Optogenetic dissection of a behavioural module in the vertebrate spinal cord

Wyart, Claire, Bene, Filippo Del, Warp, Erica, Scott, Ethan K., Trauner, Dirk, Baier, Herwig and Isacoff, Ehud Y. (2009) Optogenetic dissection of a behavioural module in the vertebrate spinal cord. Nature, 461 7262: 407-410. doi:10.1038/nature08323

Author Wyart, Claire
Bene, Filippo Del
Warp, Erica
Scott, Ethan K.
Trauner, Dirk
Baier, Herwig
Isacoff, Ehud Y.
Title Optogenetic dissection of a behavioural module in the vertebrate spinal cord
Journal name Nature   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0028-0836
Publication date 2009-09
Year available 2009
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1038/nature08323
Open Access Status
Volume 461
Issue 7262
Start page 407
End page 410
Total pages 4
Editor Dr. Philip Campbell
Nick Campbell
Place of publication United Kingdom
Publisher Nature Publishing Group
Collection year 2010
Language eng
Subject C1
920114 Reproductive System and Disorders
110902 Cellular Nervous System
060801 Animal Behaviour
Abstract Locomotion relies on neural networks called central pattern generators (CPGs) that generate periodic motor commands for rhythmic movements1. In vertebrates, the excitatory synaptic drive for inducing the spinal CPG can originate from either supraspinal glutamatergic inputs or from within the spinal cord2, 3. Here we identify a spinal input to the CPG that drives spontaneous locomotion using a combination of intersectional gene expression and optogenetics4 in zebrafish larvae. The photo-stimulation of one specific cell type was sufficient to induce a symmetrical tail beating sequence that mimics spontaneous slow forward swimming. This neuron is the Kolmer–Agduhr cell5, which extends cilia into the central cerebrospinal-fluid-containing canal of the spinal cord and has an ipsilateral ascending axon that terminates in a series of consecutive segments6. Genetically silencing Kolmer–Agduhr cells reduced the frequency of spontaneous free swimming, indicating that activity of Kolmer–Agduhr cells provides necessary tone for spontaneous forward swimming. Kolmer–Agduhr cells have been known for over 75 years, but their function has been mysterious. Our results reveal that during early development in zebrafish these cells provide a positive drive to the spinal CPG for spontaneous locomotion.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: 2010 Higher Education Research Data Collection
School of Biomedical Sciences Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 183 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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Created: Thu, 24 Sep 2009, 08:24:37 EST by Cameron Harris on behalf of School of Biomedical Sciences