JoVE Logo
Faculty Resource Center

Sign In

Summary

Abstract

Introduction

Protocol

Representative Results

Discussion

Acknowledgements

Materials

References

Neuroscience

In vivo Imaging of Fully Active Brain Tissue in Awake Zebrafish Larvae and Juveniles by Skull and Skin Removal

Published: February 10th, 2021

DOI:

10.3791/62166

1Cellular and Molecular Neurobiology, Zoological Institute, Technische Universität Braunschweig, 2Institute of Pathophysiology, University Medical Center of the Johannes Gutenberg University, 3Cell Physiology, Zoological institute, Technische Universität Braunschweig

Here we present a method to image the zebrafish embryonic brain in vivo upto larval and juvenile stages. This microinvasive procedure, adapted from electrophysiological approaches, provides access to cellular and subcellular details of mature neuron and can be combined with optogenetics and neuropharmacological studies for characterizing brain function and drug intervention.

Understanding the ephemeral changes that occur during brain development and maturation requires detailed high-resolution imaging in space and time at cellular and subcellular resolution. Advances in molecular and imaging technologies have allowed us to gain numerous detailed insights into cellular and molecular mechanisms of brain development in the transparent zebrafish embryo. Recently, processes of refinement of neuronal connectivity that occur at later larval stages several weeks after fertilization, which are for example control of social behavior, decision making or motivation-driven behavior, have moved into focus of research. At these stages, pigmentation of the zebrafish skin interferes with light penetration into brain tissue, and solutions for embryonic stages, e.g., pharmacological inhibition of pigmentation, are not feasible anymore.

Therefore, a minimally invasive surgical solution for microscopy access to the brain of awake zebrafish is provided that is derived from electrophysiological approaches. In teleosts, skin and soft skull cartilage can be carefully removed by micro-peeling these layers, exposing underlying neurons and axonal tracts without damage. This allows for recording neuronal morphology, including synaptic structures and their molecular contents, and the observation of physiological changes such as Ca2+ transients or intracellular transport events. In addition, interrogation of these processes by means of pharmacological inhibition or optogenetic manipulation is feasible. This brain exposure approach provides information about structural and physiological changes in neurons as well as the correlation and interdependence of these events in live brain tissue in the range of minutes or hours. The technique is suitable for in vivo brain imaging of zebrafish larvae up to 30 days post fertilization, the latest developmental stage tested so far. It, thus, provides access to such important questions as synaptic refinement and scaling, axonal and dendritic transport, synaptic targeting of cytoskeletal cargo or local activity-dependent expression. Therefore, a broad use for this mounting and imaging approach can be anticipated.

Over the recent decades, the zebrafish (Danio rerio) has evolved as one of the most popular vertebrate model organisms for embryonic and larval developmental studies. The large fecundity of zebrafish females coupled with the rapid ex utero development of the embryo and its transparency during early embryonic developmental stages are just a few key factors that make zebrafish a powerful model organism to adress developmental questions1. Advances in molecular genetic technologies combined with high resolution in vivo imaging studies allowed for addressing cell biological mechanisms underlying developmental processes

Log in or to access full content. Learn more about your institution’s access to JoVE content here

All animal work described here is in accordance with legal regulations (EU-Directive 2010/63). Maintenance and handling of fish have been approved by local authorities and by the animal welfare representative of the Technische Universität Braunschweig.

1. Preparation of artificial cerebro spinal fluid (ACSF), low melting agarose and sharp glass needles

  1. Prepare the ACSF by dissolving the listed chemicals at following concentrations in distilled water. 134 mM NaCl (58.44 g/mol),.......

Log in or to access full content. Learn more about your institution’s access to JoVE content here

Figure 3A,C show a 14 dpf larva of the transgenic line Tg[-7.5Ca8:GFP]bz12[15] with the skull still intact. The pigment cells in the overlaying skin are distributed all over the head and are interfering with the fluorescence signal in the region of interest (here, cerebellum). With the larva in this condition, it is not possible to obtain high resolution images of the brain. F.......

Log in or to access full content. Learn more about your institution’s access to JoVE content here

The presented method provides an alternative approach to brain isolation or the treatment of zebrafish larvae with pharmaceuticals inhibiting pigmentation for recording high resolution images of neurons in their in vivo environment. The quality of images recorded with this method is comparable to images from explanted brains, yet under natural conditions.

Furthermore, a loss in intensity of fluorescence is avoided, because there is no need for treatment with fixatives

Log in or to access full content. Learn more about your institution’s access to JoVE content here

We especially thank Timo Fritsch for excellent animal care and Hermann Döring, Mohamed Elsaey, Sol Pose-Méndez, Jakob von Trotha, Komali Valishetti and Barbara Winter for their helpful support. We are also grateful to all the other members of the Köster lab for their feedback. The project was funded in part by the German Research Foundation (DFG, KO1949/7-2) project 241961032 (to RWK) and the Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (BMBF; Era-Net NEURON II CIPRESS project 01EW1520 to JCM) is acknowledged.

....

Log in or to access full content. Learn more about your institution’s access to JoVE content here

Name Company Catalog Number Comments
Calcium chloride Roth A119.1
Confocal Laser scanning microscope Leica TCS SP8
d-Glucose Sigma G8270-1KG
d-Tubocurare Sigma-Aldrich T2379-100MG
Glass Capillary type 1 WPI 1B150F-4
Glass Capillary type 2 Harvard Apparatus GC100F-10
Glass Coverslip deltalab D102424
HEPES Roth 9105.4
Hoechst 33342 Invitrogen (Thermo Fischer) H3570
Imaging chamber Ibidi 81156
Potassium chloride Normapur 26764298
LM-Agarose Condalab 8050.55
Magnesium chloride (Hexahydrate) Roth A537.4
Microscope Camera Leica DFC9000 GTC
Needle-Puller type 1 NARISHIGE Model PC-10
Needle-Puller type 2 Sutter Instruments Model P-2000
Pasteur-Pipettes 3ml A.Hartenstein 20170718
Sodium chloride Roth P029.2
Sodium hydroxide Normapur 28244262
Tricain Sigma-Aldrich E10521-50G
Waterbath Phoenix Instrument WB-12
35 mm petri dish Sarstedt 833900
90 mm petri dish Sarstedt 821473001

  1. Embryology. Zebrafish Development Available from: https://embryology.med.unsw.edu.au/embryology/index.php/Zebrafish_Development (2020)
  2. Sassen, W. A., Köster, R. W. A molecular toolbox for genetic manipulation of zebrafish. Advances in Genomics and Genetics. Dove Medical Press. 2015 (5), 151-163 (2015).
  3. Singh, A. P., Nüsslein-Volhard, C. Zebrafish stripes as a model for vertebrate colour pattern formation. Current Biology. 25 (2), 81-92 (2015).
  4. Kalueff, A. V., et al. Time to recognize zebrafish 'affective' behavior. Brill: Behaviour. 149 (10-12), 1019-1036 (2012).
  5. Karlsson, J., von Hofsten, J., Olsson, P. -. E. Generating transparent zebrafish: a refined method to improve detection of gene expression during embryonic development. Marine Biotechnology. 3, 522-527 (2001).
  6. Bohnsack, B. L., Gallina, D., Kahana, A. Phenothiourea sensitizes zebrafish cranial neural crest and extraocular muscle development to changes in retinoic acid and IGF signaling. PloS One. 6, 22991 (2011).
  7. Elsalini, O. A., Rohr, K. B. Phenylthiourea disrupts thyroid function in developing zebrafish. Development Genes and Evolution. 212, 593-598 (2003).
  8. Baumann, L., Ros, A., Rehberger, K., Neuhauss, S. C. F., Segner, H. Thyroid disruption in zebrafish (Danio rerio) larvae: Different molecular response patterns lead to impaired eye development and visual functions. Aquatic Toxicology. 172, 44-55 (2016).
  9. White, R., et al. Transparent adult zebrafish as a tool for in vivo transplantation analysis. Cell Stem Cell. 2, 183-189 (2008).
  10. Antinucci, P., Hindges, R. A crystal-clear zebrafish for in vivo imaging. Scientific Reports. 6, 29490 (2016).
  11. Burr, S. A., Leung, Y. L. Curare (d-Tubocurarine). Encyclopedia of Toxicology (3rd Edition). , 1088-1089 (2014).
  12. Gesler, H. M., Hoppe, J. 3,6-bis(3-diethylaminopropoxy) pyridazine bismethiodide, a long-acting neuromuscular blocking agent. The Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics. 118 (4), 395-406 (1956).
  13. Furman, B. . Alpha Bungarotxin. Reference Module in Biomedical Sciences. , (2018).
  14. Attili, S., Hughes, S. M. Anaesthetic tricaine acts preferentially on neural voltage-gated sodium channels and fails to block directly evoked muscle contraction. PLoS One. 9 (8), 103751 (2014).
  15. Namikawa, K., et al. Modeling neurodegenerative spinocerebellar ataxia type 13 in zebrafish using a Purkinje neuron specific tunable coexpression system. Journal of Neuroscience. 39 (20), 3948-3969 (2019).
  16. Hennig, M. Theoretical models of synaptic short term plasticity. Frontiers in Computational Neuroscience. 7 (45), (2013).
  17. Wang, Y., et al. Moesin1 and Ve-cadherin are required in endothelial cells during in vivo tubulogenesis. Development. 137, 3119-3128 (2010).
  18. Hobro, A., Smith, N. An evaluation of fixation methods: Spatial and compositional cellular changes observed by Raman imaging. Vibrational Spectroscopy. 91, 31-45 (2017).
  19. Knogler, L. D., Kist, A. M., Portugues, R. Motor context dominates output from purkinje cell functional regions during reflexive visuomotor behaviours. eLife. 8, 42138 (2019).
  20. Hsieh, J., Ulrich, B., Issa, F. A., Wan, J., Papazian, D. M. Rapid development of Purkinje cell excitability, functional cerebellar circuit, and afferent sensory input to cerebellum in zebrafish. Frontier in Neural Circuits. 8 (147), (2014).
  21. Scalise, K., Shimizu, T., Hibi, M., Sawtell, N. B. Responses of cerebellar Purkinje cells during fictive optomotor behavior in larval zebrafish. Journal of Neurophysiology. 116 (5), 2067-2080 (2016).
  22. Harmon, T. C., Magaram, U., McLean, D. L., Raman, I. M. Distinct responses of Purkinje neurons and roles of simple spikes during associative motor learning in larval zebrafish. eLife. 6, 22537 (2017).
  23. Zehendner, C. M., et al. Moderate hypoxia followed by reoxygenation results in blood-brain barrier breakdown via oxidative stress-dependent tight-junction protein disruption. PLoS One. 8 (12), 82823 (2013).
  24. Dhabhar, F. S. The short-term stress response - mother nature's mechanism for enhancing protection and performance under conditions of threat, challenge, and opportunity. Frontiers of Neuroendocrinology. 49, 175-192 (2018).

This article has been published

Video Coming Soon

JoVE Logo

Privacy

Terms of Use

Policies

Research

Education

ABOUT JoVE

Copyright © 2024 MyJoVE Corporation. All rights reserved