ZFIN ID: ZDB-PUB-100806-23
In vivo evidence for transdifferentiation of peripheral neurons
Wright, M.A., Mo, W., Nicolson, T., and Ribera, A.B.
Date: 2010
Source: Development (Cambridge, England)   137(18): 3047-3056 (Journal)
Registered Authors: Mo, Weike, Nicolson, Teresa, Ribera, Angie, Wright, Melissa
Keywords: Dorsal root ganglia neurons, Transdifferentiation, Nav1.6, Zebrafish
MeSH Terms:
  • Animals
  • Animals, Genetically Modified
  • Cell Differentiation*
  • Cell Movement
  • Cell Transdifferentiation
  • Ganglia, Spinal/cytology
  • Ganglia, Spinal/embryology
  • Ganglia, Spinal/metabolism
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental
  • Mutation
  • NAV1.6 Voltage-Gated Sodium Channel
  • Neurons/cytology*
  • Neurons/metabolism
  • Sodium Channels/deficiency
  • Sodium Channels/metabolism*
  • Tyrosine 3-Monooxygenase/metabolism
  • Zebrafish/growth & development*
  • Zebrafish/metabolism
  • Zebrafish Proteins/deficiency
  • Zebrafish Proteins/metabolism*
PubMed: 20685733 Full text @ Development
It is commonly thought that differentiated neurons do not give rise to new cells, severely limiting the potential for regeneration and repair of the mature nervous system. However, we have identified cells in zebrafish larvae that first differentiate into dorsal root ganglia sensory neurons but later acquire a sympathetic neuron phenotype. These transdifferentiating neurons are present in wild-type zebrafish. However, they are increased in number in larvae that have a mutant voltage-gated sodium channel gene, scn8aa. Sodium channel knock-down promotes migration of differentiated sensory neurons away from the ganglia. Once in a new environment, sensory neurons transdifferentiate regardless of sodium channel expression. These findings reveal an unsuspected plasticity in differentiated neurons that points to new strategies for treatment of nervous system disease.