More than meets the eye: Actin in the zebrafish retina

Submission 2024

Confocal image of a zebrafish retina stained with fluorescent dyes.
Submitted by:Masha Masha
Department:Cell Biology
Faculty:Medicine & Dentistry

My research focuses on finger-like protrusions around the sensory ending of photoreceptors, the primary light-sensing cells of the retina. As those protrusions have a core of common structural protein called actin, I usually visualize them by staining the tissue with the actin-labeling dyes. This image depicts a transverse section through a transgenic Tg(sws1:GFP) zebrafish retina (UV-sensitive cone photoreceptors in magenta), demonstrating the distribution of phalloidin-stained actin (green) in the photoreceptor layer. 3D reconstruction of a confocal stack.

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How was your image created?
Zebrafish at 1 month post-fertilization were euthanized and fixed in paraformaldehyde, then washed and prepared for freezing using sucrose. The fish were then placed into molds and frozen in a special medium. Afterwards, I cut the block on a cryostat and collected sections on a slide. I performed a standard immunohistochemistry protocol on those slides and mounted them. Later, I imaged the slides on a confocal microscope and used Imaris software to create a 3D reconstruction.