Imaging the Developing Lymphatic System Using the Zebrafish

  1. Derek J. Chadwick Organizer and
  2. Jamie Goode
  1. Karina Yaniv1,
  2. Sumio Isogai1,2,
  3. Daniel Castranova1,
  4. Louis Dye3,
  5. Jiro Hitomi2 and
  6. Brant M. Weinstein1,†

Published Online: 11 SEP 2007

DOI: 10.1002/9780470319413.ch11

Vascular Development: Novartis Foundation Symposium 283

Vascular Development: Novartis Foundation Symposium 283

How to Cite

Yaniv, K., Isogai, S., Castranova, D., Dye, L., Hitomi, J. and Weinstein, B. M. (2007) Imaging the Developing Lymphatic System Using the Zebrafish, in Vascular Development: Novartis Foundation Symposium 283 (eds D. J. Chadwick and J. Goode), John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK. doi: 10.1002/9780470319413.ch11

Author Information

  1. 1

    Section on Vertebrate Organogenesis, Laboratory of Molecular Genetics, NICHD, National Institutes of Health, Building 6B, Room 309, 6 Center Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA

  2. 2

    Department of Anatomy, School of Medicine, Iwate Medical University, Morioka, 020–, Japan

  3. 3

    Microscopy and Imaging Core, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institutes of Health, 49/5W-14, 500 Rockville Pike, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA

  1. This paper was presented at the symposium by Brant Weinstein, to whom correspondence should be addressed.

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 11 SEP 2007
  2. Published Print: 20 JUL 2007

Book Series:

  1. Novartis Foundation Symposia

Book Series Editors:

  1. Novartis Foundation

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780470034286

Online ISBN: 9780470319413



  • lymphatic system and immune responses;
  • lymphatic endothelial cells (LECs);
  • zebrafish lymphatic development;
  • multiphoton time-lapse imaging;
  • lymphatic vessel molecular identification


The lymphatic system is essential for immune responses, fluid homeostasis, and fat absorption, and is involved in many pathological processes, including tumour metastasis and lymphoedema. Despite its importance, progress in understanding the origins and early development of this system has been hampered by difficulties in observing lymphatic cells in vivo and performing genetic and experimental manipulation of the lymphatic system. These difficulties stem in part from the lack of a model organism combining these features. The zebrafish is a genetically accessible vertebrate with an optically clear embryo permitting high-resolution in vivo imaging, but the existence of a lymphatic vascular system has not been previously reported in this model organism. Using a series of morphological, molecular and functional studies we have visualized and characterized lymphatic vessels in the developing zebrafish. Our studies show that the zebrafish possesses a lymphatic system that shares many of the characteristic features of lymphatic vessels found in other vertebrates. Using multiphoton time-lapse imaging we have carried out in vivo cell tracking experiments to trace the origins of lymphatic endothelial cells. Our data provide conclusive new evidence supporting a venous origin for primitive lymphatic endothelial cells.