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ZFIN ID: ZDB-PUB-200305-3
Molecular and cellular determinants of motor asymmetry in zebrafish
Horstick, E.J., Bayleyen, Y., Burgess, H.A.
Date: 2020
Source: Nature communications   11: 1170 (Journal)
Registered Authors: Burgess, Harold, Horstick, Eric
Keywords: none
MeSH Terms:
  • Animals
  • Animals, Genetically Modified
  • Diencephalon/physiology
  • Eye Proteins/genetics
  • Habenula/physiology
  • Larva/physiology
  • Motor Activity/physiology*
  • Mutation
  • Neurons/physiology*
  • Phototaxis
  • Receptors, Notch/metabolism
  • Reflex, Startle
  • Ubiquitin-Protein Ligases/genetics
  • Zebrafish/physiology*
  • Zebrafish Proteins/genetics
PubMed: 32127541 Full text @ Nat. Commun.
Asymmetries in motor behavior, such as human hand preference, are observed throughout bilateria. However, neural substrates and developmental signaling pathways that impose underlying functional lateralization on a broadly symmetric nervous system are unknown. Here we report that in the absence of over-riding visual information, zebrafish larvae show intrinsic lateralized motor behavior that is mediated by a cluster of 60 posterior tuberculum (PT) neurons in the forebrain. PT neurons impose motor bias via a projection through the habenular commissure. Acquisition of left/right identity is disrupted by heterozygous mutations in mosaic eyes and mindbomb, genes that regulate Notch signaling. These results define the neuronal substrate for motor asymmetry in a vertebrate and support the idea that haploinsufficiency for genes in a core developmental pathway destabilizes left/right identity.