Decoding the functional connectivity of the nervous system is facilitated by transgenic methods that express a genetically encoded reporter or effector in specific neurons; however, most transgenic lines show broad spatiotemporal and cell-type expression. Increased specificity can be achieved using intersectional genetic methods which restrict reporter expression to cells that co-express multiple drivers, such as Gal4 and Cre. To facilitate intersectional targeting in zebrafish, we have generated more than 50 new Cre lines, and co-registered brain expression images with the Zebrafish Brain Browser, a cellular resolution atlas of 264 transgenic lines. Lines labeling neurons of interest can be identified using a web-browser to perform a 3D spatial search (zbbrowser.com). This resource facilitates the design of intersectional genetic experiments and will advance a wide range of precision circuit-mapping studies.
- Harold A Burgess
- Nicholas F Polys
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
Animal experimentation: This study was performed in strict accordance with the recommendations in the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals of the National Institutes of Health. All of the animals were handled according to approved institutional animal care and use committee (IACUC) protocols (#15-039) of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.
- Indira M Raman, Northwestern University, United States
This is an open-access article, free of all copyright, and may be freely reproduced, distributed, transmitted, modified, built upon, or otherwise used by anyone for any lawful purpose. The work is made available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication.
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Microglia are the resident myeloid cells in the central nervous system (CNS). The majority of microglia rely on CSF1R signaling for survival. However, a small subset of microglia in mouse brains can survive without CSF1R signaling and reestablish the microglial homeostatic population after CSF1R signaling returns. Using single-cell transcriptomic analysis, we characterized the heterogeneous microglial populations under CSF1R inhibition, including microglia with reduced homeostatic markers and elevated markers of inflammatory chemokines and proliferation. Importantly, MAC2/Lgals3 was upregulated under CSF1R inhibition, and shared striking similarities with microglial progenitors in the yolk sac and immature microglia in early embryos. Lineage-tracing studies revealed that these MAC2+ cells were of microglial origin. MAC2+ microglia were also present in non-treated adult mouse brains and exhibited immature transcriptomic signatures indistinguishable from those that survived CSF1R inhibition, supporting the notion that MAC2+ progenitor-like cells are present among adult microglia.
The cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) contains an extracellular thread conserved in vertebrates, the Reissner fiber, which controls body axis morphogenesis in the zebrafish embryo. Yet, the signaling cascade originating from this fiber to ensure body axis straightening is not understood. Here, we explore the functional link between the Reissner fiber and undifferentiated spinal neurons contacting the CSF (CSF-cNs). First, we show that the Reissner fiber is required in vivo for the expression of urp2, a neuropeptide expressed in CSF-cNs. We show that the Reissner fiber is also required for embryonic calcium transients in these spinal neurons. Finally, we study how local adrenergic activation can substitute for the Reissner fiber-signaling pathway to CSF-cNs and rescue body axis morphogenesis. Our results show that the Reissner fiber acts on CSF-cNs and thereby contributes to establish body axis morphogenesis, and suggest it does so by controlling the availability of a chemical signal in the CSF.