Zhang, Y., Wiest, D.L. (2016) Using the Zebrafish Model to Study T Cell Development. Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.). 1323:273-92.
While zebrafish have for some time been regarded as a powerful model organism with which to study early events in hematopoiesis, recent evidence suggests that it also ideal for unraveling the molecular requirements for T cell development in the thymus. Like mammals, zebrafish possess an adaptive immune system, comprising B lymphocytes as well as both the γδ and αβ lineages of T cells, which develop in the thymus. Moreover, the molecular processes underlying T cell development in zebrafish appear to be remarkably conserved. Thus, findings in the zebrafish model will be of high relevance to the equivalent processes in mammals. Finally, molecular processes can be interrogated in zebrafish far more rapidly than is possible in mammals because the zebrafish possesses many unique advantages. These unique attributes, and the methods by which they can be exploited to investigate the role of novel genes in T cell development, are described here.