ZFIN ID: ZDB-PUB-010927-2
Activity regulates programmed cell death of zebrafish Rohon-Beard neurons
Svoboda, K.R., Linares, A.E., and Ribera, A.B.
Date: 2001
Source: Development (Cambridge, England)   128(18): 3511-3520 (Journal)
Registered Authors: Novak, Alicia, Ribera, Angie, Svoboda, Kurt
Keywords: programmed cell death; Rohon-Beard neurons; zebrafish; neural activity; Na+ current; macho mutant
MeSH Terms:
  • Acetylation
  • Aminobenzoates/pharmacology
  • Anesthetics/pharmacology
  • Animals
  • Apoptosis*
  • Cations, Monovalent/metabolism
  • Electric Conductivity
  • Mutation
  • Physical Stimulation
  • Sodium/metabolism
  • Sodium Channels/genetics
  • Sodium Channels/metabolism*
  • Spinal Cord/cytology
  • Spinal Cord/embryology*
  • Touch
  • Tubulin/analogs & derivatives
  • Tubulin/metabolism
  • Zebrafish/embryology*
PubMed: 11566856
Programmed cell death is a normal aspect of neuronal development. Typically, twice as many neurons are generated than survive. In extreme cases, all neurons within a population disappear during embryogenesis or by early stages of postnatal development. Examples of transient neuronal populations include Cajal-Retzius cells of the cerebral cortex and Rohon-Beard cells of the spinal cord. The novel mechanisms that lead to such massive cell death have not yet been identified. We provide evidence that electrical activity regulates the cell death program of zebrafish Rohon-Beard cells. Activity was inhibited by reducing Na(+) current in Rohon-Beard cells either genetically (the macho mutation) or pharmacologically (tricaine). We examined the effects of activity block on three different reporters of cell death: DNA fragmentation, cytoskeletal rearrangements and cell body loss. Both the mao mutation and pharmacological blockade of Na(+) current reduced these signatures of the cell death program. Moreover, the mao mutation and pharmacological blockade of Na(+) current produced similar reductions in Rohon-Beard cell death. The results indicate that electrical activity provides signals that are required for the normal elimination of Rohon-Beard cells.