S100 protein is a useful and specific marker for hair cells of the lateral line system in postembryonic zebrafish

Neurosci Lett. 2004 Jul 29;365(3):186-9. doi: 10.1016/j.neulet.2004.04.094.


The neuromast of the lateral line system of zebrafish has become an ideal model for the study of both developmental genetics and the vertebrate auditory system. Interestingly, the hair cells of this system have been found to selectively display immunoreactivity for S100 protein in some teleosts. In order to provide a selective marker for the sensory cells of the lateral line system, we have analyzed immunohistochemically the expression of S100 protein in zebrafish from the larval to the adult stage. In larval and adult animals S100 protein immunoreactivity was detected restricted to the hair cells of both superficial and canal neuromasts. Apparently the expression of S100 protein by hair cells was independent of the age, but it was expressed heterogeneously in the hair cells of canal neuromasts. The results of this work provide a feasible method to easily identify sensory cells in the neuromasts, and may be of interest in studies regarding development, differentiation or turnover of hair cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biomarkers / analysis
  • Hair Cells, Auditory / metabolism*
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Larva
  • S100 Proteins / biosynthesis*
  • Zebrafish


  • Biomarkers
  • S100 Proteins