Acute inflammation initiates the regenerative response in the adult zebrafish brain

Science. 2012 Dec 7;338(6112):1353-6. doi: 10.1126/science.1228773. Epub 2012 Nov 8.


The zebrafish regenerates its brain after injury and hence is a useful model organism to study the mechanisms enabling regenerative neurogenesis, which is poorly manifested in mammals. Yet the signaling mechanisms initiating such a regenerative response in fish are unknown. Using cerebroventricular microinjection of immunogenic particles and immunosuppression assays, we showed that inflammation is required and sufficient for enhancing the proliferation of neural progenitors and subsequent neurogenesis by activating injury-induced molecular programs that can be observed after traumatic brain injury. We also identified cysteinyl leukotriene signaling as an essential component of inflammation in the regenerative process of the adult zebrafish brain. Thus, our results demonstrate that in zebrafish, in contrast to mammals, inflammation is a positive regulator of neuronal regeneration in the central nervous system.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Animals
  • Brain Injuries / physiopathology*
  • Encephalitis / physiopathology*
  • Leukotrienes / metabolism
  • Neural Stem Cells / physiology*
  • Neurogenesis*
  • Receptors, Leukotriene / metabolism
  • Regeneration*
  • Signal Transduction
  • Zebrafish / physiology*


  • Leukotrienes
  • Receptors, Leukotriene
  • leukotriene D4 receptor