Zebrafish Serotinergic System
The serotonergic system describes the system of neurons in the brain that employ serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine;5HT) as a neurotransmitter. The system has been fairly well characterised in the adult (see Lillesaar review ), there have also been many efforts to characterise the system in the embryo and larva. The system is a current focus of multiple laboratories because of its clinical importance in several psychiatric (eg affective disorders) and neurological (eg migraine) pathologies.
Anatomically there are four main groups of serotonergic neurons in the brain: 1. the pretectal population, the hypothalamic and posterior tuberculum populations and the raphe populations, there are also 5HT-positive neurons in the epiphysis and area postrema.
Serotonin belongs to the tryptamine class of neurotransmitters as they are synthesised from tryptophan. The tryptamines in turn are part of the monoaminergic class of neurotransmitters which additionally includes the catecholamines (including dopamine, synthesised from tyrosine), Histamine and other amines.
Transgenics and molecular markers
Antibodies raised against 5HT can be used in immunohistochemical interrogation of zebrafish brain preparations, examples are shown in images associated with this tutorial. In addition to this, the Tg(pet1:GFP)(Lillesaar et al., 2012), Tg(pet1:KALTA4) and Tg(VMAT:GFP) transgenic line marks some of the populations of serotonergic neurons.
Antibodies that label serotinergic neurons
Transgenic lines that label serotinergic neurons
The serotonergic system in fish.
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Axonal projections originating from raphe serotonergic neurons in the developing and adult zebrafish, Danio rerio, using transgenics to visualize raphe-specific pet1 expression.
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