Kim, C.H., Taira, E., Kuo, C.H., Li, B.S., Okamoto, H., Nakahira, K., Ikenaka, K., Higuchi, H., and Miki, N. (1996) Neuron-specific expression of a chicken gicerin cDNA transient transgenic zebrafish. Neurochemical research. 21:231-237.
Gicerin, a novel cell adhesion molecule which belongs to the immunoglobulin superfamily, is expressed temporally and spatially in the developing chick brain and retina. The previous in vitro experiments using transfected cells showed that gicerin can function as a cell adhesion molecule which has both homophilic and heterophilic binding activities. For the in vivo analyses of gicerin in neural development, we tried to utilize a zebrafish system, a vertebrate suitable for studying early development. We generated transient transgenic animals by microinjecting DNA constructs into zebrafish embryos. Chicken gicerin, under control of the neurofilament gene promoter, was preferentially expressed in neuronal cells and gicerin-expressing neurons exhibited a fasciculation formation with neighboring gicerin-positive axons, which may be partly due to homophilic cell adhesion activity of gicerin. These experimental results suggest that this fast and efficient transgenic animal system is useful for studying the functional roles of neuron-specific genes during the development.