Barth, K.A., Miklosi, A., Watkins, J., Bianco, I.H., Wilson, S.W., and Andrew, R.J. (2005) fsi Zebrafish Show Concordant Reversal of Laterality of Viscera, Neuroanatomy, and a Subset of Behavioral Responses. Current biology : CB. 15(9):844-850.
Asymmetries in CNS neuroanatomy are assumed to underlie the widespread cognitive and behavioral asymmetries in vertebrates. Studies in humans have shown that the laterality of some cognitive asymmetries is independent of the laterality of the viscera; discrete mechanisms may therefore regulate visceral and neural lateralization. However, through analysis of visceral, neuroanatomical, and behavioral asymmetries in the frequent-situs-inversus (fsi) line of zebrafish, we show that the principal left-right body asymmetries are coupled to certain brain asymmetries and lateralized behaviors. fsi fish with asymmetry defects show concordant reversal of heart, gut, and neuroanatomical asymmetries in the diencephalon. Moreover, the neuroanatomical reversals in reversed fsi fish correlate with reversal of some behavioral responses in both fry and adult fsi fish. Surprisingly, two behavioral asymmetries do not reverse, suggesting that at least two separable mechanisms must influence functional lateralization in the CNS. Partial reversal of CNS asymmetries may generate new behavioral phenotypes; supporting this idea, reversed fsi fry differ markedly from their normally lateralized siblings in their behavioral response to a novel visual feature. Revealing a link between visceral and brain asymmetry and lateralized behavior, our studies help to explain the complexity of the relationship between the lateralities of visceral and neural asymmetries.