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Stem Cells Dev. 2016 Feb 15;25(4):360-5. doi: 10.1089/scd.2015.0195. Epub 2016 Jan 19.

Visualizing Human Hematopoietic Stem Cell Trafficking In Vivo Using a Zebrafish Xenograft Model.

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1 Department of Immunohematology and Blood Transfusion, Leiden University Medical Center , Leiden, the Netherlands .
2 Department of Molecular Cell Biology, Institute of Biology Leiden, Leiden University , Leiden, the Netherlands .


Zebrafish is gaining increased popularity as a model organism to study stem cell biology. It also is widely used as model system to visualize human leukemic stem cells. However, xenotransplantation of primary human stem/progenitor cells has not been described. Here, we use casper pigmentation mutant fish that are transparent crossed to fli-GFP transgenic fish as recipients of red labeled human CD34(+) cells. We have investigated various conditions and protocols with the aim to monitor and visualize the fate of transplanted human CD34(+) cells. We here report successful use of casper mutant zebrafish embryos for the direct monitoring of human hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, differentiation, and trafficking in vivo.

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