Satou, C., Kimura, Y., Hirata, H., Suster, M.L., Kawakami, K., and Higashijima, S. (2013) Transgenic tools to characterize neuronal properties of discrete populations of zebrafish neurons. Development (Cambridge, England). 140(18):3927-3931.
The developing nervous system consists of a variety of cell types. Transgenic animals expressing reporter genes in specific
classes of neuronal cells are powerful tools for the study of neuronal network formation. We generated a wide variety of transgenic
zebrafish that expressed reporter genes in specific classes of neurons or neuronal progenitors. These include lines in which
neurons of specific neurotransmitter phenotypes expressed fluorescent proteins or Gal4, and lines in which specific subsets
of the dorsal progenitor domain in the spinal cord expressed fluorescent proteins. Using these, we examined domain organization
in the developing dorsal spinal cord, and found that there are six progenitor domains in zebrafish, which is similar to the
domain organization in mice. We also systematically characterized neurotransmitter properties of the neurons that are produced
from each domain. Given that reporter gene expressions occurs in a wide area of the nervous system in the lines generated,
these transgenic fish should serve as powerful tools for the investigation of not only the neurons in the dorsal spinal cord
but also neuronal structures and functions in many other regions of the nervous system.