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J Neurosci Methods. 1999 Apr 1;88(1):1-13.

In vivo recording from identifiable neurons of the locomotor network in the developing zebrafish.

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Centre for Research in Neuroscience, Montreal General Hospital Research Institute, and Department of Neurology, McGill University, Quebec, Canada.


The zebrafish is a popular model for developmental studies due to its accessibility by cellular, molecular and genetic approaches. As a complement to these other methods, we have devised an exposed hindbrain/spinal cord preparation in the curarized zebrafish embryo and larva that permits intracellular labeling and patch clamp recording from individually identified sensory neurons, motoneurons and interneurons in vivo. Regular bursts of synaptic potentials and action potentials were observed under whole-cell current clamp in embryonic motoneurons and in some identified interneurons. Larval neurons showed prolonged depolarizations with synaptically driven bursts of action potentials. Frequent spontaneous synaptic potentials were observed and synaptic currents were effectively space clamped. It is thus feasible to study in vivo the properties of identifiable neurons of the developing locomotor network in the zebrafish, including their synaptic activity, firing patterns and interconnections.

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