Leung, A.Y., Leung, J.C., Chan, L.Y., Ma, E.S., Kwan, T.T., Lai, K., Meng, A., and Liang, R. (2005) Proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) as a proliferative marker during embryonic and adult zebrafish hematopoiesis. Histochemistry and cell biology. 124(2):105-111.
We investigated the expression of proliferative cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) in zebrafish to delineate the proliferative hematopoietic component during adult and embryonic hematopoiesis. Immunostaining for PCNA and enhanced green fluorescence protein (eGFP) was performed in wild-type and fli1-eGFP (endothelial marker) and gata1-eGFP (erythroid cell marker) transgenic fish. Expression of PCNA mRNA was examined in wild-type and chordin morphant embryos. In adult zebrafish kidney, the renal tubules are surrounded by endothelial cells and it is separated into hematopoietic and excretory compartments. PCNA was expressed in hematopoietic progenitor cells but not in mature neutrophils, eosinophils or erythroid cells. Some PCNA+ cells are scattered in the hematopoietic compartment of the kidney while others are closely associated with renal tubular cells. PCNA was also expressed in spermatogonial stem cells and intestine crypts, consistent with its role in cell proliferation and DNA synthesis. In embryos, PCNA is expressed in the brain, spinal cord and intermediate cell mass (ICM) at 24 h-post fertilization. In chordin morphants, PCNA is significantly upregulated in the expanded ICM. Therefore, PCNA can be used to mark cell proliferation in zebrafish hematopoietic tissues and to identify a population of progenitor cells whose significance would have to be further investigated.