Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, 13 July 2012, Vol.423(4), pp.785-788
► Report of an unbiased quantification of the birefringence of muscle of fish larvae. ► Quantification method readily identifies level of overall muscle damage. ► Compare zebrafish muscle mutants for level of phenotype severity. ► Proposed tool to survey treatments that aim to ameliorate muscular dystrophy. Muscular dystrophies are a group of genetic disorders that progressively weaken and degenerate muscle. Many zebrafish models for human muscular dystrophies have been generated and analysed, including dystrophin-deficient zebrafish mutants that model Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. Under polarised light the zebrafish muscle can be detected as a bright area in an otherwise dark background. This light effect, called birefringence, results from the diffraction of polarised light through the pseudo-crystalline array of the muscle sarcomeres. Muscle damage, as seen in zebrafish models for muscular dystrophies, can readily be detected by a reduction in the birefringence. Therefore, birefringence is a very sensitive indicator of overall muscle integrity within larval zebrafish. Unbiased documentation of the birefringence followed by densitometric measurement enables the quantification of the birefringence of zebrafish larvae. Thereby, the overall level of muscle integrity can be detected, allowing the identification and categorisation of zebrafish muscle mutants. In addition, we propose that the establish protocol can be used to analyse treatments aimed at ameliorating dystrophic zebrafish models.
Muscle ; Zebrafish ; Muscular Dystrophy ; Birefringence ; Biology ; Chemistry ; Anatomy & Physiology
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