ZFIN ID: ZDB-PUB-180321-2
Multiple zebrafish atoh1 genes specify a diversity of neuronal types in the zebrafish cerebellum
Kidwell, C.U., Su, C.Y., Hibi, M., Moens, C.B.
Date: 2018
Source: Developmental Biology   438(1): 44-56 (Journal)
Registered Authors: Hibi, Masahiko, Moens, Cecilia
Keywords: Atoh1, Cerebellum, Granule cell, Zebrafish
MeSH Terms:
  • Animals
  • Basic Helix-Loop-Helix Transcription Factors/genetics
  • Basic Helix-Loop-Helix Transcription Factors/metabolism*
  • Cell Differentiation/genetics
  • Cell Movement/genetics
  • Cerebellum/embryology*
  • Cerebellum/metabolism
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental
  • In Situ Hybridization
  • Neurogenesis/genetics*
  • Neurons/metabolism
  • Signal Transduction
  • Zebrafish/embryology
  • Zebrafish/genetics
  • Zebrafish Proteins/genetics*
  • Zebrafish Proteins/metabolism
PubMed: 29548943 Full text @ Dev. Biol.
A single Atoh1 basic-helix-loop-helix transcription factor specifies multiple neuron types in the mammalian cerebellum and anterior hindbrain. The zebrafish genome encodes three paralagous atoh1 genes whose functions in cerebellum and anterior hindbrain development we explore here. With use of a transgenic reporter, we report that zebrafish atoh1c-expressing cells are organized in two distinct domains that are separated both by space and developmental time. An early isthmic expression domain gives rise to an extracerebellar population in rhombomere 1 and an upper rhombic lip domain gives rise to granule cell progenitors that migrate to populate all four granule cell territories of the fish cerebellum. Using genetic mutants we find that of the three zebrafish atoh1 paralogs, atoh1c and atoh1a are required for the full complement of granule neurons. Surprisingly, the two genes are expressed in non-overlapping granule cell progenitor populations, indicating that fish use duplicate atoh1 genes to generate granule cell diversity that is not detected in mammals. Finally, live imaging of granule cell migration in wildtype and atoh1c mutant embryos reveals that while atoh1c is not required for granule cell specification per se, it is required for granule cells to delaminate and migrate away from the rhombic lip.