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Gene Expr Patterns. 2013 Dec;13(8):335-42. doi: 10.1016/j.gep.2013.06.005. Epub 2013 Jul 2.

Expression of arginine vasotocin receptors in the developing zebrafish CNS.

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Neuroscience Graduate Program, University of Michigan, United States.


Vasotocin/vasopressin is a neuropeptide that regulates social and reproductive behaviors in a variety of animals including fish. Arginine vasotocin (AVT) is expressed by cells in the ventral hypothalamic and preoptic areas in the diencephalon during embryogenesis in zebrafish suggesting that vasotocin might mediate other functions within the CNS prior to the development of social and reproductive behaviors. In order to examine potential early roles for vasotocin we cloned two zebrafish vasotocin receptors homologous to AVPR1a. The receptors are expressed primarily in the CNS in similar but generally non-overlapping patterns. Both receptors are expressed in the forebrain, midbrain and hindbrain by larval stage. Of note, AVTR1a-expressing neurons in the hindbrain appear to be contacted by the axons of preoptic neurons in the forebrain that include avt+ neurons and sensory axons in the lateral longitudinal fasciculus (LLF). Furthermore, AVTR1a-expressing hindbrain neurons extend axons into the medial longitudinal fasciculus (MLF) that contains axons of many neurons thought to be involved in locomotor responses to sensory stimulation. One hypothesis consistent with this anatomy is that AVT signaling mediates or gates sensory input to motor circuits in the hindbrain and spinal cord.


Arginine vasopressin/vasotocin; CNS; Neuropeptide; Vasopressin/vasotocin receptors; Zebrafish

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