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PLoS One. 2016 Jun 23;11(6):e0158057. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0158057. eCollection 2016.

BDNF Expression in Larval and Adult Zebrafish Brain: Distribution and Cell Identification.

Author information

1
INSERM U1085, Research Institute in Health, Environment and Occupation (IRSET), University of Rennes 1, Rennes, France.
2
Department of Veterinary Medicine and Animal Productions, University of Naples Federico II, Napoli, Italy.

Abstract

Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a member of the neurotrophin family, has emerged as an active mediator in many essential functions in the central nervous system of mammals. BDNF plays significant roles in neurogenesis, neuronal maturation and/or synaptic plasticity and is involved in cognitive functions such as learning and memory. Despite the vast literature present in mammals, studies devoted to BDNF in the brain of other animal models are scarse. Zebrafish is a teleost fish widely known for developmental genetic studies and is emerging as model for translational neuroscience research. In addition, its brain shows many sites of adult neurogenesis allowing higher regenerative properties after traumatic injuries. To add further knowledge on neurotrophic factors in vertebrate brain models, we decided to determine the distribution of bdnf mRNAs in the larval and adult zebrafish brain and to characterize the phenotype of cells expressing bdnf mRNAs by means of double staining studies. Our results showed that bdnf mRNAs were widely expressed in the brain of 7 days old larvae and throughout the whole brain of mature female and male zebrafish. In adults, bdnf mRNAs were mainly observed in the dorsal telencephalon, preoptic area, dorsal thalamus, posterior tuberculum, hypothalamus, synencephalon, optic tectum and medulla oblongata. By combining immunohistochemistry with in situ hybridization, we showed that bdnf mRNAs were never expressed by radial glial cells or proliferating cells. By contrast, bdnf transcripts were expressed in cells with neuronal phenotype in all brain regions investigated. Our results provide the first demonstration that the brain of zebrafish expresses bdnf mRNAs in neurons and open new fields of research on the role of the BDNF factor in brain mechanisms in normal and brain repairs situations.

PMID:
27336917
PMCID:
PMC4918975
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0158057
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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