Neural connections of the torus semicircularis in the adult Zebrafish

J Comp Neurol. 2024 Jan;532(1):e25586. doi: 10.1002/cne.25586.


The torus semicircularis (TS) of teleosts is a key midbrain center of the lateral line and acoustic sensory systems. To characterize the TS in adult zebrafish, we studied their connections using the carbocyanine tracers applied to the TS and to other related nuclei and tracts. Two main TS nuclei, central and ventrolateral, were differentiable by their afferent connections. From central TS, (TSc) numerous toropetal cells were labeled bilaterally in several primary octaval nuclei (anterior, magnocellular, descending, and posterior octaval nuclei), in the secondary octaval nucleus, in the caudal octavolateralis nucleus, and in the perilemniscular region. In the midbrain, numerous toropetal cells were labeled in the contralateral TSc. In the diencephalon, toropetal cells labeled from the TSc were observed ipsilaterally in the medial prethalamic nucleus and the periventricular posterior tubercle nucleus. TSc toropetal neurons were also labeled bilaterally in the hypothalamic anterior tuberal nucleus (ATN) and ipsilaterally in the parvicellular preoptic nucleus but not in the telencephalon. Tracer application to the medial octavolateralis nucleus revealed contralateral projections to the ventrolateral TS (TSvl), whereas tracer application to the secondary octaval nucleus labeled fibers bilaterally in TSc and neurons in rostral TSc. The TSc sends ascending fibers to the ipsilateral lateral preglomerular region that, in turn, projects to the pallium. Application of DiI to the optic tectum labeled cells and fibers in the TSvl, whereas application of DiI to the ATN labeled cells and fibers in the TSc. These results reveal that the TSvl and TSc are mainly related with the mechanosensory lateral line and acoustic centers, respectively, and that they show different higher order connections.

Keywords: Danio rerio; carbocyanines; mechanosensory system; octaval system; octavolateralis area; teleost.

MeSH terms

  • Acoustics
  • Animals
  • Arcuate Nucleus of Hypothalamus
  • Neurons*
  • Superior Colliculi
  • Zebrafish*