ZFIN ID: ZDB-PUB-130709-32
The ascl1a and dlx genes have a regulatory role in the development of GABAergic interneurons in the zebrafish diencephalon
MacDonald, R.B., Pollack, J.N., Debiais-Thibaud, M., Heude, E., Talbot, J.C., and Ekker, M.
Date: 2013
Source: Developmental Biology   381(1): 276-85 (Journal)
Registered Authors: Debiais-Thibaud, Mélanie, Ekker, Marc, MacDonald, Ryan, Talbot, Jared
Keywords: ascl1a, dlx, gad1b, GABAergic, interneuron, telencephalon, diencephalon
MeSH Terms:
  • Animals
  • Basic Helix-Loop-Helix Transcription Factors/physiology*
  • Diencephalon/metabolism
  • GABAergic Neurons/metabolism
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental*
  • Gene Regulatory Networks
  • Glutamate Decarboxylase/physiology*
  • Homeodomain Proteins/physiology*
  • Hypothalamus/metabolism
  • Interneurons/metabolism
  • Mutation
  • Phenotype
  • Telencephalon/metabolism
  • Transcription Factors/physiology*
  • Zebrafish/physiology*
  • Zebrafish Proteins/physiology*
PubMed: 23747543 Full text @ Dev. Biol.

During development of the mouse forebrain interneurons, the Dlx genes play a key role in a gene regulatory network (GRN) that leads to the GABAergic phenotype. Here, we have examined the regulatory relationships between the ascl1a, dlx, and gad1b genes in the zebrafish forebrain. Expression of ascl1a overlaps with dlx1a in the telencephalon and diencephalon during early forebrain development. The loss of Ascl1a function results in a loss of dlx expression, and subsequent losses of dlx5a and gad1b expression in the diencephalic prethalamus and hypothalamus. Loss of Dlx1a and Dlx2a function, and, to a lesser extent, of Dlx5a and Dlx6a, impairs gad1b expression in the prethalamus and hypothalamus. We conclude that dlx1a/2a act downstream of ascl1a but upstream of dlx5a/dlx6a and gad1b to activate GABAergic specification. This pathway is conserved in the diencephalon, but has diverged between mammals and teleosts in the telencephalon.