Send to

Choose Destination
Methods Cell Biol. 2016;133:229-52. doi: 10.1016/bs.mcb.2015.12.002. Epub 2016 Feb 28.

Functional calcium imaging in zebrafish lateral-line hair cells.

Author information

National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, NIH, Bethesda, MD, United States.


Sensory hair-cell development, function, and regeneration are fundamental processes that are challenging to study in mammalian systems. Zebrafish are an excellent alternative model to study hair cells because they have an external auxiliary organ called the lateral line. The hair cells of the lateral line are easily accessible, which makes them suitable for live, function-based fluorescence imaging. In this chapter, we describe methods to perform functional calcium imaging in zebrafish lateral-line hair cells. We compare genetically encoded calcium indicators that have been used previously to measure calcium in lateral-line hair cells. We also outline equipment required for calcium imaging and compare different imaging systems. Lastly, we discuss how to set up optimal imaging parameters and how to process and visualize calcium signals. Overall, using these methods, in vivo calcium imaging is a powerful tool to examine sensory hair-cell function in an intact organism.


Calcium imaging; Hair cells; Lateral line; Zebrafish

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center