Na(V)1.6a is required for normal activation of motor circuits normally excited by tactile stimulation

Low, S.E., Zhou, W., Choong, X., Saint-Amant, L., Sprague, S.M., Hirata, H., Cui, W.W., Hume, R.I., and Kuwada, J.Y.
Developmental Neurobiology   70(7): 508-522 (Journal)
Registered Authors
Cui, Wilson, Hirata, Hiromi, Kuwada, John, Low, Sean, Saint-Amant, Louis, Sprague, Shawn, Zhou, Weibin
zebrafish, NaV1.6, scn8a, motor behaviors
MeSH Terms
  • Action Potentials/genetics
  • Action Potentials/physiology
  • Animals
  • Behavior, Animal/physiology
  • Central Nervous System/embryology*
  • Central Nervous System/growth & development
  • Central Nervous System/metabolism
  • Chromosome Mapping
  • Female
  • Male
  • Mechanoreceptors/cytology
  • Mechanoreceptors/metabolism
  • Mutagenesis, Site-Directed
  • Mutation, Missense/genetics
  • NAV1.6 Voltage-Gated Sodium Channel
  • Nerve Net/embryology*
  • Nerve Net/growth & development
  • Nerve Net/metabolism
  • Sensory Receptor Cells/cytology
  • Sensory Receptor Cells/metabolism
  • Sodium Channels/genetics
  • Sodium Channels/physiology*
  • Swimming/physiology*
  • Touch/genetics
  • Touch/physiology*
  • Zebrafish/embryology*
  • Zebrafish/growth & development
  • Zebrafish/physiology
  • Zebrafish Proteins/genetics
  • Zebrafish Proteins/physiology*
20225246 Full text @ Dev. Neurobiol.
A screen for zebrafish motor mutants identified two non-complementing alleles of a recessive mutation that were named non-active (nav(mi89) and nav(mi130)). nav embryos displayed diminished spontaneous and touch-evoked escape behaviors during the first three days of development. Genetic mapping identified the gene encoding Na(V)1.6a (scn8aa) as a potential candidate for nav. Subsequent cloning of scn8aa from the two alleles of nav uncovered two missense mutations in Na(V)1.6a that eliminated channel activity when assayed heterologously. Furthermore the injection of RNA encoding wild type scn8aa rescued the nav mutant phenotype indicating that scn8aa was the causative gene of nav.In vivo electrophysiological analysis of the touch-evoked escape circuit indicated that voltage-dependent inward current was decreased in mechanosensory neurons in mutants, but they were able to fire action potentials. Furthermore tactile stimulation of mutants activated some neurons downstream of mechanosensory neurons but failed to activate the swim locomotor circuit in accord with the behavioral response of initial escape contractions but no swimming. Thus mutant mechanosensory neurons appeared to respond to tactile stimulation but failed to initiate swimming. Interestingly fictive swimming could be initiated pharmacologically suggesting that a swim circuit was present in mutants. These results suggested that Na(V)1.6a was required for touch-induced activation of the swim locomotor network.
Genes / Markers
Mutation and Transgenics
Human Disease / Model Data
Sequence Targeting Reagents
Engineered Foreign Genes
Errata and Notes