Lahne, M., Gorsuch, R.A., Nelson, C.M., Hyde, D.R. (2017) Culture of Adult Transgenic Zebrafish Retinal Explants for Live-cell Imaging by Multiphoton Microscopy. Journal of visualized experiments : JoVE. (120).
An endogenous regeneration program is initiated by Müller glia in the adult zebrafish (Danio rerio) retina following neuronal damage and death. The Müller glia re-enter the cell cycle and produce neuronal progenitor cells that undergo subsequent rounds of cell divisions and differentiate into the lost neuronal cell types. Both Müller glia and neuronal progenitor cell nuclei replicate their DNA and undergo mitosis in distinct locations of the retina, i.e. they migrate between the basal Inner Nuclear Layer (INL) and the Outer Nuclear Layer (ONL), respectively, in a process described as Interkinetic Nuclear Migration (INM). INM has predominantly been studied in the developing retina. To examine the dynamics of INM in the adult regenerating zebrafish retina in detail, live-cell imaging of fluorescently-labeled Müller glia/neuronal progenitor cells is required. Here, we provide the conditions to isolate and culture dorsal retinas from Tg[gfap:nGFP]mi2004 zebrafish that were exposed to constant intense light for 35 h. We also show that these retinal cultures are viable to perform live-cell imaging experiments, continuously acquiring z-stack images throughout the thickness of the retinal explant for up to 8 h using multiphoton microscopy to monitor the migratory behavior of gfap:nGFP-positive cells. In addition, we describe the details to perform post-imaging analysis to determine the velocity of apical and basal INM. To summarize, we established conditions to study the dynamics of INM in an adult model of neuronal regeneration. This will advance our understanding of this crucial cellular process and allow us to determine the mechanisms that control INM.