Monitoring of Single-Cell Responses in the Optic Tectum of Adult Zebrafish with Dextran-Coupled Calcium Dyes Delivered via Local Electroporation

Kassing V, Engelmann J, Kurtz R (2013)
PLoS ONE 8(5): e62846.

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Abstract
The zebrafish (Danio rerio) has become one of the major animal models for in vivo examination of sensory and neuronal computation. Similar to Xenopus tadpoles neural activity in the optic tectum, the major region controlling visually guided behavior, can be examined in zebrafish larvae by optical imaging. Prerequisites of these approaches are usually the transparency of larvae up to a certain age and the use of two-photon microscopy. This principle of fluorescence excitation was necessary to suppress crosstalk between signals from individual neurons, which is a critical issue when using membrane-permeant dyes. This makes the equipment to study neuronal processing costly and limits the approach to the study of larvae. Thus there is lack of knowledge about the properties of neurons in the optic tectum of adult animals. We established a procedure to circumvent these problems, enabling in vivo calcium imaging in the optic tectum of adult zebrafish. Following local application of dextran-coupled dyes single-neuron activity of adult zebrafish can be monitored with conventional widefield microscopy, because dye labeling remains restricted to tens of neurons or less. Among the neurons characterized with our technique we found neurons that were selective for a certain pattern orientation as well as neurons that responded in a direction-selective way to visual motion. These findings are consistent with previous studies and indicate that the functional integrity of neuronal circuits in the optic tectum of adult zebrafish is preserved with our staining technique. Overall, our protocol for in vivo calcium imaging provides a useful approach to monitor visual responses of individual neurons in the optic tectum of adult zebrafish even when only widefield microscopy is available. This approach will help to obtain valuable insight into the principles of visual computation in adult vertebrates and thus complement previous work on developing visual circuits.
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Kassing V, Engelmann J, Kurtz R. Monitoring of Single-Cell Responses in the Optic Tectum of Adult Zebrafish with Dextran-Coupled Calcium Dyes Delivered via Local Electroporation. PLoS ONE. 2013;8(5): e62846.
Kassing, V., Engelmann, J., & Kurtz, R. (2013). Monitoring of Single-Cell Responses in the Optic Tectum of Adult Zebrafish with Dextran-Coupled Calcium Dyes Delivered via Local Electroporation. PLoS ONE, 8(5): e62846.
Kassing, V., Engelmann, J., and Kurtz, R. (2013). Monitoring of Single-Cell Responses in the Optic Tectum of Adult Zebrafish with Dextran-Coupled Calcium Dyes Delivered via Local Electroporation. PLoS ONE 8:e62846.
Kassing, V., Engelmann, J., & Kurtz, R., 2013. Monitoring of Single-Cell Responses in the Optic Tectum of Adult Zebrafish with Dextran-Coupled Calcium Dyes Delivered via Local Electroporation. PLoS ONE, 8(5): e62846.
V. Kassing, J. Engelmann, and R. Kurtz, “Monitoring of Single-Cell Responses in the Optic Tectum of Adult Zebrafish with Dextran-Coupled Calcium Dyes Delivered via Local Electroporation”, PLoS ONE, vol. 8, 2013, : e62846.
Kassing, V., Engelmann, J., Kurtz, R.: Monitoring of Single-Cell Responses in the Optic Tectum of Adult Zebrafish with Dextran-Coupled Calcium Dyes Delivered via Local Electroporation. PLoS ONE. 8, : e62846 (2013).
Kassing, Vanessa, Engelmann, Jacob, and Kurtz, Rafael. “Monitoring of Single-Cell Responses in the Optic Tectum of Adult Zebrafish with Dextran-Coupled Calcium Dyes Delivered via Local Electroporation”. PLoS ONE 8.5 (2013): e62846.
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