Development of the catecholaminergic system in the early zebrafish brain: an immunohistochemical study

Brain Res Dev Brain Res. 2002 Jul 30;137(1):89-100. doi: 10.1016/s0165-3806(02)00354-1.


Tyrosine hydroxylase-containing cells (TH cells) were investigated immunohistochemically in early and late postembryonic zebrafish brain sections (at 2 and 5 days postfertilization [dpf]) yielding an improved neuroanatomical resolution of spatiotemporal developmental dynamics of the catecholaminergic system. Additionally, double-immunolabel preparations for visualizing TH cells and cells containing the proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA cells) were carried out allowing for a prosomeric interpretation of early forebrain TH cell clusters. Many TH cell populations recently described in the adult zebrafish brain could be identified in the present study by location and cell type already in the 5 dpf (e.g. eight of 12 adult diencephalic TH cell populations) and 2 dpf (e.g. five of 12 adult TH cell populations) zebrafish brain. Early and adult diencephalic TH cells are restricted to the pretectum (P1) and ventral thalamus (P3) in the alar plate, and to various TH groups in the basal plate posterior tuberculum (P3), as well as to various populations in the hypothalamus (secondary prosencephalon). The alar plate ventral thalamic and most anterodorsal posterior tubercular TH cell populations range among the earliest detectable ones. There was no indication of migration of TH cells from the midbrain-hindbrain boundary or anterior neural ridge into the diencephalon.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / anatomy & histology
  • Brain / embryology*
  • Brain Chemistry / physiology*
  • Catecholamines / physiology*
  • Embryo, Nonmammalian / embryology
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Proliferating Cell Nuclear Antigen / analysis
  • Tyrosine 3-Monooxygenase / analysis
  • Zebrafish


  • Catecholamines
  • Proliferating Cell Nuclear Antigen
  • Tyrosine 3-Monooxygenase