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Nfil3, a transcription factor that has an array of functions in immune cells, has been described as key regulator of CD8α(+) dendritic cell and natural killer cell development in mice. In this report we show that Nfil3 is enriched in the myeloid compartment of adult zebrafish including eosinophils. Knockdown of Nfil3 in pu.1:GFP embryos resulted in a reduced number of myeloid cells as early as 24h post-fertilization, while erythropoiesis was unaffected. Using mpx and fms-fluorescent transgenic fish we found that all myeloid cell lineages, and in particular macrophages, had reduced numbers at 4days post-fertilization. This was reflected by less myeloid cells accumulating at a wound site. Pu.1, l-plastin, csf1r and mpx had reduced expression in Nfil3 morphants while runx1, gata1 and rag1 were unaffected. Collectively, these results describe a conserved expression pattern of Nfil3 in evolutionarily divergent species and indicate that Nfil3 is central to myeloid lineage commitment.

Original publication




Journal article


Dev comp immunol

Publication Date





187 - 192


Animals, Embryo, Nonmammalian, Morpholinos, Myeloid Cells, Myelopoiesis, Transcription Factors, Zebrafish, Zebrafish Proteins