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Neurosci Lett. 2002 Oct 4;331(1):55-9.

Betanodavirus as a novel transneuronal tracer for fish.

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Laboratory of Fish Physiology, Faculty of Applied Biological Science, Hiroshima University, Higashi-Hiroshima 739-8528, Japan.


In order to obtain a potential new tool to analyze networks of the central nervous system of teleost fishes, we tested a fish-pathogenic betanodavirus, sevenband grouper nervous necrosis virus (SGNNV), as a transneuronal tracer using the freshwater angelfish Pterophyllum scalare as a test animal. Intravitreous injections of SGNNV into the right eye resulted first in the labelings of neuronal cell bodies in the ganglion cell layers of the retina and then those in the inner and outer nuclear layers in sequence. For the first time, labeled neurons were found also in the stratum periventriculare of the contralateral optic tectum, the ventrolateral and ventromedial thalamic nuclei, and the periventricular nucleus of posterior tuberculum in the brain, then the periventricular pretectal nucleus pars dorsalis and pars ventralis. In contrast, by injections of biotinylated dextran amine into the eye no labeled cell bodies were observed in these brain areas, but axons and terminals were labeled anterogradely. These results suggest that the virus could be transported in both directions in axons of the first order neuron and transfected the second and third order neurons by passing across synaptic clefts, and that this technique is practically applicable to the study of neurobiology in teleost.

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