The zebrafish has become a widely used animal model due, in large part, to its accessibility to and usefulness for high-resolution optical imaging. Although zebrafish research has historically focused mostly on early development, in recent years the fish has increasingly been used to study regeneration, cancer metastasis, behavior and other processes taking place in juvenile and adult animals. However, imaging of live adult zebrafish is extremely challenging, with survival of adult fish limited to a few tens of minutes using standard imaging methods developed for zebrafish embryos and larvae. Here, we describe a new method for imaging intubated adult zebrafish using a specially designed 3D printed chamber for long-term imaging of adult zebrafish on inverted microscope systems. We demonstrate the utility of this new system by nearly day-long observation of neutrophil recruitment to a wound area in living double-transgenic adult casper zebrafish with fluorescently labeled neutrophils and lymphatic vessels, as well as intubating and imaging the same fish repeatedly. We also show that Mexican cavefish can be intubated and imaged in the same way, demonstrating this method can be used for long-term imaging of adult animals from diverse aquatic species.

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