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Intravital Imaging of Metastasis In Adult Zebrafish


David C. Benjamin and Richard O. Hynes

BMC Cancer

Metastasis is the cause of the vast majority of cancer-related mortality. However, we do not yet have a complete understanding of the underlying biology. This lack of understanding is especially true for the events at the metastatic site, which include arrest, extravasation, and growth into macro-metastases. These events are rare, transient, and often and occur deep within vital organs. The recent development of a strain of zebrafish that is transparent throughout its lifespan (Casper) offers a unique platform for imaging these events in a living animal.

In Benjamin and Hynes 2017, we published injection and imaging protocols for studying the events at the metastatic site in live, adult Casper zebrafish. We then used these protocols to follow single tumor cells over the course of two weeks following injection and characterized their behavior. We demonstrated that adult zebrafish are a promising model system for studying the events at the metastatic site through live imaging.

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