immune cells in zebrafish gut
immune cells in zebrafish gut

Image of the Day: Gut Feeling

An unusual population of immune cells appears to exist in zebrafish as well as mammals.

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Shawna Williams

Shawna joined The Scientist in 2017 and is now a senior editor and news director. She holds a bachelor's degree in biochemistry from Colorado College and a graduate certificate and science communication from the University of California, Santa Cruz.

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Nov 28, 2018

ABOVE: Immunofluorescent staining in gut tissue from adult zebrafish shows T cells and innate lymphoid cells in green.

Specialized immune cells called innate lymphoid cells defend against venoms and parasitic worms in mice and humans by producing inflammatory molecules. In a study published November 16 in Science Immunology, researchers found similar cells in zebrafish. The authors of the study report they used single-cell RNA sequencing to identify cells with a similar profile to the known innate lymphoid cell (ILC) types found in mammals. However, the ILC-like cells in zebrafish had receptors on their surfaces that are not found on their mammalian counterparts.

P. P. Hernández et al., “Single-cell transcriptional analysis reveals ILC-like cells in zebrafish,” Sci Immunol, 3:eaau5265, 2018.

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immune cells in zebrafish gut

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