Zebrabow: Multispectral cell labeling for cell tracing and lineage analysis in zebrafish

Y. Albert Pan, Tom Freundlich, Tamily A. Weissman, David Schoppik, X. Cindy Wang, Steve Zimmerman, Brian Ciruna, Joshua R. Sanes, Jeff W. Lichtman, Alexander F. Schier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

151 Scopus citations

Abstract

Advances in imaging and cell-labeling techniques have greatly enhanced our understanding of developmental and neurobiological processes. Among vertebrates, zebrafish is uniquely suited for in vivo imaging owing to its small size and optical translucency. However, distinguishing and following cells over extended time periods remains difficult. Previous studies have demonstrated that Cre recombinase-mediated recombination can lead to combinatorial expression of spectrally distinct fluorescent proteins (RFP, YFP and CFP) in neighboring cells, creating a 'Brainbow' of colors. The random combination of fluorescent proteins provides a way to distinguish adjacent cells, visualize cellular interactions and perform lineage analyses. Here, we describe Zebrabow (Zebrafish Brainbow) tools for in vivo multicolor imaging in zebrafish. First, we show that the broadly expressed ubi:Zebrabow line provides diverse color profiles that can be optimized by modulating Cre activity. Second, we find that colors are inherited equally among daughter cells and remain stable throughout embryonic and larval stages. Third, we show that UAS:Zebrabow lines can be used in combination with Gal4 to generate broad or tissue-specific expression patterns and facilitate tracing of axonal processes. Fourth, we demonstrate that Zebrabow can be used for long-term lineage analysis. Using the cornea as a model system, we provide evidence that embryonic corneal epithelial clones are replaced by large, wedge-shaped clones formed by centripetal expansion of cells from the peripheral cornea. The Zebrabow tool set presented here provides a resource for next-generation color-based anatomical and lineage analyses in zebrafish.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2835-2846
Number of pages12
JournalDevelopment (Cambridge)
Volume140
Issue number13
DOIs
StatePublished - 2013

Keywords

  • Brainbow
  • Clonal analysis
  • In vivo imaging
  • Lineage
  • Microscopy
  • Zebrafish

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Developmental Biology

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    Albert Pan, Y., Freundlich, T., Weissman, T. A., Schoppik, D., Cindy Wang, X., Zimmerman, S., Ciruna, B., Sanes, J. R., Lichtman, J. W., & Schier, A. F. (2013). Zebrabow: Multispectral cell labeling for cell tracing and lineage analysis in zebrafish. Development (Cambridge), 140(13), 2835-2846. https://doi.org/10.1242/dev.094631