ZFIN ID: ZDB-PUB-070523-15
Interaction between hindbrain and spinal networks during the development of locomotion in zebrafish
Chong, M., and Drapeau, P.
Date: 2007
Source: Developmental Neurobiology   67(7): 933-947 (Journal)
Registered Authors: Chong, Mabel, Drapeau, Pierre
Keywords: locomotion, development, hindbrain, spinal cord, neural network, zebrafish
MeSH Terms:
  • Action Potentials/physiology
  • Animals
  • Axons/physiology
  • Biological Clocks/physiology
  • Cell Differentiation/physiology
  • Excitatory Postsynaptic Potentials/physiology
  • Locomotion/physiology*
  • Nerve Net/anatomy & histology
  • Nerve Net/growth & development*
  • Neural Pathways/anatomy & histology
  • Neural Pathways/growth & development*
  • Neurons/cytology
  • Neurons/physiology
  • Periodicity
  • Reticular Formation/anatomy & histology
  • Reticular Formation/growth & development
  • Rhombencephalon/anatomy & histology
  • Rhombencephalon/growth & development*
  • Spinal Cord/anatomy & histology
  • Spinal Cord/growth & development*
  • Synaptic Transmission/physiology
  • Zebrafish/anatomy & histology
  • Zebrafish/growth & development*
PubMed: 17506502 Full text @ Dev. Neurobiol.
Little is known about the role of the hindbrain during development of spinal network activity. We set out to identify the activity patterns of reticulospinal (RS) neurons of the hindbrain in fictively swimming (paralyzed) zebrafish larvae. Simultaneous recordings of RS neurons and spinal motoneurons revealed that these were coactive during spontaneous fictive swim episodes. We characterized four types of RS activity patterns during fictive swimming: (i) a spontaneous pattern of discharges resembling evoked high-frequency spiking during startle responses to touch stimuli, (ii) a rhythmic pattern of excitatory postsynaptic potentials (EPSPs) whose frequency was similar to the motoneuron EPSP frequency during swim episodes, (iii) an arrhythmic pattern consisting of tonic firing throughout swim episodes, and (iv) RS cell activity uncorrelated with motoneuron activity. Despite lesions to the rostral spinal cord that prevented ascending spinal axons from entering the hindbrain (normally starting at approximately 20 h), RS neurons continued to display the aforementioned activity patterns at day 3. However, removal of the caudal portion of the hindbrain prior to the descent of RS axons left the spinal cord network unable to generate the rhythmic oscillations normally elicited by application of N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA), but in approximately 40% of cases chronic incubation in NMDA maintained rhythmic activity. We conclude that there is an autonomous embryonic hindbrain network that is necessary for proper development of the spinal central pattern generator, and that the hindbrain network can partially develop independently of ascending input.