An arginase 2 promoter transgenic line illuminates immune cell polarisation in zebrafish

Ffion R. Hammond, Amy Lewis, Zoë C. Speirs, Holly E. Anderson, Tamara Sipka, Lewis G. Williams, Mai Nguyen-Chi, Annemarie H. Meijer, Geert F. Wiegertjes, Philip M. Elks*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Innate immune responses to inflammation and infection are complex and represent major challenges for developing much needed new treatments for chronic inflammatory diseases and drug-resistant infections. To be ultimately successful, the immune response must be balanced to allow pathogen clearance without excess tissue damage, processes controlled by pro- and anti-inflammatory signals. The roles of anti-inflammatory signalling in raising an appropriate immune response are underappreciated, representing overlooked potential drug targets. This is especially true in neutrophils, a difficult cell type to study ex vivo owing to a short lifespan, dogmatically seen as being highly pro-inflammatory. Here, we have generated and describe the first zebrafish transgenic line [TgBAC(arg2: eGFP)sh571] that labels expression of the anti-inflammatory gene arginase 2 (arg2) and show that a subpopulation of neutrophils upregulate arginase soon after immune challenge with injury and infection. At wound-healing stages, arg2:GFP is expressed in subsets of neutrophils and macrophages, potentially representing anti-inflammatory, polarised immune cell populations. Our findings identify nuanced responses to immune challenge in vivo, responses that represent new opportunities for therapeutic interventions during inflammation and infection.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberdmm049966
Number of pages14
JournalDMM Disease Models and Mechanisms
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2023


  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Infection
  • Inflammation
  • Macrophage
  • Neutrophil
  • Zebrafish


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