Lindsey, B.W., Di Donato, S., Kaslin, J., Tropepe, V. (2014) Sensory-specific modulation of adult neurogenesis in sensory structures is associated with the type of stem cell present in the neurogenic niche of the zebrafish brain. The European journal of neuroscience. 40(11):3591-607.
Teleost fishes retain populations of adult stem/progenitor cells within multiple primary sensory processing structures of the mature brain. Though it has commonly been thought that their ability to give rise to adult-born neurons is mainly associated with continuous growth throughout life, whether a relationship exists between the processing function of these structures and the addition of new neurons remains unexplored. We investigated the ultrastructural organisation and modality-specific neurogenic plasticity of niches located in chemosensory (olfactory bulb, vagal lobe) and visual processing (periventricular grey zone, torus longitudinalis) structures of the adult zebrafish (Danio rerio) brain. Transmission electron microscopy showed that the cytoarchitecture of sensory niches includes many of the same cellular morphologies described in forebrain niches. We demonstrate that cells with a radial-glial phenotype are present in chemosensory niches, while the niche of the caudal tectum contains putative neuroepithelial-like cells instead. This was supported by immunohistochemical evidence showing an absence of glial markers, including glial fibrillary acidic protein, glutamine synthetase, and S100β in the tectum. By exposing animals to sensory assays we further illustrate that stem/progenitor cells and their neuronal progeny within sensory structures respond to modality-specific stimulation at distinct stages in the process of adult neurogenesis - chemosensory niches at the level of neuronal survival and visual niches in the size of the stem/progenitor population. Our data suggest that the adult brain has the capacity for sensory-specific modulation of adult neurogenesis and that this property may be associated with the type of stem cell present in the niche.