ZFIN ID: ZDB-PUB-160528-12
Intensity-dependent timing and precision of startle response latency in larval zebrafish
Troconis, E.L., Ordoobadi, A.J., Sommers, T.F., Aziz-Bose, R., Carter, A.R., Trapani, J.G.
Date: 2017
Source: The Journal of physiology   595(1): 265-282 (Journal)
Registered Authors: Trapani, Josef
Keywords: none
MeSH Terms:
  • Animals
  • Animals, Genetically Modified
  • Behavior, Animal
  • Female
  • Hair Cells, Auditory/physiology
  • Larva
  • Male
  • Neurons, Afferent/physiology
  • Reaction Time/physiology*
  • Reflex, Startle/physiology*
  • Rhodopsin/genetics
  • Zebrafish
PubMed: 27228964 Full text @ J. Physiol.
Vertebrates rely on fast sensory encoding for rapid and precise initiation of startle responses. In afferent sensory neurons, trains of action potentials (spikes) encode stimulus intensity within the onset time of the first evoked spike (first spike latency; FSL) and the number of evoked spikes. For speed of initiation of startle responses, FSL would be the more advantageous mechanism to encode the intensity of a threat. However, the intensity dependence of FSL and spike number and whether either determines the precision of startle response initiation is not known. Here, we examined short-latency startle responses (SLCs) in larval zebrafish and tested the hypothesis that first spike latencies and their precision (jitter) determine the onset time and precision of SLCs. We evoked startle responses via activation of Channelrhodopsin (ChR2) expressed in ear and lateral-line hair cells and acquired high-speed videos of head-fixed larvae while simultaneously recording underlying field potentials. This method allowed for discrimination between primary SLCs and less frequent, long-latency startle responses (LLCs). Quantification of SLC kinematics and field potential parameters revealed that, apart their latencies, they were intensity independent. We found that increasing stimulus intensity decreased SLC latencies while increasing their precision, which was significantly correlated with corresponding changes in field potential latencies and their precision. Single afferent neuron recordings from the lateral line revealed a similar intensity-dependent decrease in first spike latencies and their jitter, which could account for the intensity-dependent changes in timing and precision of startle response latencies.