An evolutionarily conserved program of B-cell development and activation in zebrafish

Dawne M. Page, Valerie Wittamer, Julien Y. Bertrand, Kanako L. Lewis, David N. Pratt, Noemi Delgado, Sarah E. Schale, Caitlyn McGue, Bradley H. Jacobsen, Alyssa Doty, Yvonne Pao, Hongbo Yang, Neil C. Chi, Brad G. Magor, David Traver

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

129 Scopus citations


Teleost fish are among the most ancient vertebrates possessing an adaptive immune system with B and T lymphocytes that produce memory responses to pathogens. Most bony fish, however, have only 2 types of B lymphocytes, in contrast to the 4 types available to mammals. To better understand the evolution of adaptive immunity, we generated transgenic zebrafish in which the major immunoglobul in M (IgM1) B-cell subset expresses green fluorescence protein (GFP) (IgM1:eGFP). We discovered that the earliest IgM1 B cells appear between the dorsal aorta and posterior cardinal vein and also in the kidney around 20 days postfertilization. We also examined B-cell ontogeny in adult IgM1:eGFP;rag2: DsRed animals, where we defined pro-B, pre-B, and immature/mature B cells in the adult kidney. Sites of B-cell development that shift between the embryo and adult have previously been describedinbirds and mammals. Our results suggest thatthis developmental shift occurs in all jawed vertebrates. Finally, we used IgM1:eGFP and cd45DsRed; blimp1: eGFP zebrafish to characterize plasma B cells and investigate B-cell function. The IgM1:eGFP reporter fish are the first nonmammalian B-cell reporter animals to be described. They will be important for further investigation of immune cell evolution and development and host-pathogen interactions in zebrafish.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e1-e11
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 22 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Immunology
  • Hematology
  • Cell Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'An evolutionarily conserved program of B-cell development and activation in zebrafish'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this