In vivo analysis of axonal transport in zebrafish

Catherine M. Drerup, Alex V. Nechiporuk

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

19 Scopus citations


Intracellular transport of proteins and organelles in neurons plays an essential role in nervous system development and maintenance. Axon outgrowth, synapse formation, and synapse function, among other physiological processes, require active transport of these cargos between the neuronal soma and axon terminals. Abnormalities in this axonal transport are associated with a number of neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative. disorders, such as Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, Alzheimer disease, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Despite its importance for nervous system development and health, methods for visualizing axonal transport in an intact vertebrate have been lacking. Using the advantages of the zebrafish system, we have developed a straightforward approach to visualize axonal transport of various cargos and motor proteins in intact zebrafish embryos and larvae. Here, we describe this approach in detail and discuss how it can be applied to address questions related to cargo-specific transport regulation and its effects on axon morphology and function in the developing and mature nervous system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Neuronal Cytoskeleton, Motor Proteins, and Organelle Trafficking in the Axon, 2016
EditorsK. Kevin Pfister
PublisherAcademic Press Inc.
Number of pages19
ISBN (Print)9780128033449
StatePublished - 2016

Publication series

NameMethods in Cell Biology
ISSN (Print)0091-679X


  • Axonal transport
  • Dynactin
  • Dynein
  • Lateral line sensory axons
  • Zebrafish

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology


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