ZFIN ID: ZDB-PUB-011109-3
In vivo imaging of zebrafish reveals differences in the spinal networks for escape and swimming movements
Ritter, D.A., Bhatt, D.H., and Fetcho, J.R.
Date: 2001
Source: The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience   21(22): 8956-8965 (Journal)
Registered Authors: Bhatt, Dimple, Fetcho, Joseph R., Ritter, Dale
Keywords: interneurons; calcium imaging; zebrafish; spinal cord; escape; swimming
MeSH Terms:
  • Agar
  • Animals
  • Calcium/metabolism
  • Escape Reaction/physiology*
  • Fluorescent Dyes
  • Interneurons/physiology*
  • Larva
  • Microscopy, Video
  • Nerve Net/cytology
  • Nerve Net/physiology*
  • Restraint, Physical/methods
  • Spinal Cord/cytology
  • Spinal Cord/physiology*
  • Swimming/physiology*
  • Zebrafish
PubMed: 11698606
Most studies of spinal interneurons in vertebrate motor circuits have focused on the activity of interneurons in a single motor behavior. As a result, relatively little is known about the extent to which particular classes of spinal interneurons participate in different behaviors. Similarities between the morphology and connections of interneurons activated in swimming and escape movements in different fish and amphibians led to the hypothesis that spinal interneurons might be shared by these behaviors. To test this hypothesis, we took advantage of the optical transparency of zebrafish larvae and developed a new preparation in which we could use confocal calcium imaging to monitor the activity of individual identified interneurons noninvasively, while we simultaneously filmed the movements of the fish with a high-speed digital camera. With this approach, we could directly examine the involvement of individual interneurons in different motor behaviors. Our work revealed unexpected differences in the interneurons activated in swimming and escape behaviors. The observations lead to predictions of different behavioral roles for particular classes of spinal interneurons that can eventually be tested directly in zebrafish by using laser ablations or mutant lines with interneuronal deficits.