Identification and real-time imaging of a myc-expressing neutrophil population involved in inflammation and mycobacterial granuloma formation in zebrafish

Dev Comp Immunol. 2008;32(1):36-49. doi: 10.1016/j.dci.2007.04.003. Epub 2007 May 22.


By enhancer trap screening we identified a transgenic zebrafish line showing leukocyte-specific YFP expression during late embryo and early larval development. Its enhancer detection insertion was mapped near a novel member of the myc proto-oncogene family, encoding transcription factors known to be important for regulating human myelopoiesis. Characterization of the zebrafish myc family showed that only this particular myc gene is strongly expressed in leukocytes. To identify the myc/YFP-expressing cell type, we re-examined specificity of described myeloid markers by multiplex fluorescent in situ hybridization, showing that lcp1 can be considered as a general leukocyte marker, csf1r as a macrophage-specific marker, and mpx and lyz as neutrophil-specific markers. Subsequent colocalization analysis defined the YFP-positive cells as a subset of the neutrophil population. Using real-time confocal imaging we demonstrate that these cells migrate to sites of inflammation and are involved in innate immune responses towards infections, including Mycobacterium marinum-induced granuloma formation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Movement
  • Embryo, Nonmammalian
  • Granuloma / immunology*
  • Granuloma / microbiology
  • Inflammation / immunology
  • Inflammation / metabolism
  • Mycobacterium Infections, Nontuberculous / immunology
  • Mycobacterium Infections, Nontuberculous / microbiology
  • Mycobacterium marinum / physiology*
  • Neutrophils / immunology*
  • Neutrophils / metabolism
  • Phylogeny
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-myc / biosynthesis*
  • Zebrafish


  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-myc