ZFIN ID: ZDB-PUB-020912-8
Targeted 'knockdown' of channel expression in vivo with an antisense morpholino oligonucleotide
Brent, L. and Drapeau, P.
Date: 2002
Source: Neuroscience   114(2): 275-278 (Journal)
Registered Authors: Drapeau, Pierre
Keywords: zebrafish; embryonic development; acetylcholine receptor; end-plate potential; morpholino oligonucleotide; antisense knockdown
MeSH Terms:
  • Animals
  • Bungarotoxins
  • Down-Regulation/genetics
  • Embryo, Nonmammalian/cytology
  • Embryo, Nonmammalian/embryology*
  • Embryo, Nonmammalian/metabolism
  • Excitatory Postsynaptic Potentials/drug effects
  • Excitatory Postsynaptic Potentials/genetics
  • Female
  • Gene Targeting/methods*
  • Larva/genetics
  • Larva/growth & development*
  • Larva/metabolism
  • Muscle, Skeletal/embryology*
  • Muscle, Skeletal/growth & development
  • Muscle, Skeletal/metabolism
  • Mutation/genetics
  • Oligoribonucleotides, Antisense*/genetics
  • Receptors, Cholinergic/deficiency*
  • Receptors, Cholinergic/genetics
  • Zebrafish/genetics
  • Zebrafish/growth & development*
  • Zebrafish/metabolism
PubMed: 12204196 Full text @ Neuroscience
We have examined whether antisense morpholino oligonucleotides ( morpholinos) can be used as a tool to suppress or 'knockdown' the expression of ion channels during development of the zebrafish. Because the acetylcholine receptor channel is well characterized in zebrafish and is abundant as skeletal muscle is found throughout the body, we sought to knock down its expression as a general test of the feasibility of this approach. A 25-mer morpholino was designed to target the 5' region of the cloned alpha-subunit and was injected into early stage blastulae in order to trap it in all developing cells. From the time of hatching (early on the third day of development) and for a few days after, a fraction of the injected embryos were immobile, i.e. were ' morphant'. Injection of blastulae without the morpholino or with a control morpholino containing four mispaired bases did not affect the embryos. Although the morphant embryos were generally normal in appearance, they lacked staining with alpha-bungarotoxin or an alpha- subunit-specific monoclonal antibody. In whole muscle cell recordings from morphant embryos, miniature end-plate potentials were undetectable in many of the cells and in most they had a slower, immature time course . These results are consistent with a greatly reduced, dysfunctional level of expression of acetylcholine receptors in morphant embryos. Because of their stability and specificity, morpholinos should prove useful for targeted deletion of transmitter receptors and channels in developing zebrafish and possibly in other preparations.