Identification of polarized macrophage subsets in zebrafish

Mai Nguyen-Chi, Beryl Laplace-Builhe, Jana Travnickova, Patricia Luz-Crawford, Gautier Tejedor, Quang Tien Phan, Isabelle Duroux-Richard, Jean Pierre Levraud, Karima Kissa, Georges Lutfalla, Christian Jorgensen, Farida Djouad*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

186 Scopus citations


While the mammalian macrophage phenotypes have been intensively studied in vitro, the dynamic of their phenotypic polarization has never been investigated in live vertebrates. We used the zebrafish as a live model to identify and trail macrophage subtypes. We generated a transgenic line whose macrophages expressing tumour necrosis factor alpha (tnfa), a key feature of classically activated (M1) macrophages, express fluorescent proteins Tg(mpeg1:mCherryF/tnfa: eGFP-F). Using 4D-confocal microscopy, we showed that both aseptic wounding and Escherichia coli inoculation triggered macrophage recruitment, some of which started to express tnfa. RT-qPCR on Fluorescence Activated Cell Sorting (FACS)-sorted tnfa+ and tnfa-macrophages showed that they, respectively, expressed M1 and alternatively activated (M2) mammalian markers. Fate tracing of tnfa+ macrophages during the time-course of inflammation demonstrated that pro-inflammatory macrophages converted into M2-like phenotype during the resolution step. Our results reveal the diversity and plasticity of zebrafish macrophage subsets and underline the similarities with mammalian macrophages proposing a new system to study macrophage functional dynamic.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere07288
Number of pages14
Issue numberJULY 2015
StatePublished - 8 Jul 2015

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