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Studying the morphology, composition and function of the photoreceptor primary cilium in zebrafish


Masek, Markus; Zang, Jingjing; Mateos, José María; Garbelli, Marco; Ziegler, Urs; Neuhauss, Stephan C F; Bachmann-Gagescu, Ruxandra (2023). Studying the morphology, composition and function of the photoreceptor primary cilium in zebrafish. Methods in Cell Biology, 175:97-128.

Abstract

Vision is one of our dominant senses and its loss has a profound impact on the life quality of affected individuals. Highly specialized neurons in the retina called photoreceptors convert photons into neuronal responses. This conversion of photons is mediated by light sensitive opsin proteins, which are found in the outer segments of the photoreceptors. These outer segments are highly specialized primary cilia, explaining why retinal dystrophy is a key feature of ciliopathies, a group of diseases resulting from abnormal and dysfunctional cilia. Therefore, research on ciliopathies often includes the analysis of the retina with special focus on the photoreceptor and its outer segment. In the last decade, the zebrafish has emerged as an excellent model organism to study human diseases, in particular with respect to the retina. The cone-rich retina of zebrafish resembles the fovea of the human macula and thus represents an excellent model to study human retinal diseases. Here we give detailed guidance on how to analyze the morphological and ultra-structural integrity of photoreceptors in the zebrafish using various histological and imaging techniques. We further describe how to conduct functional analysis of the retina by electroretinography and how to prepare isolated outer segment fractions for different -omic approaches. These different methods allow a comprehensive analysis of photoreceptors, helping to enhance our understanding of the molecular and structural basis of ciliary function in health and of the consequences of its dysfunction in disease.

Abstract

Vision is one of our dominant senses and its loss has a profound impact on the life quality of affected individuals. Highly specialized neurons in the retina called photoreceptors convert photons into neuronal responses. This conversion of photons is mediated by light sensitive opsin proteins, which are found in the outer segments of the photoreceptors. These outer segments are highly specialized primary cilia, explaining why retinal dystrophy is a key feature of ciliopathies, a group of diseases resulting from abnormal and dysfunctional cilia. Therefore, research on ciliopathies often includes the analysis of the retina with special focus on the photoreceptor and its outer segment. In the last decade, the zebrafish has emerged as an excellent model organism to study human diseases, in particular with respect to the retina. The cone-rich retina of zebrafish resembles the fovea of the human macula and thus represents an excellent model to study human retinal diseases. Here we give detailed guidance on how to analyze the morphological and ultra-structural integrity of photoreceptors in the zebrafish using various histological and imaging techniques. We further describe how to conduct functional analysis of the retina by electroretinography and how to prepare isolated outer segment fractions for different -omic approaches. These different methods allow a comprehensive analysis of photoreceptors, helping to enhance our understanding of the molecular and structural basis of ciliary function in health and of the consequences of its dysfunction in disease.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Center for Microscopy and Image Analysis
04 Faculty of Medicine > Institute of Medical Genetics
07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Molecular Life Sciences
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
610 Medicine & health
Scopus Subject Areas:Life Sciences > Cell Biology
Uncontrolled Keywords:Zebrafish, Cilia, Immunohistochemistry, Plastic sections, Transmission electron microscopy (TEM), Correlative light and electron microscopy (CLEM), Outer segment isolation, Cell
Language:English
Date:2023
Deposited On:18 Apr 2023 07:55
Last Modified:29 Apr 2024 01:37
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0091-679X
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/bs.mcb.2022.10.004
PubMed ID:36967148
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