Dopamine transporter expression distinguishes dopaminergic neurons from other catecholaminergic neurons in the developing zebrafish embryo

Mech Dev. 2001 Mar;101(1-2):237-43. doi: 10.1016/s0925-4773(01)00287-8.


To characterize the formation of the dopaminergic system in the developing zebrafish CNS, we cloned cDNAs encoding tyrosine hydroxylase (th), an enzyme in dopamine synthesis, and the dopamine transporter (dat), a membrane transport protein which terminates dopamine action by re-uptake. Dopaminergic neurons are first detected between 18 and 19 h post-fertilization in a cluster of cells in the ventral diencephalon. Subsequently, th and dat detection identifies dopaminergic neurons in the olfactory bulb, the pretectum, the retina and the locus coeruleus. Neurons expressing th but not dat are adrenergic or noradrenergic, and are found in the locus coeruleus, the medulla, the likely analog of the carotid body, and precursors of the enteric and sympathetic nervous system.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Carrier Proteins / biosynthesis*
  • Catecholamines / metabolism*
  • Central Nervous System / embryology
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • DNA, Complementary / metabolism
  • Dopamine / metabolism
  • Dopamine Plasma Membrane Transport Proteins
  • Embryo, Nonmammalian / metabolism
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • In Situ Hybridization
  • Locus Coeruleus / embryology
  • Membrane Glycoproteins*
  • Membrane Transport Proteins*
  • Models, Biological
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins*
  • Neurons / metabolism*
  • Olfactory Bulb / embryology
  • Open Reading Frames
  • Retina / embryology
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid
  • Time Factors
  • Tissue Distribution
  • Tyrosine 3-Monooxygenase / genetics
  • Zebrafish / embryology*


  • Carrier Proteins
  • Catecholamines
  • DNA, Complementary
  • Dopamine Plasma Membrane Transport Proteins
  • Membrane Glycoproteins
  • Membrane Transport Proteins
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • Tyrosine 3-Monooxygenase
  • Dopamine

Associated data

  • GENBANK/AF318177