3C,D). This result suggested that hepatoblasts were properly specified,
and that the liver defect in SNX7 morphants might be the result of compromised development of liver during the budding or expansion growth stage. We found that prox1 staining in the liver of WT embryos increased significantly from 30 to 72 hpf, but prox1 in SNX7 morphants was not increased proportionally during the same period (Fig. 3E,F). These data suggested that the specification of hepatoblasts was SNX7 independent, but that further growth Sorafenib or maturation of the liver was SNX7 dependent. The small liver in SNX7 morphants could be the result of either reduced proliferation or enhanced apoptosis of hepatoblasts. We investigated these two possibilities in the MP760 transgenic zebrafish line.23 In this line, the liver was distinguishable from other endoderm tissues after the formation of liver bud at approximately 30 hpf (Fig. 4A). We performed 4′,6-diamidino-2-phenylindole (DAPI) staining in MP760 to count the numbers of liver cells at 32, 48, and 72 hpf (Fig. 4B). The average number of liver cells increased from 78 to 197 (a 1.5-fold increase) in control embryos. However, that number in SNX7 morphants only increased from 52 to 86 in
the same period (a 0.65-fold increase). Target Selective Inhibitor Library To investigate the cellular mechanism of the liver defect in SNX7 morphants, we first analyzed the proliferation rate of liver cells by phosphorylated histone 3 (P-H3) staining. medchemexpress Percentages of P-H3-positive hepatoblasts were comparable between control embryos and SNX7 morphants at all stages examined (Fig. 4C) (P > 0.25 in all cases). This result suggested that down-regulation of SNX7 did not affect the growth of hepatoblasts. We next measured the ratio of apoptotic hepatoblasts by performing the terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase dUTP nick end labeling (TUNEL) assay. No apoptotic cell was detected in the endoderm of WT embryos or SNX7 morphants before the formation of liver bud at approximately 30 hpf
(Fig. 4D). However, extensive apoptotic signals were detected in the liver of SNX7 morphants (23.6%; N = 590), but not in control embryos (1.2%; N = 653), at 32 hpf. These results demonstrated that SNX7 was essential for the survival, but not proliferation, of hepatoblasts during the liver bud stage. We investigated the molecular mechanism of SNX7 by analyzing the expression levels of cell proliferation-/apoptosis-related genes. Embryos were injected with MO1 or a standard control morpholino (4 ng), and total RNAs were prepared at 32 hpf. Relative expression levels of candidate genes were determined by real-time RT-PCR analysis, with the β-actin gene as an internal control. Expression levels of a house-keeping gene (e.g., elfa), early pan-endoderm or liver-marker genes (e.g., foxA3, gata6, hhex, and prox1), or genes crucial for the specification of hepatoblasts (e.g.