Live imaging the foreign body response in zebrafish reveals how dampening inflammation reduces fibrosis

David B Gurevich, Kathryn E French, John D Collin, Stephen J Cross, Paul Martin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (SciVal)


Implanting biomaterials in tissues leads to inflammation and a foreign body response (FBR), which can result in rejection. Here, we live image the FBR triggered by surgical suture implantation in a translucent zebrafish model and compare with an acute wound response. We observe inflammation extending from the suture margins, correlating with subsequent avascular and fibrotic encapsulation zones: sutures that induce more inflammation result in increased zones of avascularity and fibrosis. Moreover, we capture macrophages as they fuse to become multinucleate foreign body giant cells (FBGCs) adjacent to the most pro-inflammatory sutures. Genetic and pharmacological dampening of the inflammatory response minimises the FBR (including FBGC generation) and normalises the status of the tissue surrounding these sutures. This model of FBR in adult zebrafish allows us to live image the process and to modulate it in ways that may lead us towards new strategies to ameliorate and circumvent FBR in humans.This article has an associated First Person interview with the first author of the paper.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberjcs236075
JournalJournal of Cell Science
Issue number5
Early online date26 Sept 2019
Publication statusPublished - 31 Mar 2020


  • Animals
  • Biocompatible Materials
  • Cell Adhesion
  • Cell Shape
  • Fibrosis
  • Foreign-Body Reaction/pathology
  • Giant Cells, Foreign-Body/cytology
  • Implants, Experimental
  • Models, Animal
  • Zebrafish


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