Bernhardt, R.R. (1999) Cellular and molecular bases of axonal pathfinding during embryogenesis of the fish central nervous system. Journal of neurobiology. 38(1):137-160.
The accessibility of the zebrafish embryo offers unique possibilities to study the mechanisms that guide growing axons in the developing vertebrate central nervous system. This review examines the current understanding of the pathfinding decisions by the growing axons, their substrates, and the recognition molecules that mediate axon–substrate interactions. The detailed analysis of pathfinding at the level of individual axons demonstrates that growing axons chose their paths unerringly. To do so, they rely on cues presented by their environment, in particular by neuroepithelial cells. Our understanding of the molecular bases of axon–substrate interactions is increasing. Members of most classes of recognition molecules have been identified in fish. Experimental evidence for the functions of these molecules in the zebrafish nervous system is accumulating. In the future, this analysis is expected to profit greatly from genetic screens that have recently been initiated.