ZFIN ID: ZDB-LAB-031215-1
Levkowitz Lab
PI/Director: Levkowitz, Gil
Contact Person: Levkowitz, Gil
Email: gil.levkowitz@weizmann.ac.il
URL: http://www.weizmann.ac.il/mcb/GLevkowitz/
Address: The Weizmann Institute of Science Department of Molecular Cell Biology 234 Herzl St. Rehovot, 76100
Country: Israel
Phone: 972-8-934-6077
Fax: 972-8-934-4125
Line Designation: wz

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Our lab utilizes zebrafish as a vertebrate model organism to investigate development and function of several clusters of neurons that reside in the hypothalamus. Hypothalamic neurons regulate fundamental body functions including sleep, blood pressure, temperature, hunger and metabolism, thirst and satiety, stress and social behavior.

We study mechanisms of development that contribute to the formation of hypothalamic circuits starting from early cell fate decisions through later morphogenic processes that shape the neuro-anatomy of the hypothalamus. We also examine how genetic determinants of developmental processes affect the physiological function of the mature hypothalamus.

Understanding these processes is especially important as developmental impairments of hypothalamic neuronal circuits are associated with neurological disorders that disrupt both physiological and psychological homeostasis.

Gordon, Ludmila Post-Doc Swaminathan, Amrutha Post-Doc Chen, Qiyu Graduate Student
Fisher, Tal Graduate Student Gavish, Rina Eden Graduate Student Gliksberg, Michael Graduate Student
Rajamannar, Preethi Graduate Student Blechman, Janna Research Staff Regev, Estar Research Staff

Brown, S.J., Boussaad, I., Jarazo, J., Fitzgerald, J.C., Antony, P., Keatinge, M., Blechman, J., Schwamborn, J.C., Krüger, R., Placzek, M., Bandmann, O. (2021) PINK1 deficiency impairs adult neurogenesis of dopaminergic neurons. Scientific Reports. 11:6617
Ribeiro, D., Nunes, A.R., Teles, M., Anbalagan, S., Blechman, J., Levkowitz, G., Oliveira, R.F. (2020) Genetic variation in the social environment affects behavioral phenotypes of oxytocin receptor mutants in zebrafish. eLIFE. 9:
Biran, J., Gliksberg, M., Shirat, I., Swaminathan, A., Levitas-Djerbi, T., Appelbaum, L., Levkowitz, G. (2020) Splice-specific deficiency of the PTSD-associated gene PAC1 leads to a paradoxical age-dependent stress behavior. Scientific Reports. 10:9559
Nunes, A.R., Carreira, L., Anbalagan, S., Blechman, J., Levkowitz, G., Oliveira, R.F. (2020) Perceptual mechanisms of social affiliation in zebrafish. Scientific Reports. 10:3642
Ribeiro, D., Nunes, A.R., Gligsberg, M., Anbalagan, S., Levkowitz, G., Oliveira, R.F. (2020) Oxytocin receptor signaling modulates novelty recognition but not social preference in zebrafish. Journal of neuroendocrinology. 32(4):e12834
Gordon, L., Blechman, J., Shimoni, E., Gur, D., Anand-Apte, B., Levkowitz, G. (2019) Fenestrae-associated protein Plvap regulates the rate of blood-borne proteins passage into the hypophysis. Development (Cambridge, England). 146(23):
Anbalagan, S., Blechman, J., Gliksberg, M., Gordon, L., Rotkopf, R., Dadosh, T., Shimoni, E., Levkowitz, G. (2019) Robo2 regulates synaptic oxytocin content by affecting actin dynamics. eLIFE. 8:
Denichenko, P., Mogilevsky, M., Cléry, A., Welte, T., Biran, J., Shimshon, O., Barnabas, G.D., Danan-Gotthold, M., Kumar, S., Yavin, E., Levanon, E.Y., Allain, F.H., Geiger, T., Levkowitz, G., Karni, R. (2019) Specific inhibition of splicing factor activity by decoy RNA oligonucleotides. Nature communications. 10:1590
Swaminathan, A., Basu, M., Bekri, A., Drapeau, P., Kundu, T.K. (2019) The Dietary Flavonoid, Luteolin, Negatively Affects Neuronal Differentiation. Frontiers in molecular neuroscience. 12:41
Anbalagan, S., Gordon, L., Blechman, J., Matsuoka, R.L., Rajamannar, P., Wircer, E., Biran, J., Reuveny, A., Leshkowitz, D., Stainier, D.Y.R., Levkowitz, G. (2018) Pituicyte Cues Regulate the Development of Permeable Neuro-Vascular Interfaces. Developmental Cell. 47(6):711-726.e5
Samarut, É., Swaminathan, A., Riché, R., Liao, M., Hassan-Abdi, R., Renault, S., Allard, M., Dufour, L., Cossette, P., Soussi-Yanicostas, N., Drapeau, P. (2018) γ-Aminobutyric acid receptor alpha 1 subunit loss of function causes genetic generalized epilepsy by impairing inhibitory network neurodevelopment. Epilepsia. 59(11):2061-2074
Blechman, J., Anbalagan, S., Matthews, G.G., Levkowitz, G. (2018) Genome Editing Reveals Idiosyncrasy of CNGA2 Ion Channel-Directed Antibody Immunoreactivity Toward Oxytocin. Frontiers in cell and developmental biology. 6:117
Gur, D., Nicolas, J.D., Brumfeld, V., Bar-Elli, O., Oron, D., Levkowitz, G. (2018) The Dual Functional Reflecting Iris of the Zebrafish. Advanced science (Weinheim, Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany). 5:1800338
Swaminathan, A., Hassan-Abdi, R., Renault, S., Siekierska, A., Riché, R., Liao, M., de Witte, P.A.M., Yanicostas, C., Soussi-Yanicostas, N., Drapeau, P., Samarut, É. (2018) Non-canonical mTOR-Independent Role of DEPDC5 in Regulating GABAergic Network Development. Current biology : CB. 28(12):1924-1937.e5
Swaminathan, A., Bouffard, M., Liao, M., Ryan, S., Bennion Callister, J., Pickering-Brown, S.M., Armstrong, G.A.B., Drapeau, P. (2018) Expression of C9orf72-related dipeptides impairs motor function in a vertebrate model. Human molecular genetics. 27(10):1754-1762
Wircer, E., Blechman, J., Borodovsky, N., Tsoory, M., Nunes, A.R., Oliveira, R.F., Levkowitz, G. (2017) Homeodomain protein Otp affects developmental neuropeptide switching in oxytocin neurons associated with a long-term effect on social behavior. eLIFE. 6
Blechman, J., Levkowitz, G., Gothilf, Y. (2017) The not-so-long history of zebrafish research in Israel. The International journal of developmental biology. 61:149-157
Biran, J., Levkowitz, G. (2016) Zebrafish Reel in Phenotypic Suppressors of Autism. Neuron. 89:673-675
Biran, J., Tahor, M., Wircer, E., Levkowitz, G. (2015) Role of developmental factors in hypothalamic function. Frontiers in Neuroanatomy. 9:47
Blechman, J., and Levkowitz, G. (2013) Alternative Splicing of the Pituitary Adenylate Cyclase-Activating Polypeptide Receptor PAC1: Mechanisms of Fine Tuning of Brain Activity. Frontiers in neuroscience. 4:55
Gutnick, A., and Levkowitz, G. (2012) The neurohypophysis: fishing for new insights. Journal of neuroendocrinology. 24(6):973-974
Amir-Zilberstein, L., Blechman, J., Sztainberg, Y., Norton, W.H., Reuveny, A., Borodovsky, N., Tahor, M., Bonkowsky, J.L., Bally-Cuif, L., Chen, A., and Levkowitz, G. (2012) Homeodomain protein otp and activity-dependent splicing modulate neuronal adaptation to stress. Neuron. 72(2):279-291
Blechman, J., Amir-Zilberstein, L., Gutnick, A., Ben-Dor, S., and Levkowitz, G. (2011) The Metabolic Regulator PGC-1α Directly Controls the Expression of the Hypothalamic Neuropeptide Oxytocin. The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience. 31(42):14835-14840
Gutnick, A., Blechman, J., Kaslin, J., Herwig, L., Belting, H.G., Affolter, M., Bonkowsky, J.L., and Levkowitz, G. (2011) The hypothalamic neuropeptide oxytocin is required for formation of the neurovascular interface of the pituitary. Developmental Cell. 21(4):642-654
Machluf, Y., Gutnick, A., and Levkowitz, G. (2011) Development of the zebrafish hypothalamus. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. 1220(1):93-105
Machluf, Y., and Levkowitz, G. (2011) Visualization of mRNA Expression in the Zebrafish Embryo. Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.). 714:83-102
Russek-Blum, N., Nabel-Rosen, H., and Levkowitz, G. (2010) Two-photon-based photoactivation in live zebrafish embryos. Journal of visualized experiments : JoVE. (46)
Palevitch, O., Abraham, E., Borodovsky, N., Levkowitz, G., Zohar, Y., and Gothilf, Y. (2010) Cxcl12a-Cxcr4b signaling is important for proper development of the forebrain GnRH system in zebrafish. General and comparative endocrinology. 165(2):262-268
Russek-Blum, N., Nabel-Rosen, H., and Levkowitz, G. (2009) High resolution fate map of the zebrafish diencephalon. Developmental dynamics : an official publication of the American Association of Anatomists. 238(7):1827-1835
Borodovsky, N., Ponomaryov, T., Frenkel, S., and Levkowitz, G. (2009) Neural protein Olig2 acts upstream of the transcriptional regulator sim1 to specify diencephalic dopaminergic neurons. Developmental dynamics : an official publication of the American Association of Anatomists. 238(4):826-834
Palevitch, O., Abraham, E., Borodovsky, N., Levkowitz, G., Zohar, Y., and Gothilf, Y. (2009) Nasal embryonic LHRH factor plays a role in the developmental migration and projection of gonadotropin-releasing hormone 3 neurons in zebrafish. Developmental dynamics : an official publication of the American Association of Anatomists. 238(1):66-75
Russek-Blum, N., Gutnick, A., Nabel-Rosen, H., Blechman, J., Staudt, N., Dorsky, R.I., Houart, C., and Levkowitz, G. (2008) Dopaminergic neuronal cluster size is determined during early forebrain patterning. Development (Cambridge, England). 135(20):3401-3413
Blechman, J., Borodovsky, N., Eisenberg, M., Nabel-Rosen, H., Grimm, J., and Levkowitz, G. (2007) Specification of hypothalamic neurons by dual regulation of the homeodomain protein Orthopedia. Development (Cambridge, England). 134(24):4417-4426
Levkowitz, G., Zeller, J., Sirotkin, H.I., French, D., Schilbach, S., Hashimoto, H., Hibi, M., Talbot, W.S., and Rosenthal, A. (2003) Zinc finger protein too few controls the development of monoaminergic neurons. Nature Neuroscience. 6(1):28-33