Langenau, D.M., Ferrando, A.A., Traver, D., Kutok, J.L., Hezel, J.P., Kanki, J.P., Zon, L.I., Look, A.T., and Trede, N.S. (2004) In vivo tracking of T cell development, ablation, and engraftment in transgenic zebrafish. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA. 101(19):7369-7374.
Transgenic zebrafish that express GFP under control of the T cell-specific tyrosine kinase (lck) promoter were used to analyze critical aspects of the immune system, including patterns of T cell development and T cell homing after transplant. GFP-labeled T cells could be ablated in larvae by either irradiation or dexamethasone added to the water, illustrating that T cells have evolutionarily conserved responses to chemical and radiation ablation. In transplant experiments, thymocytes from lck-GFP fish repopulated the thymus of irradiated wild-type fish only transiently, suggesting that the thymus contains only short-term thymic repopulating cells. By contrast, whole kidney marrow permanently reconstituted the T lymphoid compartment of irradiated wild-type fish, suggesting that long-term thymic repopulating cells reside in the kidney.