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© Chloé EXBRAYAT-HERITIER / IGFL / CNRS Photothèque
In humans, Bethlem myopathy results from mutations in the gene encoding collagen VI, a component of the skeletal muscle extracellular matrix. This rare disease is characterised by muscle retractions and weakness, and a progressive worsening of symptoms, ranging from motor impairment to respiratory failure. The zebrafish is the only animal model that specifically reproduces one of the most common mutations found in patients. It is used to understand the functions of this collagen in the genesis and progression of the disease. This adult zebrafish head has been rendered transparent and labelled for collagen VI, in yellow. The combination of this labelling with the autofluorescence of the structures, in blue, reveals its gills, conjuring up the majestic plumage of the blue-and-yellow macaw. This image was taken using light sheet microscopy. It is one of the winners of the 2022 La preuve par l’image (LPPI) photography competition.