de Jong JL, Burns CE, Chen AT, Pugach E, Mayhall EA, Smith AC, Feldman HA, Zhou Y, Zon LI. 2011. Characterization of immune-matched hematopoietic transplantation in zebrafish. Blood. 117(16):4234-42. Pubmed: 21346254 DOI:10.1182/blood-2010-09-307488


Evaluating hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) function in vivo requires a long-term transplantation assay. Although zebrafish are a powerful model for discovering the genetics of hematopoiesis, hematopoietic transplantation approaches have been underdeveloped. Here we established a long-term reconstitution assay in adult zebrafish. Primary and secondary recipients showed multilineage engraftment at 3 months after transplantation. Limiting dilution data suggest that at least 1 in 65 000 zebrafish marrow cells contain repopulating activity, consistent with mammalian HSC frequencies. We defined zebrafish haplotypes at the proposed major histocompatibility complex locus on chromosome 19 and tested functional significance through hematopoietic transplantation. Matching donors and recipients dramatically increased engraftment and percentage donor chimerism compared with unmatched fish. These data constitute the first functional test of zebrafish histocompatibility genes, enabling the development of matched hematopoietic transplantations. This lays the foundation for competitive transplantation experiments with mutant zebrafish HSCs and chemicals to test for effects on engraftment, thereby providing a model for human hematopoietic diseases and treatments not previously available.

Related Faculty

Photo of Len Zon

The Zon laboratory aims to dissect how assaults to the hematopoietic system cause severe diseases such as leukemias, lymphomas, and anemias. They investigate hematopoietic development and disease using chemical screens, genetic screens, and analysis of novel transgenic lines in zebrafish.

Search Menu