Development of organs in living whole embryo/larval grafts in zebrafish

Model Fish Genomics Resource Laboratory / Sakai Group

Development and growth of organs in living whole embryo and larval grafts in zebrafish

Toshihiro Kawasaki, Akiteru Maeno, Toshihiko Shiroishi & Noriyoshi Sakai

Scientific REPORTS, 7: 16508 DOI:10.1038/s41598-017-16642-5

Age-related systemic environments influence neurogenesis and organ regeneration of heterochronic parabiotic partners; however, the difficulty of manipulating small embryos prevents the effects of aged systemic environments on primitive organs at the developmental stage from being analysed.

Here, we describe a novel transplantation system to support whole living embryos/larvae as grafts in immunodeficient zebrafish by the intrusion of host blood vessels into the grafts, allowing bodies similar to those of heterochronic parabiosis to be generated by subcutaneous grafting. Although grafted embryos/larvae formed most organs, the liver, testes and heart developed insufficiently or even occasionally disappeared. Removal of host germ cells stimulated testis development in grafted embryos. These results indicate that primitive testes are susceptible to the systemic environments that originated from the germ cells of aged hosts and imply that the primitive liver and heart are similar. This unique transplantation system will lead to new insights into the age-related systemic environments that are crucial for organogenesis in vertebrates.


Development of grafted 72 hpf embryos in rag1 mutant hosts. (a) Schematic of whole-embryo transplantation. (b) Representative 72 hpf embryos and grafted embryos. (c) µ-CT imaging of the grafted embryo 2 months after transplantation. Cranial bones, vertebrae (No staining) and a vascular structure (Lugol staining) were observed in the grafted embryos.

You can see the several data of micro CT-scan which is one of the methods for this research below.

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