NEUROSCIENCE

Studying astrocytes in zebrafish

Chen, J. et al. Nat. Neurosci. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41593-020-0703-x (2020)

Increasing evidence indicates that astrocytes—the most common glial cell type in the mammalian CNS—are involved in many aspects of brain development, physiology, and disease. Rodent models have been critical to uncover astrocytes’ properties, but new models are needed to better understand how astrocytes develop and function in vivo.

A study reporting for the first time the presence of astrocytes in zebrafish might open new avenues to study astrocytes in vivo. Through the use of transgenic lines, DNA injection, in situ hybridization and confocal imaging, the study shows that zebrafish astrocytes share characteristics with their mammalian counterparts, including similar morphology, expression of markers, association with synapses, and Ca2+ transients.

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Correspondence to Alexandra Le Bras.

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Le Bras, A. Studying astrocytes in zebrafish. Lab Anim 49, 313 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41684-020-00677-9

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