ZFIN ID: ZDB-PUB-140605-4
Spinal cord transection in the larval zebrafish
Briona, L.K., Dorsky, R.I.
Date: 2014
Source: Journal of visualized experiments : JoVE   (87): (Journal)
Registered Authors: Dorsky, Richard
Keywords: none
MeSH Terms:
  • Animals
  • Female
  • Larva
  • Male
  • Neurosurgical Procedures/methods
  • Neurosurgical Procedures/veterinary*
  • Spinal Cord/surgery*
  • Zebrafish/surgery*
PubMed: 24894385 Full text @ J. Vis. Exp.

Mammals fail in sensory and motor recovery following spinal cord injury due to lack of axonal regrowth below the level of injury as well as an inability to reinitiate spinal neurogenesis. However, some anamniotes including the zebrafish Danio rerio exhibit both sensory and functional recovery even after complete transection of the spinal cord. The adult zebrafish is an established model organism for studying regeneration following spinal cord injury, with sensory and motor recovery by 6 weeks post-injury. To take advantage of in vivo analysis of the regenerative process available in the transparent larval zebrafish as well as genetic tools not accessible in the adult, we use the larval zebrafish to study regeneration after spinal cord transection. Here we demonstrate a method for reproducibly and verifiably transecting the larval spinal cord. After transection, our data shows sensory recovery beginning at 2 days post-injury (dpi), with the C-bend movement detectable by 3 dpi and resumption of free swimming by 5 dpi. Thus we propose the larval zebrafish as a companion tool to the adult zebrafish for the study of recovery after spinal cord injury.