The goal of this study was to determine if we could establish a mesenchymal stromal line from zebrafish that would support hematopoietic cells. Such a coculture system would be a great benefit to study of the hematopoietic cell-stromal cell interaction in both in vitro and in vivo environments. Zebrafish stromal cells (ZStrC) were isolated from the "mesenchymal" tissue of the caudal tail and expanded in a specialized growth media. ZStrC were evaluated for phenotype, gene expression, and ability to maintain zebrafish marrow cells in coculture experiments. ZStrC showed mesenchymal and endothelial gene expression. Although ZStrC lacked the ability to differentiate into classic mesenchymal stromal cell lineages (i.e., osteocytes, adipocytes, chondrocytes), they did have the capacity for endotube formation on Matrigel and low-density lipoprotein uptake. ZStrC supported marrow cells for >2 weeks in vitro. Importantly, marrow cells were shown to retain homing ability in adoptive transfer experiments. ZStrC were also shown to improve hematopoietic recovery after sublethal irradiation after adoptive transfer. As the zebrafish model grows in popularity and importance in the study of hematopoiesis, new tools to aid in our understanding of the hematopoietic cell-stromal cell interaction are required. ZStrC represent an additional tool in the study of hematopoiesis and will be useful in understanding the factors that mediate the stromal cell-hematopoietic cell interactions that are important in hematopoietic cell maintenance.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by the Children’s Cancer Research Fund .