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The Weinstein Laboratory

Developing Experimental Tools for Studying Blood Vessel Formation in the Zebrafish

An important aim of the laboratory has been to develop new experimental tools in orderfor studying blood vessel formation in this organism. We devised a confocal microangiography method for imaging patent blood vessels in the zebrafish and used this method to compile a comprehensive staged atlas of the vascular anatomy of the developing fish. We generated a variety of different transgenic zebrafish lines expressing fluorescent proteins in vascular endothelial cells (VEC) to help visualize the blood vessel formation in intact, living embryos, and worked out methods for extremely long-term multiphoton confocal timelapse imaging. Current priorities inclide preparing additional transgenic lines that permit dynamic visualization of specific subsets of vessels such as arteries and veins, or subcellular structures within vascular cells, or that permit temporally regulated and/or localized gene expression within the vasculature. See selected references.

Confocal micrographs of blood vessels

Confocal micrographs of blood vessels in the trunk (left) and head (right) of a Fli-EGFP transgenic zebrafish. 630X magnification.