Submission Title

Which GABA Receptors Are Expressed in the Zebrafish Lateral Line?

Subject Area

Biology

Description

The presence of the neurotransmitter GABA in the mammalian inner ear is well established, yet its role in regulating inner ear cell function is less clear. We seek to understand the role of the GABA in the inner ear using the model organism zebrafish. Zebrafish possess a sense that humans do not: they can detect water movement with their lateral line system. Zebrafish sense water movement with cells that project out from the body of the fish into the environment. These so-called hair cells are remarkably similar to the sensory cells of the cochlea and semi-circular canals. Because they are on the outside of the zebrafish, and not behind a bony skull, lateral line hair cells are easily accessible to study. Therefore, we are determining if we can use the lateral line system to understand more about GABA in the inner ear. We have used RNA extraction and RT-PCR to detect the expression of 27 GABA-related genes in zebrafish. We have also identified a novel alternative exon in one isoform. Overall, our results suggest that the genes expressed in the lateral line are orthologs of genes expressed in the mammalian inner ear, and thus zebrafish appear to be an appropriate model organism with which to further study GABA function in the inner ear.

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Which GABA Receptors Are Expressed in the Zebrafish Lateral Line?

The presence of the neurotransmitter GABA in the mammalian inner ear is well established, yet its role in regulating inner ear cell function is less clear. We seek to understand the role of the GABA in the inner ear using the model organism zebrafish. Zebrafish possess a sense that humans do not: they can detect water movement with their lateral line system. Zebrafish sense water movement with cells that project out from the body of the fish into the environment. These so-called hair cells are remarkably similar to the sensory cells of the cochlea and semi-circular canals. Because they are on the outside of the zebrafish, and not behind a bony skull, lateral line hair cells are easily accessible to study. Therefore, we are determining if we can use the lateral line system to understand more about GABA in the inner ear. We have used RNA extraction and RT-PCR to detect the expression of 27 GABA-related genes in zebrafish. We have also identified a novel alternative exon in one isoform. Overall, our results suggest that the genes expressed in the lateral line are orthologs of genes expressed in the mammalian inner ear, and thus zebrafish appear to be an appropriate model organism with which to further study GABA function in the inner ear.