Genetic analysis of digestive physiology using fluorescent phospholipid reporters

Steven A. Farber, Michael Pack, Shiu Ying Ho, Iain D. Johnson, Daniel S. Wagner, Roland Dosch, Mary C. Mullins, H. Stewart Hendrickson, Elizabeth K. Hendrickson, Marnie E. Halpern

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

263 Scopus citations


Zebrafish are a valuable model for mammalian lipid metabolism; larvae process lipids similarly through the intestine and hepatobiliary system and respond to drugs that block cholesterol synthesis in humans. After ingestion of fluorescently quenched phospholipids, endogenous lipase activity and rapid transport of cleavage products results in intense gall bladder fluorescence. Genetic screening identifies zebrafish mutants, such as fat free, that show normal digestive organ morphology but severely reduced phospholipid and cholesterol processing. Thus, fluorescent lipids provide a sensitive readout of lipid metabolism and are a powerful tool for identifying genes that mediate vertebrate digestive physiology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1385-1388
Number of pages4
Issue number5520
StatePublished - May 18 2001
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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