Zebrafish macrophage developmental arrest underlies depletion of microglia and reveals Csf1r-independent metaphocytes

Laura E Kuil, Nynke Oosterhof, Giuliano Ferrero, Tereza Mikulášová, Martina Hason, Jordy Dekker, Mireia Rovira, Herma C van der Linde, Paulina Mh van Strien, Emma de Pater, Gerben Schaaf, Erik Mj Bindels, Valerie Wittamer, Tjakko J van Ham*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Macrophages derive from multiple sources of hematopoietic progenitors. Most macrophages require colony-stimulating factor 1 receptor (CSF1R), but some macrophages persist in the absence of CSF1R. Here, we analyzed mpeg1:GFP-expressing macrophages in csf1r-deficient zebrafish and report that embryonic macrophages emerge followed by their developmental arrest. In larvae, mpeg1+ cell numbers then increased showing two distinct types in the skin: branched, putative Langerhans cells, and amoeboid cells. In contrast, although numbers also increased in csf1r-mutants, exclusively amoeboid mpeg1+ cells were present, which we showed by genetic lineage tracing to have a non-hematopoietic origin. They expressed macrophage-associated genes, but also showed decreased phagocytic gene expression and increased epithelial-associated gene expression, characteristic of metaphocytes, recently discovered ectoderm-derived cells. We further demonstrated that juvenile csf1r-deficient zebrafish exhibit systemic macrophage depletion. Thus, csf1r deficiency disrupts embryonic to adult macrophage development. Zebrafish deficient for csf1r are viable and permit analyzing the consequences of macrophage loss throughout life.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere53403
Number of pages27
Publication statusPublished - 5-May-2020
Externally publishedYes

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