Use of Confocal Microscopy and High-Speed Behavioral Imaging to Study Neuronal Regeneration in the Larval Zebrafish

Abstract

The possibility of repairing the reticulospinal system, descending neurons that coordinate locomotion, is of great interest. While numerous studies of axonal regeneration have sought to improve the plight of spinal-cord injured patients, little progress has been made to effectively regenerate damaged axons. The larval zebrafish has become an ideal model system for studying such disease mechanisms. In its larval stage, zebrafish have been shown to regenerate various aspects of its anatomy such as fins, skin, as well as parts of the brain. There are approximately 300 descending neurons in the brainstem that can be identified and visualized in vivo since they are transparent. Additionally, these larvae have an extensive behavioral repertoire that has been well-characterized [Budick and O