Hanneman, E., Trevarrow, B., Metcalfe, W.K., Kimmel, C.B., and Westerfield, M. (1988) Segmental pattern of development of the hindbrain and spinal cord of the zebrafish embryo. Development (Cambridge, England). 103:49-58.
In the ventral hindbrain and spinal cord of zebrafish embryos, the first neurones that can be identified appear as single cells or small clusters of cells, distributed periodically at intervals equal to the length of a somite. In the hindbrain, a series of neuromeres of corresponding length is present, and the earliest neurones are located in the centres of each neuromere. Young neurones within both the hindbrain and spinal cord were identified in live embryos using Nomarski optics, and histochemically by labelling for acetylcholinesterase activity and expression of an antigen recognized by the monoclonal antibody zn-1. Among them are individually identified hindbrain reticulospinal neurones and spinal motoneurones. These observations suggest that early development in these regions of the CNS reflects a common segmental pattern. Subsequently, as more neurones differentiate, the initially similar patterning of the cells in these two regions diverges. A continuous longitudinal column of developing neurones appears in the spinal cord, whereas an alternating series of large and small clusters of neurones is present in the hindbrain.