Transgenic FingRs for Live Mapping of Synaptic Dynamics in Genetically-Defined Neurons

Sci Rep. 2016 Jan 5;6:18734. doi: 10.1038/srep18734.


Tools for genetically-determined visualization of synaptic circuits and interactions are necessary to build connectomics of the vertebrate brain and to screen synaptic properties in neurological disease models. Here we develop a transgenic FingR (fibronectin intrabodies generated by mRNA display) technology for monitoring synapses in live zebrafish. We demonstrate FingR labeling of defined excitatory and inhibitory synapses, and show FingR applicability for dissecting synapse dynamics in normal and disease states. Using our system we show that chronic hypoxia, associated with neurological defects in preterm birth, affects dopaminergic neuron synapse number depending on the developmental timing of hypoxia.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Animals, Genetically Modified
  • Cell Tracking
  • Fibronectins / genetics
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique
  • Gene Expression
  • Gene Order
  • Genes, Reporter
  • Genetic Vectors / genetics
  • Hypoxia / metabolism
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Neurons / metabolism*
  • Synapses / metabolism*
  • Zebrafish


  • Fibronectins