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J Neurosci DOI:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3689-12.2013

Identification of nonvisual photomotor response cells in the vertebrate hindbrain.

Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsKokel, D, Dunn, TW, Ahrens, MB, Alshut, R, Cheung, CYan J, Saint-Amant, L, Bruni, G, Mateus, R, van Ham, TJ, Shiraki, T, Fukada, Y, Kojima, D, Yeh, J-RJ, Mikut, R, von Lintig, J, Engert, F, Peterson, RT
JournalJ Neurosci
Date Published2013 Feb 27
KeywordsAge Factors, Analysis of Variance, Animals, Biomechanical Phenomena, Biophysics, Calcium, Embryo, Nonmammalian, Female, Male, Microscopy, Confocal, Morpholinos, Movement, Muscle Cells, Neural Pathways, Opsins, Photic Stimulation, Photoreceptor Cells, Vertebrate, Rhombencephalon, Stereotyped Behavior, Time Factors, Zebrafish

Nonvisual photosensation enables animals to sense light without sight. However, the cellular and molecular mechanisms of nonvisual photobehaviors are poorly understood, especially in vertebrate animals. Here, we describe the photomotor response (PMR), a robust and reproducible series of motor behaviors in zebrafish that is elicited by visual wavelengths of light but does not require the eyes, pineal gland, or other canonical deep-brain photoreceptive organs. Unlike the relatively slow effects of canonical nonvisual pathways, motor circuits are strongly and quickly (seconds) recruited during the PMR behavior. We find that the hindbrain is both necessary and sufficient to drive these behaviors. Using in vivo calcium imaging, we identify a discrete set of neurons within the hindbrain whose responses to light mirror the PMR behavior. Pharmacological inhibition of the visual cycle blocks PMR behaviors, suggesting that opsin-based photoreceptors control this behavior. These data represent the first known light-sensing circuit in the vertebrate hindbrain.


Alternate JournalJ. Neurosci.
PubMed ID23447595
PubMed Central IDPMC3600642
Grant ListR21 MH085205 / MH / NIMH NIH HHS / United States
DP1 NS082121 / NS / NINDS NIH HHS / United States
R01MH086867 / MH / NIMH NIH HHS / United States
K01MH091449 / MH / NIMH NIH HHS / United States
R01 CA140188 / CA / NCI NIH HHS / United States
K01 MH091449 / MH / NIMH NIH HHS / United States
R01 DA030304 / DA / NIDA NIH HHS / United States
DP1 NS082121 / DP / NCCDPHP CDC HHS / United States
T32 MH020017 / MH / NIMH NIH HHS / United States
R01 MH086867 / MH / NIMH NIH HHS / United States
R21MH085205 / MH / NIMH NIH HHS / United States
R01DA030304 / DA / NIDA NIH HHS / United States
/ / Wellcome Trust / United Kingdom