ZFIN ID: ZDB-PUB-100719-15
Live imaging of apoptotic cells in zebrafish
van Ham, T.J., Mapes, J., Kokel, D., and Peterson, R.T.
Date: 2010
Source: FASEB journal : official publication of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology   24(11): 4336-4342 (Journal)
Registered Authors: Peterson, Randall, van Ham, Tjakko
Keywords: neuronal cell death, in vivo microscopy, vertebrate model, neurotoxicity, p53, DNA damage response
MeSH Terms:
  • Animals
  • Apoptosis*
  • Fluorescent Dyes/metabolism
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Microscopy/methods*
  • Molecular Probes/genetics
  • Molecular Probes/metabolism
  • Zebrafish/embryology*
PubMed: 20601526 Full text @ FASEB J.
Many debilitating diseases, including neurodegenerative diseases, involve apoptosis. Several methods have been developed for visualizing apoptotic cells in vitro or in fixed tissues, but few tools are available for visualizing apoptotic cells in live animals. Here we describe a genetically encoded fluorescent reporter protein that labels apoptotic cells in live zebrafish embryos. During apoptosis, the phospholipid phosphatidylserine (PS) is exposed on the outer leaflet of the plasma membrane. The calcium-dependent protein Annexin V (A5) binds PS with high affinity, and biochemically purified, fluorescently labeled A5 probes have been widely used to detect apoptosis in vitro. Here we show that secreted A5 fused to yellow fluorescent protein specifically labels apoptotic cells in living zebrafish. We use this fluorescent probe to characterize patterns of apoptosis in living zebrafish larvae and to visualize neuronal cell death at single-cell resolution in vivo.