JOURNAL ARTICLE

High-throughput imaging of adult fluorescent zebrafish with an LED fluorescence macroscope

Jessica S Blackburn, Sali Liu, Aubrey R Raimondi, Myron S Ignatius, Christopher D Salthouse, David M Langenau
Nature Protocols 2011, 6 (2): 229-41
21293462
Zebrafish are a useful vertebrate model for the study of development, behavior, disease and cancer. A major advantage of zebrafish is that large numbers of animals can be economically used for experimentation; however, high-throughput methods for imaging live adult zebrafish had not been developed. Here, we describe protocols for building a light-emitting diode (LED) fluorescence macroscope and for using it to simultaneously image up to 30 adult animals that transgenically express a fluorescent protein, are transplanted with fluorescently labeled tumor cells or are tagged with fluorescent elastomers. These protocols show that the LED fluorescence macroscope is capable of distinguishing five fluorescent proteins and can image unanesthetized swimming adult zebrafish in multiple fluorescent channels simultaneously. The macroscope can be built and used for imaging within 1 day, whereas creating fluorescently labeled adult zebrafish requires 1 hour to several months, depending on the method chosen. The LED fluorescence macroscope provides a low-cost, high-throughput method to rapidly screen adult fluorescent zebrafish and it will be useful for imaging transgenic animals, screening for tumor engraftment, and tagging individual fish for long-term analysis.

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