Current Stem Cell Reports

, Volume 3, Issue 3, pp 181–191 | Cite as

“Sea”-ing Is Believing: In Vivo Imaging of Hematopoietic Stem Cells and Cancer Using Zebrafish

  • Samima Habbsa
  • Mia McKinstry
  • Teresa V. BowmanEmail author
In Vitro and In Vivo Models in Stem Cell Biology (E Scott, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on In Vitro and In Vivo Models in Stem Cell Biology


Purpose of Review

Communication between cells and their environment regulates their behaviors. Like a naturalist who watches animals to understand them, visualizing cells within their native ecosystems provides clues into how they work. In this review, we discuss recent findings using in vivo imaging in zebrafish to understand the behaviors of hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPCs) and cancer.

Recent Findings

Recent studies visualizing the birth and migration of HSPCs throughout development and adulthood have revealed the contributions of signals from somites, immune cells, and stromal cells in modulating HSPC fate decisions. New studies in zebrafish cancer have also revealed the earliest initiation of tumorigenesis, the complex interplay of heterogenous tumor cells with each other and their environment, and how these interactions influence tumor migration and metastasis.


These insights aid our understanding of cell-cell communications that are critical for making advances in regenerative medicine and cancer therapeutics.


Zebrafish Hematopoietic stem cells Cancer Imaging Transplantation Development 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Samima Habbsa, Mia McKinstry, and Teresa V. Bowman declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Samima Habbsa
    • 1
    • 2
  • Mia McKinstry
    • 1
    • 2
  • Teresa V. Bowman
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.Gottesman Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative MedicineAlbert Einstein College of MedicineBronxUSA
  2. 2.Department of Developmental & Molecular BiologyAlbert Einstein College of MedicineBronxUSA
  3. 3.Department of Medicine (Oncology)Albert Einstein College of MedicineBronxUSA

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