Neuronal labeling patterns in the spinal cord of adult transgenic Zebrafish

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We describe neuronal patterns in the spinal cord of adult zebrafish. We studied the distribution of cells and processes in the three spinal regions reported in the literature: the 8th vertebra used as a transection injury site, the 15th vertebra mainly used for motor cell recordings and also for crush injury, and the 24th vertebra used to record motor nerve activity. We used well-known transgenic lines in which expression of green fluorescent protein (GFP) is driven by promoters to hb9 and isl1 in motoneurons, alx/chx10 and evx1 interneurons, ngn1 in sensory neurons and olig2 in oligodendrocytes, as well as antibodies for neurons (HuC/D, NF and SV2) and glia (GFAP). In isl1:GFP fish, GFP-positive processes are retained in the upper part of ventral horns and two subsets of cell bodies are observed. The pattern of the transgene in hb9:GFP adults is more diffuse and fibers are present broadly through the adult spinal cord. In alx/chx10 and evx1 lines we respectively observed two and three different GFP-positive populations. Finally, the ngn1:GFP transgene identifies dorsal root ganglion and some cells in dorsal horns. Interestingly some GFP positive fibers in ngn1:GFP fish are located around Mauthner axons and their density seems to be related to a rostrocaudal gradient. Many other cell types have been described in embryos and need to be studied in adults. Our findings provide a reference for further studies on spinal cytoarchitecture. Combined with physiological, histological and pathological/traumatic approaches, these studies will help clarify the operation of spinal locomotor circuits of adult zebrafish. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Develop Neurobiol 76: 642–660, 2016

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