ZFIN ID: ZDB-PUB-130416-5
Cerebellar output in zebrafish: an analysis of spatial patterns and topography in eurydendroid cell projections
Heap, L.A., Goh, C.C., Kassahn, K.S., and Scott, E.K.
Date: 2013
Source: Frontiers in neural circuits   7: 53 (Journal)
Registered Authors: Scott, Ethan
Keywords: zebrafish, cerebellum, eurydendroid, optic tectum, thalamus, topography, Gal4
MeSH Terms:
  • Animals
  • Animals, Genetically Modified
  • Cerebellar Cortex/cytology*
  • Cerebellar Cortex/physiology*
  • Neural Pathways/cytology
  • Neural Pathways/physiology
  • Superior Colliculi/cytology*
  • Superior Colliculi/physiology*
  • Zebrafish
PubMed: 23554587 Full text @ Front. Neural Circuits

The cerebellum is a brain region responsible for motor coordination and for refining motor programs. While a great deal is known about the structure and connectivity of the mammalian cerebellum, fundamental questions regarding its function in behavior remain unanswered. Recently, the zebrafish has emerged as a useful model organism for cerebellar studies, owing in part to the similarity in cerebellar circuits between zebrafish and mammals. While the cell types composing their cerebellar cortical circuits are generally conserved with mammals, zebrafish lack deep cerebellar nuclei, and instead a majority of cerebellar output comes from a single type of neuron: the eurydendroid cell. To describe spatial patterns of cerebellar output in zebrafish, we have used genetic techniques to label and trace eurydendroid cells individually and en masse. We have found that cerebellar output targets the thalamus and optic tectum, and have confirmed the presence of pre-synaptic terminals from eurydendroid cells in these structures using a synaptically targeted GFP. By observing individual eurydendroid cells, we have shown that different medial-lateral regions of the cerebellum have eurydendroid cells projecting to different targets. Finally, we found topographic organization in the connectivity between the cerebellum and the optic tectum, where more medial eurydendroid cells project to the rostral tectum while lateral cells project to the caudal tectum. These findings indicate that there is spatial logic underpinning cerebellar output in zebrafish with likely implications for cerebellar function.