header logo image header logo text
Downloads Login
General Information
ZFIN ID: ZDB-PUB-110324-3
Development of the zebrafish hypothalamus
Machluf, Y., Gutnick, A., and Levkowitz, G.
Date: 2011
Source: Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 1220(1): 93-105 (Review)
Registered Authors: Gutnick, Amos, Levkowitz, Gil, Machluf, Yossy
Keywords: Danio rerio, Fezf2, Otp, Sim1, hypothalamic disorders, peptidergic neurons
MeSH Terms:
  • Animals
  • Hypothalamus/growth & development*
  • Zebrafish/growth & development*
PubMed: 21388407 Full text @ Ann N Y Acad Sci
Hypothalamic neurons regulate fundamental body functions including sleep, blood pressure, temperature, hunger and metabolism, thirst and satiety, stress, and social behavior. This is achieved by means of the secretion of various hypothalamic neuropeptides and neurotransmitters that affect endocrine, metabolic, and behavioral activities. Developmental impairments of hypothalamic neuronal circuits are associated with neurological disorders that disrupt both physiological and psychological homeostasis. Hypothalamic cell specification and morphogenesis can be uniquely studied in zebrafish, a vertebrate organism readily amenable to genetic manipulations. As embryos are optically transparent and develop externally, they provide a powerful tool for in vivo analyses of neurons and their circuits. Here, we discuss the current knowledge regarding the neuroanatomy of the zebrafish hypothalamus and recent studies identifying critical determinants of hypothalamic differentiation. Taken together, these reports demonstrate that the molecular pathways underlying development of the hypothalamus are largely conserved between zebrafish and mammals. We conclude that the zebrafish has proved itself a valuable vertebrate model for understanding the patterning, specification, morphogenesis, and subsequent function of the hypothalamus.