Miyasaka, N., Wanner, A.A., Li, J., Mack-Bucher, J., Genoud, C., Yoshihara, Y., and Friedrich, R.W. (2013) Functional development of the olfactory system in zebrafish. Mechanisms of Development. 130(6-8):336-46.
The olfactory system has become a popular model to study the function of neuronal circuits and the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying the development of neurons and their connections. An excellent model to combine studies of function and development is the zebrafish because it not only permits sophisticated molecular and genetic analyses of development, but also functional measurements of neuronal activity patterns in the intact brain. This article reviews insights into the functional development of the olfactory system that have been obtained in zebrafish. The focus is on the specification of olfactory sensory neurons (OSNs), the mechanisms controlling odorant receptor expression and OSN identity, the pathfinding of OSN axons towards target glomeruli in the olfactory bulb (OB), the development of glomeruli and functional topographic maps in the OB, and the development of inhibitory interneurons in the OB.