Zebrafish Xenografts for the In Vivo Analysis of Healthy and Malignant Human Hematopoietic Cells

  • Martina Konantz
  • Joëlle S. Müller
  • Claudia LengerkeEmail author
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 2017)


The zebrafish is a powerful vertebrate model for genetic studies on embryonic development and organogenesis. In the last decades, zebrafish were furthermore increasingly used for disease modeling and investigation of cancer biology. Zebrafish are particularly used for mutagenesis and small molecule screens, as well as for live imaging assays that provide unique opportunities to monitor cell behavior, both on a single cell and whole organism level in real time. Zebrafish have been also used for in vivo investigations of human cells transplanted into embryos or adult animals; this zebrafish xenograft model can be considered as an intermediate assay between in vitro techniques and more time-consuming and expensive mammalian models.

Here, we present a protocol for transplantation of healthy and malignant human hematopoietic cells into larval zebrafish; transplantation into adult zebrafish and possible advantages and limitations of the zebrafish compared to murine xenograft models are discussed.

Key words

Zebrafish Xenograft Yolk sac Duct of Cuvier HSC 



We thank Prof. Dr. Sven Perner for the help with histopathological analyses of tumorlike structures. This work was funded by grants from the Swiss National Science Foundation (164200 and 149735).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Martina Konantz
    • 1
  • Joëlle S. Müller
    • 1
  • Claudia Lengerke
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of BiomedicineUniversity of Basel and University Hospital BaselBaselSwitzerland

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