Whole-organism 3d quantitative characterization of zebrafish melanin by silver deposition micro-ct

Spencer R. Katz, Maksim A. Yakovlev, Daniel J. Vanselow, Yifu Ding, Alex Y. Lin, Dilworth Y. Parkinson, Yuxin Wang, Victor A. Canfield, Khai C. Ang, Keith C. Cheng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

We previously described X-ray histotomography, a high-resolution, non-destructive form of X-ray microtomography (micro-CT) imaging customized for three-dimensional (3D), digital histology, allowing quantitative, volumetric tissue and organismal phenotyping (Ding et al., 2019). Here, we have combined micro-CT with a novel application of ionic silver staining to characterize melanin distribution in whole zebrafish larvae. The resulting images enabled whole-body, computational analyses of regional melanin content and morphology. Normalized micro-CT reconstructions of silver-stained fish consistently reproduced pigment patterns seen by light microscopy, and further allowed direct quantitative comparisons of melanin content across wild-type and mutant samples, including subtle phenotypes not previously noticed. Silver staining of melanin for micro-CT provides proof-of-principle for whole-body, 3D computational phenomic analysis of a specific cell type at cellular resolution, with potential applications in other model organisms and melanocytic neoplasms. Advances such as this in whole-organism, high-resolution phenotyping provide superior context for studying the phenotypic effects of genetic, disease, and environmental variables.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere68920
JournaleLife
Volume10
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)

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