ZFIN ID: ZDB-PUB-170605-1
The zebrafish ventricle: A hub of cardiac endothelial cells for in vitro cell behavior studies
Patra, C., Kontarakis, Z., Kaur, H., Rayrikar, A., Mukherjee, D., Stainier, D.Y.R.
Despite our increasing understanding of zebrafish heart development and regeneration, there is limited information about the distribution of endothelial cells (ECs) in the adult zebrafish heart. Here, we investigate and compare the distribution of cardiac ECs (cECs) in adult mouse and zebrafish ventricles. Surprisingly, we find that (i) active coronary vessel growth is present in adult zebrafish, (ii) ~37 and ~39% of cells in the zebrafish heart are ECs and cardiomyocytes, respectively, a composition similar to that seen in mouse. However, we find that in zebrafish, ~36% of the ventricular tissue is covered with ECs, i.e., a substantially larger proportion than in mouse. Capitalising on the high abundance of cECs in zebrafish, we established a protocol to isolate them with high purity using fluorescent transgenic lines. Our approach eliminates side-effects due to antibody utilisation. Moreover, the isolated cECs maintained a high proliferation index even after three passages and were amenable to pharmacological treatments to study cEC migration in vitro. Such primary cultures will be a useful tool for supplementary in vitro studies on the accumulating zebrafish mutant lines as well as the screening of small molecule libraries on cardiac specific endothelial cells.
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