Gansner, J.M., Dang, M., Ammerman, M., Zon, L.I. (2017) Transplantation in zebrafish. Methods in cell biology. 138:629-647.
Tissue or cell transplantation is an invaluable technique with a multitude of applications including studying the developmental potential of certain cell populations, dissecting cell-environment interactions, and identifying stem cells. One key technical requirement for performing transplantation assays is the capability of distinguishing the transplanted donor cells from the endogenous host cells and tracing the donor cells over time. The zebrafish has emerged as an excellent model organism for performing transplantation assays, thanks in part to the transparency of embryos and even adults when pigment mutants are employed. Using transgenic techniques and fast-evolving imaging technology, fluorescence-labeled donor cells can be readily identified and studied during development in vivo. In this chapter, we will discuss the rationale of different types of zebrafish transplantation in both embryos and adults and then focus on four detailed methods of transplantation: blastula/gastrula transplantation for mosaic analysis, hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, chemical screening using a transplantation model, and tumor transplantation.