Live imaging reveals a conserved role of fatty acid β-oxidation in early lymphatic development in zebrafish

Annalisa Zecchin, Brian W. Wong, Bieke Tembuyser, Joris Souffreau, An Van Nuffelen, Sabine Wyns, Stefan Vinckier, Peter Carmeliet, Mieke Dewerchin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


During embryonic development, lymphatic endothelial cells (LECs) differentiate from venous endothelial cells (VECs), a process that is tightly regulated by several genetic signals. While the aquatic zebrafish model is regularly used for studying lymphangiogenesis and offers the unique advantage of time-lapse video-imaging of lymphatic development, some aspects of lymphatic development in this model differ from those in the mouse. It therefore remained to be determined whether fatty acid β-oxidation (FAO), which we showed to regulate lymphatic formation in the mouse, also co-determines lymphatic development in this aquatic model. Here, we took advantage of the power of the zebrafish embryo model to visualize the earliest steps of lymphatic development through time-lapse video-imaging. By targeting zebrafish isoforms of carnitine palmitoyltransferase 1a (cpt1a), a rate controlling enzyme of FAO, with multiple morpholinos, we demonstrate that reducing CPT1A levels and FAO flux during zebrafish development impairs lymphangiogenic secondary sprouting, the initiation of lymphatic development in the zebrafish trunk, and the formation of the first lymphatic structures. These findings not only show evolutionary conservation of the importance of FAO for lymphatic development, but also suggest a role for FAO in co-regulating the process of VEC-to-LEC differentiation in zebrafish in vivo.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)26-31
Number of pages6
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 3 2018


  • CPT1A
  • Danio rerio
  • Fatty acid oxidation
  • Lymphangiogenesis
  • Lymphatic development
  • Zebrafish


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