mpeg1 promoter transgenes direct macrophage-lineage expression in zebrafish

Blood. 2011 Jan 27;117(4):e49-56. doi: 10.1182/blood-2010-10-314120. Epub 2010 Nov 17.


Macrophages and neutrophils play important roles during the innate immune response, phagocytosing invading microbes and delivering antimicrobial compounds to the site of injury. Functional analyses of the cellular innate immune response in zebrafish infection/inflammation models have been aided by transgenic lines with fluorophore-marked neutrophils. However, it has not been possible to study macrophage behaviors and neutrophil/macrophage interactions in vivo directly because there has been no macrophage-only reporter line. To remove this roadblock, a macrophage-specific marker was identified (mpeg1) and its promoter used in mpeg1-driven transgenes. mpeg1-driven transgenes are expressed in macrophage-lineage cells that do not express neutrophil-marking transgenes. Using these lines, the different dynamic behaviors of neutrophils and macrophages after wounding were compared side-by-side in compound transgenics. Macrophage/neutrophil interactions, such as phagocytosis of senescent neutrophils, were readily observed in real time. These zebrafish transgenes provide a new resource that will contribute to the fields of inflammation, infection, and leukocyte biology.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Animals, Genetically Modified
  • Cell Lineage / genetics*
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • Embryo, Nonmammalian
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental
  • Macrophages / metabolism*
  • Macrophages / physiology
  • Membrane Proteins / genetics
  • Myeloid Cells / metabolism
  • Organ Specificity / genetics
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic*
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins / genetics
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins / metabolism
  • Transgenes / physiology*
  • Zebrafish / embryology
  • Zebrafish / genetics*
  • Zebrafish / metabolism


  • MPEG1 protein, human
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins