A new clarification method to visualize biliary degeneration during liver metamorphosis in Sea Lamprey (Petromyzon marinus).

Research paper by Yu-Wen YW Chung-Davidson, Peter J PJ Davidson, Anne M AM Scott, Erin J EJ Walaszczyk, Cory O CO Brant, Tyler T Buchinger, Nicholas S NS Johnson, Weiming W Li

Indexed on: 26 Jun '14Published on: 26 Jun '14Published in: Journal of visualized experiments : JoVE


Biliary atresia is a rare disease of infancy, with an estimated 1 in 15,000 frequency in the southeast United States, but more common in East Asian countries, with a reported frequency of 1 in 5,000 in Taiwan. Although much is known about the management of biliary atresia, its pathogenesis is still elusive. The sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus) provides a unique opportunity to examine the mechanism and progression of biliary degeneration. Sea lamprey develop through three distinct life stages: larval, parasitic, and adult. During the transition from larvae to parasitic juvenile, sea lamprey undergo metamorphosis with dramatic reorganization and remodeling in external morphology and internal organs. In the liver, the entire biliary system is lost, including the gall bladder and the biliary tree. A newly-developed method called "CLARITY" was modified to clarify the entire liver and the junction with the intestine in metamorphic sea lamprey. The process of biliary degeneration was visualized and discerned during sea lamprey metamorphosis by using laser scanning confocal microscopy. This method provides a powerful tool to study biliary atresia in a unique animal model.