ZFIN ID: ZDB-PUB-060825-7
Small molecule-induced ablation and subsequent regeneration of larval zebrafish melanocytes
Yang, C.T., and Johnson, S.L.
We developed a method to efficiently ablate a single cell type, the zebrafish melanocyte, and study the mechanisms of its regeneration. We found that a small molecule, (2-morpholinobutyl)-4-thiophenol (MoTP), specifically ablates zebrafish larval melanocytes or melanoblasts, and that this melanocytotoxicity is dependent on tyrosinase activity, which presumably converts MoTP to cytotoxic quinone species. Following melanocyte ablation by MoTP treatment, we demonstrate by BrdU incorporation experiments that regenerated melanocytes are derived from the division of otherwise quiescent melanocyte precursors or stem cells. We further show that larval melanocyte regeneration requires the kit receptor tyrosine kinase. Our results suggest that a small number of melanocyte precursors or stem cells unevenly distributed in larvae are drawn upon to reconstitute the larval melanocyte population following melanocyte ablation by MoTP.