Development and origins of Zebrafish ocular vasculature

Rivka Kaufman, Omri Weiss, Meyrav Sebbagh, Revital Ravid, Liron Gibbs-Bar, Karina Yaniv, Adi Inbal*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Background: The developing eye receives blood supply from two vascular systems, the intraocular hyaloid system and the superficial choroidal vessels. In zebrafish, a highly stereotypic and simple set of vessels develops on the surface of the eye prior to development of choroidal vessels. The origins and formation of this so-called superficial system have not been described. Results: We have analyzed the development of superficial vessels by time-lapse imaging and identified their origins by photoconversion experiments in kdrl:Kaede transgenic embryos. We show that the entire superficial system is derived from a venous origin, and surprisingly, we find that the hyaloid system has, in addition to its previously described arterial origin, a venous origin for specific vessels. Despite arising solely from a vein, one of the vessels in the superficial system, the nasal radial vessel (NRV), appears to acquire an arterial identity while growing over the nasal aspect of the eye and this happens in a blood flow-independent manner. Conclusions: Our results provide a thorough analysis of the early development and origins of zebrafish ocular vessels and establish the superficial vasculature as a model for studying vascular patterning in the context of the developing eye.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number18
JournalBMC Developmental Biology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 27 Mar 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Kaufman et al.; licensee BioMed Central.


  • Eye
  • Hyaloid vessels
  • Ocular vasculature
  • Zebrafish


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