Dopaminergic and noradrenergic circuit development in zebrafish

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Dopaminergic and noradrenergic neurons constitute some of the major far projecting systems in the vertebrate brain and spinal cord that modulate the activity of circuits controlling a broad range of behaviors. Degeneration or dysfunction of dopaminergic neurons has also been linked to a number of neurological and psychiatric disorders, including Parkinson's disease. Zebrafish (Danio rerio) have emerged over the past two decades into a major genetic vertebrate model system, and thus contributed to a better understanding of developmental mechanisms controlling dopaminergic neuron specification and axonogenesis. In this review, we want to focus on conserved and dynamic aspects of the different catecholaminergic systems, which may help to evaluate the zebrafish as a model for dopaminergic and noradrenergic cellular specification and circuit function as well as biomedical aspects of catecholamine systems.

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