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Expression of dlx genes in the normal and regenerating brain of adult zebrafish.

By Hellen Weinschutz Mendes, Mariam Taktek, Thomas Duret, Marc Ekker

Posted 11 Feb 2020
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2020.02.11.943605 (published DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0229549)

Dysfunctions in the GABAergic system lead to various pathological conditions and impaired inhibitory function is one of the causes behind neuropathies characterized by neuronal hyper excitability. The Dlx homeobox genes are involved in the development of nervous system, neural crest, brachial arches and developing appendages. Dlx genes also take part in neuronal migration and differentiation during development, more precisely, in the migration and differentiation of GABAergic neurons. Functional analysis of dlx genes has mainly been carried out in developing zebrafish embryos and larvae; however information regarding the expression and roles of these genes in the adult zebrafish brain is still lacking. The extensive neurogenesis that takes place in the brain of adult zebrafish makes them a good model for the visualization of mechanisms involving dlx genes during adulthood in physiological conditions and during regeneration of the nervous system. We have identified the adult brain regions where transcripts of dlx1a, dlx2a, dlx5a and dlx6a genes are normally found and have confirmed that within telencephalic domains, there is high overlapping expression of the four dlx paralogs with a marker for GABAergic neurons. Co-localization analyses carried with the Tg( dlx6a -1.4kb dlx5a/dlx6a :GFP) reporter line have also shown that in some areas of the diencephalon, cells expressing the dlx5a/6a bigene may have a neural stem cell identity by co-localizing with a Sox2 antibody. Furthermore, investigations in a response to stab wound lesions, have demonstrated a possible participation of the dlx5a/6a bigene, most likely, of dlx5a during the regeneration of the adult zebrafish brain. These data suggest a possible participation of dlx -expressing cells during brain regeneration in adult zebrafish and also provide information on the role of dlx genes under normal physiological conditions in adults.

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