Neurogenesis and neuronal regeneration in the adult fish brain

J Comp Physiol A Neuroethol Sens Neural Behav Physiol. 2006 Jun;192(6):649-70. doi: 10.1007/s00359-006-0104-y. Epub 2006 Feb 7.


Fish are distinctive in their enormous potential to continuously produce new neurons in the adult brain, whereas in mammals adult neurogenesis is restricted to the olfactory bulb and the hippocampus. In fish new neurons are not only generated in structures homologous to those two regions, but also in dozens of other brain areas. In some regions of the fish brain, such as the optic tectum, the new cells remain near the proliferation zones in the course of their further development. In others, as in most subdivisions of the cerebellum, they migrate, often guided by radial glial fibers, to specific target areas. Approximately 50% of the young cells undergo apoptotic cell death, whereas the others survive for the rest of the fish's life. A large number of the surviving cells differentiate into neurons. Two key factors enabling highly efficient brain repair in fish after injuries involve the elimination of damaged cells by apoptosis (instead of necrosis, the dominant type of cell death in mammals) and the replacement of cells lost to injury by newly generated ones. Proteome analysis has suggested well over 100 proteins, including two dozen identified ones, to be involved in the individual steps of this phenomenon of neuronal regeneration.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / cytology*
  • Brain / physiology*
  • Cell Differentiation / physiology
  • Cell Movement / physiology
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Fishes / physiology
  • Nerve Regeneration / physiology*
  • Neurons / physiology*