1. Neuroscience
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Functional diversity of excitatory commissural interneurons in adult zebrafish

  1. E Rebecka Björnfors
  2. Abdel El Manira  Is a corresponding author
  1. Karolinska Institute, Sweden
Research Article
  • Cited 22
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Cite this article as: eLife 2016;5:e18579 doi: 10.7554/eLife.18579


Flexibility in the bilateral coordination of muscle contraction underpins variable locomotor movements or gaits. While the locomotor rhythm is generated by ipsilateral excitatory interneurons, less is known about the commissural excitatory interneurons. Here we examined how the activity of the V0v interneurons - an important commissural neuronal class - varies with the locomotor speed in adult zebrafish. Although V0v interneurons are molecularly homogenous, their activity pattern during locomotion is not uniform. They consist of two distinct types dependent on whether they display rhythmicity or not during locomotion. The rhythmic V0v interneurons were further subdivided into three sub-classes engaged sequentially, first at slow then intermediate and finally fast locomotor speeds. Their order of recruitment is defined by scaling their synaptic current with their input resistance. Thus we uncover, in an adult vertebrate, a novel organizational principle for a key class of commissural interneurons and their recruitment pattern as a function of locomotor speed.

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Author details

  1. E Rebecka Björnfors

    Department of Neuroscience, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  2. Abdel El Manira

    Department of Neuroscience, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden
    For correspondence
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0001-5920-9384


Karolinska Institutet

  • Abdel El Manira


  • Abdel El Manira

The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.


Animal experimentation: All experimental protocols were approved by the local Animal Research Ethical Committee, Stockholm (Stockholms Norra Djurförsöksetiska Nämnd). Protocol number N122/13.

Reviewing Editor

  1. Ronald L Calabrese, Emory University, United States

Publication history

  1. Received: June 7, 2016
  2. Accepted: August 24, 2016
  3. Accepted Manuscript published: August 25, 2016 (version 1)
  4. Accepted Manuscript updated: August 27, 2016 (version 2)
  5. Version of Record published: September 27, 2016 (version 3)


© 2016, Björnfors & El Manira

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.


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