen XII is implicated in tissue cohesion by stabilizing fascia and by linking fascia to basement membranes.

  4. Data-driven modelling of social forces and collective behaviour in zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Zienkiewicz, Adam K; Ladu, Fabrizio; Barton, David A W; Porfiri, Maurizio; Bernardo, Mario Di

    2018-04-14

    Zebrafish are rapidly emerging as a powerful model organism in hypothesis-driven studies targeting a number of functional and dysfunctional processes. Mathematical models of zebrafish behaviour can inform the design of experiments, through the unprecedented ability to perform pilot trials on a computer. At the same time, in-silico experiments could help refining the analysis of real data, by enabling the systematic investigation of key neurobehavioural factors. Here, we establish a data-driven model of zebrafish social interaction. Specifically, we derive a set of interaction rules to capture the primary response mechanisms which have been observed experimentally. Contrary to previous studies, we include dynamic speed regulation in addition to turning responses, which together provide attractive, repulsive and alignment interactions between individuals. The resulting multi-agent model provides a novel, bottom-up framework to describe both the spontaneous motion and individual-level interaction dynamics of zebrafish, inferred directly from experimental observations. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. The transcriptional activator ZNF143 is essential for normal development in zebrafish

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background ZNF143 is a sequence-specific DNA-binding protein that stimulates transcription of both small RNA genes by RNA polymerase II or III, or protein-coding genes by RNA polymerase II, using separable activating domains. We describe phenotypic effects following knockdown of this protein in developing Danio rerio (zebrafish) embryos by injection of morpholino antisense oligonucleotides that target znf143 mRNA. Results The loss of function phenotype is pleiotropic and includes a broad array of abnormalities including defects in heart, blood, ear and midbrain hindbrain boundary. Defects are rescued by coinjection of synthetic mRNA encoding full-length ZNF143 protein, but not by protein lacking the amino-terminal activation domains. Accordingly, expression of several marker genes is affected following knockdown, including GATA-binding protein 1 (gata1), cardiac myosin light chain 2 (cmlc2) and paired box gene 2a (pax2a). The zebrafish pax2a gene proximal promoter contains two binding sites for ZNF143, and reporter gene transcription driven by this promoter in transfected cells is activated by this protein. Conclusions Normal development of zebrafish embryos requires ZNF143. Furthermore, the pax2a gene is probably one example of many protein-coding gene targets of ZNF143 during zebrafish development. PMID:22268977

  6. The transcriptional activator ZNF143 is essential for normal development in zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Halbig, Kari M; Lekven, Arne C; Kunkel, Gary R

    2012-01-23

    ZNF143 is a sequence-specific DNA-binding protein that stimulates transcription of both small RNA genes by RNA polymerase II or III, or protein-coding genes by RNA polymerase II, using separable activating domains. We describe phenotypic effects following knockdown of this protein in developing Danio rerio (zebrafish) embryos by injection of morpholino antisense oligonucleotides that target znf143 mRNA. The loss of function phenotype is pleiotropic and includes a broad array of abnormalities including defects in heart, blood, ear and midbrain hindbrain boundary. Defects are rescued by coinjection of synthetic mRNA encoding full-length ZNF143 protein, but not by protein lacking the amino-terminal activation domains. Accordingly, expression of several marker genes is affected following knockdown, including GATA-binding protein 1 (gata1), cardiac myosin light chain 2 (cmlc2) and paired box gene 2a (pax2a). The zebrafish pax2a gene proximal promoter contains two binding sites for ZNF143, and reporter gene transcription driven by this promoter in transfected cells is activated by this protein. Normal development of zebrafish embryos requires ZNF143. Furthermore, the pax2a gene is probably one example of many protein-coding gene targets of ZNF143 during zebrafish development.

  7. Effects of cadmium, manganese, and lead on locomotor activity and neurexin 2a expression in zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Tu, Hongwei; Fan, Chengji; Chen, Xiaohui; Liu, Jiaxian; Wang, Bin; Huang, Zhibin; Zhang, Yiyue; Meng, Xiaojing; Zou, Fei

    2017-08-01

    The synaptic adhesion protein Neurexin 2a (Nrxn2a) plays a key role in neuronal development and is associated with cognitive functioning and locomotor behavior. Although low-level metal exposure poses a potential risk to the human nervous system, especially during the developmental stages, little is known about the effects of metal exposures on nrxn2a expression during embryonic development. We therefore exposed wild-type zebrafish embryos/larvae to cadmium (CdCl 2 ), manganese (MnCl 2 ), and lead ([CH 3 COO] 2 Pb), to determine their effect on mortality, malformation, and hatching rate. Concentrations of these metals in zebrafish were detected by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry analysis. Locomotor activity of zebrafish larvae was analyzed using a video-track tracking system. Expression of nrxn2a was assessed by in situ hybridization and quantitative polymerase chain reaction. The results showed that mortality, malformation, and bioaccumulation increased as the exposure dosages and duration increased. Developmental exposure to these metals significantly reduced larval swim distance and velocity. The nrxn2aa and nrxn2ab genes were expressed in the central nervous system and downregulated by almost all of the 3 metals, especially Pb. These data demonstrate that exposure to metals downregulates nrxn2a in the zebrafish model system, and this is likely linked to concurrent developmental processes. Environ Toxicol Chem 2017;36:2147-2154. © 2017 SETAC. © 2017 SETAC.

  8. Light signaling to the zebrafish circadian clock by Cryptochrome 1a

    PubMed Central

    Tamai, T. Katherine; Young, Lucy C.; Whitmore, David

    2007-01-01

    Zebrafish tissues and cells have the unusual feature of not only containing a circadian clock, but also being directly light-responsive. Several zebrafish genes are induced by light, but little is known about their role in clock resetting or the mechanism by which this might occur. Here we show that Cryptochrome 1a (Cry1a) plays a key role in light entrainment of the zebrafish clock. Intensity and phase response curves reveal a strong correlation between light induction of Cry1a and clock resetting. Overexpression studies show that Cry1a acts as a potent repressor of clock function and mimics the effect of constant light to “stop” the circadian oscillator. Yeast two-hybrid analysis demonstrates that the Cry1a protein interacts directly with specific regions of core clock components, CLOCK and BMAL, blocking their ability to fully dimerize and transactivate downstream targets, providing a likely mechanism for clock resetting. A comparison of entrainment of zebrafish cells to complete versus skeleton photoperiods reveals that clock phase is identical under these two conditions. However, the amplitude of the core clock oscillation is much higher on a complete photoperiod, as are the levels of light-induced Cry1a. We believe that Cry1a acts on the core clock machinery in both a continuous and discrete fashion, leading not only to entrainment, but also to the establishment of a high-amplitude rhythm and even stopping of the clock under long photoperiods. PMID:17785416

  9. ZebraBeat: a flexible platform for the analysis of the cardiac rate in zebrafish embryos

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Luca, Elisa; Zaccaria, Gian Maria; Hadhoud, Marwa; Rizzo, Giovanna; Ponzini, Raffaele; Morbiducci, Umberto; Santoro, Massimo Mattia

    2014-05-01

    Heartbeat measurement is important in assesssing cardiac function because variations in heart rhythm can be the cause as well as an effect of hidden pathological heart conditions. Zebrafish (Danio rerio) has emerged as one of the most useful model organisms for cardiac research. Indeed, the zebrafish heart is easily accessible for optical analyses without conducting invasive procedures and shows anatomical similarity to the human heart. In this study, we present a non-invasive, simple, cost-effective process to quantify the heartbeat in embryonic zebrafish. To achieve reproducibility, high throughput and flexibility (i.e., adaptability to any existing confocal microscope system and with a user-friendly interface that can be easily used by researchers), we implemented this method within a software program. We show here that this platform, called ZebraBeat, can successfully detect heart rate variations in embryonic zebrafish at various developmental stages, and it can record cardiac rate fluctuations induced by factors such as temperature and genetic- and chemical-induced alterations. Applications of this methodology may include the screening of chemical libraries affecting heart rhythm and the identification of heart rhythm variations in mutants from large-scale forward genetic screens.

  10. Emotions and motivated behavior converge on an amygdala-like structure in the zebrafish

    PubMed Central

    von Trotha, Jakob William; Vernier, Philippe; Bally-Cuif, Laure

    2014-01-01

    The brain reward circuitry plays a key role in emotional and motivational behaviors, and its dysfunction underlies neuropsychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia, depression and drug addiction. Here, we characterized the neuronal activity pattern induced by acute amphetamine administration and during drug-seeking behavior in the zebrafish, and demonstrate the existence of conserved underlying brain circuitry. Combining quantitative analyses of cfos expression with neuronal subtype-specific markers at single-cell resolution, we show that acute d-amphetamine administration leads to both increased neuronal activation and the recruitment of neurons in the medial (Dm) and the lateral (Dl) domains of the adult zebrafish pallium, which contain homologous structures to the mammalian amygdala and hippocampus, respectively. Calbindin-positive and glutamatergic neurons are recruited in Dm, and glutamatergic and γ-aminobutyric acid (GABAergic) neurons in Dl. The drug-activated neurons in Dm and Dl are born at juvenile stage rather than in the embryo or during adulthood. Furthermore, the same territory in Dm is activated during both drug-seeking approach and light avoidance behavior, while these behaviors do not elicit activation in Dl. These data identify the pallial territories involved in acute psychostimulant response and reward formation in the adult zebrafish. They further suggest an evolutionarily conserved function of amygdala-like structures in positive emotions and motivated behavior in zebrafish and mammals. PMID:25145867

  11. Stab wound injury of the zebrafish telencephalon: a model for comparative analysis of reactive gliosis.

    PubMed

    Baumgart, Emily Violette; Barbosa, Joana S; Bally-Cuif, Laure; Götz, Magdalena; Ninkovic, Jovica

    2012-03-01

    Reactive glia, including astroglia and oligodendrocyte progenitors (OPCs) are at the core of the reaction to injury in the mammalian brain with initially beneficial and later partially adverse functions such as scar formation. Given the different glial composition in the adult zebrafish brain with radial ependymoglia but no parenchymal astrocytes, we examined the glial response to an invasive stab wound injury model in the adult zebrafish telencephalon. Strikingly, already a few days after injury the wound was closed without any scar tissue. Similar to mammals, microglia cells reacted first and accumulated close to the injury site, while neither GFAP+ radial ependymoglia nor adult OPCs were recruited to the injury site. Moreover, OPCs failed to increase their proliferation after this injury, while the number of proliferating GFAP+ glia was increased until 7 days after injury. Importantly, neurogenesis was also increased after injury, generating additional neurons recruited to the parenchyma which survived for several months. Thus, these data suggest that the specific glial environment in the adult zebrafish telencephalon is not only permissive for long-term neuronal survival, but avoids scar formation. Invasive injury in the adult zebrafish telencephalon may therefore provide a useful model to untangle the molecular mechanisms involved in these beneficial glial reactions. Copyright © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  12. Detection of blob objects in microscopic zebrafish images based on gradient vector diffusion.

    PubMed

    Li, Gang; Liu, Tianming; Nie, Jingxin; Guo, Lei; Malicki, Jarema; Mara, Andrew; Holley, Scott A; Xia, Weiming; Wong, Stephen T C

    2007-10-01

    The zebrafish has become an important vertebrate animal model for the study of developmental biology, functional genomics, and disease mechanisms. It is also being used for drug discovery. Computerized detection of blob objects has been one of the important tasks in quantitative phenotyping of zebrafish. We present a new automated method that is able to detect blob objects, such as nuclei or cells in microscopic zebrafish images. This method is composed of three key steps. The first step is to produce a diffused gradient vector field by a physical elastic deformable model. In the second step, the flux image is computed on the diffused gradient vector field. The third step performs thresholding and nonmaximum suppression based on the flux image. We report the validation and experimental results of this method using zebrafish image datasets from three independent research labs. Both sensitivity and specificity of this method are over 90%. This method is able to differentiate closely juxtaposed or connected blob objects, with high sensitivity and specificity in different situations. It is characterized by a good, consistent performance in blob object detection.

  13. Gross and fine dissection of inner ear sensory epithelia in adult zebrafish (Danio rerio).

    PubMed

    Liang, Jin; Burgess, Shawn M

    2009-05-08

    Neurosensory epithelia in the inner ear are the crucial structures for hearing and balance functions. Therefore, it is important to understand the cellular and molecular features of the epithelia, which are mainly composed of two types of cells: hair cells (HCs) and supporting cells (SCs). Here we choose to study the inner ear sensory epithelia in adult zebrafish not only because the epithelial structures are highly conserved in all vertebrates studied, but also because the adult zebrafish is able to regenerate HCs, an ability that mammals lose shortly after birth. We use the inner ear of adult zebrafish as a model system to study the mechanisms of inner ear HC regeneration in adult vertebrates that could be helpful for clinical therapy of hearing/balance deficits in human as a result of HC loss. Here we demonstrate how to do gross and fine dissections of inner ear sensory epithelia in adult zebrafish. The gross dissection removes the tissues surrounding the inner ear and is helpful for preparing tissue sections, which allows us to examine the detailed structure of the sensory epithelia. The fine dissection cleans up the non-sensory-epithelial tissues of each individual epithelium and enables us to examine the heterogeneity of the whole epithelium easily in whole-mount epithelial samples.

  14. Single-cell transcriptional analysis of normal, aberrant, and malignant hematopoiesis in zebrafish

    PubMed Central

    Garcia, Elaine G.; Lobbardi, Riadh; Jain, Esha; Tang, Qin; Moore, John C.; Cortes, Mauricio; Molodtsov, Aleksey; Kasheta, Melissa; Luo, Christina C.; Garcia, Amaris J.; Mylvaganam, Ravi; Yoder, Jeffrey A.; Blackburn, Jessica S.; Sadreyev, Ruslan I.; Ceol, Craig J.; North, Trista E.

    2016-01-01

    Hematopoiesis culminates in the production of functionally heterogeneous blood cell types. In zebrafish, the lack of cell surface antibodies has compelled researchers to use fluorescent transgenic reporter lines to label specific blood cell fractions. However, these approaches are limited by the availability of transgenic lines and fluorescent protein combinations that can be distinguished. Here, we have transcriptionally profiled single hematopoietic cells from zebrafish to define erythroid, myeloid, B, and T cell lineages. We also used our approach to identify hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells and a novel NK-lysin 4+ cell type, representing a putative cytotoxic T/NK cell. Our platform also quantified hematopoietic defects in rag2E450fs mutant fish and showed that these fish have reduced T cells with a subsequent expansion of NK-lysin 4+ cells and myeloid cells. These data suggest compensatory regulation of the innate immune system in rag2E450fs mutant zebrafish. Finally, analysis of Myc-induced T cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia showed that cells are arrested at the CD4+/CD8+ cortical thymocyte stage and that a subset of leukemia cells inappropriately reexpress stem cell genes, including bmi1 and cmyb. In total, our experiments provide new tools and biological insights into single-cell heterogeneity found in zebrafish blood and leukemia. PMID:27139488

  15. Zebrafish models flex their muscles to shed light on muscular dystrophies.

    PubMed

    Berger, Joachim; Currie, Peter D

    2012-11-01

    Muscular dystrophies are a group of genetic disorders that specifically affect skeletal muscle and are characterized by progressive muscle degeneration and weakening. To develop therapies and treatments for these diseases, a better understanding of the molecular basis of muscular dystrophies is required. Thus, identification of causative genes mutated in specific disorders and the study of relevant animal models are imperative. Zebrafish genetic models of human muscle disorders often closely resemble disease pathogenesis, and the optical clarity of zebrafish embryos and larvae enables visualization of dynamic molecular processes in vivo. As an adjunct tool, morpholino studies provide insight into the molecular function of genes and allow rapid assessment of candidate genes for human muscular dystrophies. This unique set of attributes makes the zebrafish model system particularly valuable for the study of muscle diseases. This review discusses how recent research using zebrafish has shed light on the pathological basis of muscular dystrophies, with particular focus on the muscle cell membrane and the linkage between the myofibre cytoskeleton and the extracellular matrix.

  16. Single-cell transcriptional analysis of normal, aberrant, and malignant hematopoiesis in zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Moore, Finola E; Garcia, Elaine G; Lobbardi, Riadh; Jain, Esha; Tang, Qin; Moore, John C; Cortes, Mauricio; Molodtsov, Aleksey; Kasheta, Melissa; Luo, Christina C; Garcia, Amaris J; Mylvaganam, Ravi; Yoder, Jeffrey A; Blackburn, Jessica S; Sadreyev, Ruslan I; Ceol, Craig J; North, Trista E; Langenau, David M

    2016-05-30

    Hematopoiesis culminates in the production of functionally heterogeneous blood cell types. In zebrafish, the lack of cell surface antibodies has compelled researchers to use fluorescent transgenic reporter lines to label specific blood cell fractions. However, these approaches are limited by the availability of transgenic lines and fluorescent protein combinations that can be distinguished. Here, we have transcriptionally profiled single hematopoietic cells from zebrafish to define erythroid, myeloid, B, and T cell lineages. We also used our approach to identify hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells and a novel NK-lysin 4(+) cell type, representing a putative cytotoxic T/NK cell. Our platform also quantified hematopoietic defects in rag2(E450fs) mutant fish and showed that these fish have reduced T cells with a subsequent expansion of NK-lysin 4(+) cells and myeloid cells. These data suggest compensatory regulation of the innate immune system in rag2(E450fs) mutant zebrafish. Finally, analysis of Myc-induced T cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia showed that cells are arrested at the CD4(+)/CD8(+) cortical thymocyte stage and that a subset of leukemia cells inappropriately reexpress stem cell genes, including bmi1 and cmyb In total, our experiments provide new tools and biological insights into single-cell heterogeneity found in zebrafish blood and leukemia. © 2016 Moore et al.

  17. Enhanced Cell-Specific Ablation in Zebrafish Using a Triple Mutant of Escherichia Coli Nitroreductase

    PubMed Central

    Mathias, Jonathan R.; Zhang, Zhanying; Saxena, Meera T.

    2014-01-01

    Abstract Transgenic expression of bacterial nitroreductase (NTR) facilitates chemically-inducible targeted cell ablation. In zebrafish, the NTR system enables studies of cell function and cellular regeneration. Metronidazole (MTZ) has become the most commonly used prodrug substrate for eliciting cell loss in NTR-expressing transgenic zebrafish due to the cell-specific nature of its cytotoxic derivatives. Unfortunately, MTZ treatments required for effective cell ablation border toxic effects, and, thus, likely incur undesirable nonspecific effects. Here, we tested whether a triple mutant variant of NTR, previously shown to display improved activity in bacterial assays, can solve this issue by promoting cell ablation in zebrafish using reduced prodrug treatment regimens. We generated several complementary transgenic zebrafish lines expressing either wild-type or mutant NTR (mutNTR) in specific neural cell types, and assayed prodrug-induced cell ablation kinetics using confocal time series imaging and plate reader-based quantification of fluorescent reporters expressed in targeted cell types. The results show that cell ablation can be achieved in mutNTR expressing transgenic lines with markedly shortened prodrug exposure times and/or at lower prodrug concentrations. The mutNTR variant characterized here can circumvent problematic nonspecific/toxic effects arising from low prodrug conversion efficiency, thus increasing the effectiveness and versatility of this selective cell ablation methodology. PMID:24428354

  18. Enhanced cell-specific ablation in zebrafish using a triple mutant of Escherichia coli nitroreductase.

    PubMed

    Mathias, Jonathan R; Zhang, Zhanying; Saxena, Meera T; Mumm, Jeff S

    2014-04-01

    Transgenic expression of bacterial nitroreductase (NTR) facilitates chemically-inducible targeted cell ablation. In zebrafish, the NTR system enables studies of cell function and cellular regeneration. Metronidazole (MTZ) has become the most commonly used prodrug substrate for eliciting cell loss in NTR-expressing transgenic zebrafish due to the cell-specific nature of its cytotoxic derivatives. Unfortunately, MTZ treatments required for effective cell ablation border toxic effects, and, thus, likely incur undesirable nonspecific effects. Here, we tested whether a triple mutant variant of NTR, previously shown to display improved activity in bacterial assays, can solve this issue by promoting cell ablation in zebrafish using reduced prodrug treatment regimens. We generated several complementary transgenic zebrafish lines expressing either wild-type or mutant NTR (mutNTR) in specific neural cell types, and assayed prodrug-induced cell ablation kinetics using confocal time series imaging and plate reader-based quantification of fluorescent reporters expressed in targeted cell types. The results show that cell ablation can be achieved in mutNTR expressing transgenic lines with markedly shortened prodrug exposure times and/or at lower prodrug concentrations. The mutNTR variant characterized here can circumvent problematic nonspecific/toxic effects arising from low prodrug conversion efficiency, thus increasing the effectiveness and versatility of this selective cell ablation methodology.

  19. Fishing for Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders: Zebrafish as a Model for Ethanol Teratogenesis.

    PubMed

    Lovely, Charles Ben; Fernandes, Yohaan; Eberhart, Johann K

    2016-10-01

    Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) describes a wide array of ethanol-induced developmental defects, including craniofacial dysmorphology and cognitive impairments. It affects ∼1 in 100 children born in the United States each year. Due to the pleiotropic effects of ethanol, animal models have proven critical in characterizing the mechanisms of ethanol teratogenesis. In this review, we focus on the utility of zebrafish in characterizing ethanol-induced developmental defects. A growing number of laboratories have focused on using zebrafish to examine ethanol-induced defects in craniofacial, cardiac, ocular, and neural development, as well as cognitive and behavioral impairments. Growing evidence supports that genetic predisposition plays a role in these ethanol-induced defects, yet little is understood about these gene-ethanol interactions. With a high degree of genetic amenability, zebrafish is at the forefront of identifying and characterizing the gene-ethanol interactions that underlie FASD. Because of the conservation of gene function between zebrafish and humans, these studies will directly translate to studies of candidate genes in human populations and allow for better diagnosis and treatment of FASD.

  20. Effect of acute ethanol administration on zebrafish tail-beat motion.

    PubMed

    Bartolini, Tiziana; Mwaffo, Violet; Butail, Sachit; Porfiri, Maurizio

    2015-11-01

    Zebrafish is becoming a species of choice in neurobiological and behavioral studies of alcohol-related disorders. In these efforts, the activity of adult zebrafish is typically quantified using indirect activity measures that are either scored manually or identified automatically from the fish trajectory. The analysis of such activity measures has produced important insight into the effect of acute ethanol exposure on individual and social behavior of this vertebrate species. Here, we leverage a recently developed tracking algorithm that reconstructs fish body shape to investigate the effect of acute ethanol administration on zebrafish tail-beat motion in terms of amplitude and frequency. Our results demonstrate a significant effect of ethanol on the tail-beat amplitude as well as the tail-beat frequency, both of which were found to robustly decrease for high ethanol concentrations. Such a direct measurement of zebrafish motor functions is in agreement with evidence based on indirect activity measures, offering a complementary perspective in behavioral screening. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. Alterations in zebrafish development induced by simvastatin: Comprehensive morphological and physiological study, focusing on muscle

    PubMed Central

    Campos, Laise M; Rios, Eduardo A; Guapyassu, Livia; Midlej, Victor; Atella, Georgia C; Herculano-Houzel, Suzana; Benchimol, Marlene; Mermelstein, Claudia

    2016-01-01

    The cholesterol synthesis inhibitor simvastatin, which is used to treat cardiovascular diseases, has severe collateral effects. We decided to comprehensively study the effects of simvastatin in zebrafish development and in myogenesis, because zebrafish has been used as a model to human diseases, due to its handling easiness, the optical clarity of its embryos, and the availability of physiological and structural methodologies. Furthermore, muscle is an important target of the drug. We used several simvastatin concentrations at different zebrafish developmental stages and studied survival rate, morphology, and physiology of the embryos. Our results show that high levels of simvastatin induce structural damage whereas low doses induce minor structural changes, impaired movements, and reduced heart beating. Morphological alterations include changes in embryo and somite size and septa shape. Physiological changes include movement reduction and slower heartbeat. These effects could be reversed by the addition of exogenous cholesterol. Moreover, we quantified the total cell number during zebrafish development and demonstrated a large reduction in cell number after statin treatment. Since we could classify the alterations induced by simvastatin in three distinct phenotypes, we speculate that simvastatin acts through more than one mechanism and could affect both cell replication and/or cell death and muscle function. Our data can contribute to the understanding of the molecular and cellular basis of the mechanisms of action of simvastatin. PMID:27444151

  2. Alterations in zebrafish development induced by simvastatin: Comprehensive morphological and physiological study, focusing on muscle.

    PubMed

    Campos, Laise M; Rios, Eduardo A; Guapyassu, Livia; Midlej, Victor; Atella, Georgia C; Herculano-Houzel, Suzana; Benchimol, Marlene; Mermelstein, Claudia; Costa, Manoel L

    2016-11-01

    The cholesterol synthesis inhibitor simvastatin, which is used to treat cardiovascular diseases, has severe collateral effects. We decided to comprehensively study the effects of simvastatin in zebrafish development and in myogenesis, because zebrafish has been used as a model to human diseases, due to its handling easiness, the optical clarity of its embryos, and the availability of physiological and structural methodologies. Furthermore, muscle is an important target of the drug. We used several simvastatin concentrations at different zebrafish developmental stages and studied survival rate, morphology, and physiology of the embryos. Our results show that high levels of simvastatin induce structural damage whereas low doses induce minor structural changes, impaired movements, and reduced heart beating. Morphological alterations include changes in embryo and somite size and septa shape. Physiological changes include movement reduction and slower heartbeat. These effects could be reversed by the addition of exogenous cholesterol. Moreover, we quantified the total cell number during zebrafish development and demonstrated a large reduction in cell number after statin treatment. Since we could classify the alterations induced by simvastatin in three distinct phenotypes, we speculate that simvastatin acts through more than one mechanism and could affect both cell replication and/or cell death and muscle function. Our data can contribute to the understanding of the molecular and cellular basis of the mechanisms of action of simvastatin. © 2016 by the Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine.

  3. Transgenic expression of omega-3 PUFA synthesis genes improves zebrafish survival during Vibrio vulnificus infection.

    PubMed

    Cheng, Chih-Lun; Huang, Shin-Jie; Wu, Chih-Lu; Gong, Hong-Yi; Ken, Chuian-Fu; Hu, Shao-Yang; Wu, Jen-Leih

    2015-11-17

    Highly desaturated n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), such as eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), are synthesized by desaturases and elongase. They exert hepatoprotective effects to prevent alcoholic fatty liver syndrome or cholestatic liver injury. However, it is unclear how n-3 PUFAs improve immune function in liver. Vibrio vulnificus, a gram-negative bacterial pathogen, causes high mortality of aquaculture fishes upon infection. Humans can become infected with V. vulnificus through open wounds or by eating raw seafood, and such infections may result in systemic septicemia. Moreover, patients with liver diseases are vulnerable to infection, and are more likely than healthy persons to present with liver inflammation following infection. This study quantified n-3 PUFAs and their anti-bacterial effects in Fadsd6 and Elvol5a transgenic zebrafish. Two transgenic zebrafish strains with strong liver specific expression of Fadsd6 and Elvol5a (driven by the zebrafish Fabp10 promoter) were established using the Tol2 system. Synthesis of n-3 PUFAs in these strains were increased by 2.5-fold as compared to wild type (Wt) fish. The survival rate in 24 h following challenge with V. vulnificus was 20 % in Wt, but 70 % in the transgenic strains. In addition, the bacteria counts in transgenic fish strains were significantly decreased. The expression levels of pro-inflammatory genes, such as TNF-α, IL-1β, and NF-κB, were suppressed between 9 and 12 h after challenge. This study confirms the anti-bacterial function of n-3 PUFAs in a transgenic zebrafish model. Fadsd6 and Elvol5a transgenic zebrafish are more resistant to V. vulnificus infection, and enhance survival by diminishing the attendant inflammatory response.

  4. Nrf2-dependent protection against acute sodium arsenite toxicity in zebrafish

    SciT

    Fuse, Yuji; Nguyen, Vu Thanh; Kobayashi, Makoto, E

    Transcription factor Nrf2 induces a number of detoxifying enzymes and antioxidant proteins to confer protection against the toxic effects of a diverse range of chemicals including inorganic arsenicals. Although a number of studies using cultured cells have demonstrated that Nrf2 has a cell-protective function against acute and high-dose arsenic toxicity, there is no clear in vivo evidence of this effect. In the present study, we genetically investigated the protective role of Nrf2 against acute sodium arsenite toxicity using the zebrafish Nrf2 mutant, nrf2a{sup fh318}. After treatment with 1 mM sodium arsenite, the survival of nrf2a{sup fh318} larvae was significantly shortermore » than that of wild-type siblings, suggesting that Nrf2 protected the zebrafish larvae against high-dose arsenite exposure. To understand the molecular basis of the Nrf2-dependent protection, we analyzed the gene expression profiles after arsenite exposure, and found that the genes involved in the antioxidative function (prdx1 and gclc), arsenic metabolism (gstp1) and xenobiotic elimination (abcc2) were induced in an Nrf2-dependent manner. Furthermore, pre-treatment with sulforaphane, a well-known Nrf2 activator improved the survival of zebrafish larvae after arsenic exposure. Based on these results, we concluded that Nrf2 plays a fundamental and conserved role in protection against acute sodium arsenite toxicity. - Highlights: • The role of Nrf2 under arsenite exposure was valuated using zebrafish. • Nrf2 mutant zebrafish was highly sensitive to acute arsenic toxicity. • Nrf2 induced anti-arsenic genes in response to arsenite. • Sulforaphane attenuated arsenic toxicity through Nrf2 activation. • Nrf2 system plays an important role in the defense against acute arsenic toxicity.« less

  5. An integrated approach with the zebrafish model for biomonitoring of municipal wastewater effluent and receiving waters.

    PubMed

    Li, Caixia; Chen, Qiyu; Zhang, Xiaoyan; Snyder, Shane A; Gong, Zhiyuan; Lam, Siew Hong

    2017-12-11

    Comprehensive monitoring of water pollution is challenging. With the increasing amount and types of anthropogenic compounds being released into water, there are rising concerns of undetected toxicity. This is especially true for municipal wastewater effluents that are discharged to surface waters. This study was designed to integrate zebrafish toxicogenomics, targeted gene expression, and morphological analyses, for toxicity evaluation of effluent discharged from two previously characterized wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) in Pima County, Arizona, and their receiving surface water. Zebrafish embryos were exposed to organic extracts from the WWTP1 effluent that were reconstituted to represent 1× and 0.5× of the original concentration. Microarray analyses identified deregulated gene probes that mapped to 1666, 779, and 631 unique human homologs in the 1×, 0.5×, and the intersection of both groups, respectively. These were associated with 18 cellular and molecular functions ranging from cell cycle to metabolism and are involved in the development and function of 10 organ systems including nervous, cardiovascular, haematological, reproductive, and hepatic systems. Superpathway of cholesterol biosynthesis, retinoic acid receptor activation, glucocorticoid receptor and prolactin signaling were among the top 11 perturbed canonical pathways. Real-time quantitative PCR validated the expression changes of 12 selected genes. These genes were then tested on zebrafish embryos exposed to the reconstituted extract of water sampled downstream of WWTP1 and another nearby WWTP2. The expression of several targeted genes were significantly affected by the WWTP effluents and some of the downstream receiving waters. Morphological analyses using four transgenic zebrafish lines revealed potential toxicity associated with nervous, hepatic, endothelial-vascular and myeloid systems. This study demonstrated how information can be obtained using adverse outcome pathway framework to

  6. Cytochrome P450 20A1 in zebrafish: Cloning, regulation and potential involvement in hyperactivity disorders

    SciT

    Lemaire, Benjamin; Kubota, Akira; O'Meara, Conor M.

    Cytochrome P450 (CYP) enzymes for which there is no functional information are considered “orphan” CYPs. Previous studies showed that CYP20A1, an orphan, is expressed in human hippocampus and substantia nigra, and in zebrafish (Danio rerio) CYP20A1 maternal transcript occurs in eggs, suggesting involvement in brain and in early development. Moreover, hyperactivity is reported in humans with chromosome 2 microdeletions including CYP20A1. We examined CYP20A1 in zebrafish, including impacts of chemical exposure on expression. Zebrafish CYP20A1 cDNA was cloned, sequenced, and aligned with cloned human CYP20A1 and predicted vertebrate orthologs. CYP20A1s share a highly conserved N-terminal region and unusual sequences inmore » the I-helix and the heme-binding CYP signature motifs. CYP20A1 mRNA expression was observed in adult zebrafish organs including the liver, heart, gonads, spleen and brain, as well as the eye and optic nerve. Putative binding sites in proximal promoter regions of CYP20A1s, and response of zebrafish CYP20A1 to selected nuclear and xenobiotic receptor agonists, point to up-regulation by agents involved in steroid hormone response, cholesterol and lipid metabolism. There also was a dose-dependent reduction of CYP20A1 expression in embryos exposed to environmentally relevant levels of methylmercu