Neurogenesis and neuronal regeneration in the adult fish brain

  • G. K. H. Zupanc


Fish are distinctive in their enormous potential to continuously produce new neurons in the adult brain, whereas in mammals adult neurogenesis is restricted to the olfactory bulb and the hippocampus. In fish new neurons are not only generated in structures homologous to those two regions, but also in dozens of other brain areas. In some regions of the fish brain, such as the optic tectum, the new cells remain near the proliferation zones in the course of their further development. In others, as in most subdivisions of the cerebellum, they migrate, often guided by radial glial fibers, to specific target areas. Approximately 50% of the young cells undergo apoptotic cell death, whereas the others survive for the rest of the fish’s life. A large number of the surviving cells differentiate into neurons. Two key factors enabling highly efficient brain repair in fish after injuries involve the elimination of damaged cells by apoptosis (instead of necrosis, the dominant type of cell death in mammals) and the replacement of cells lost to injury by newly generated ones. Proteome analysis has suggested well over 100 proteins, including two dozen identified ones, to be involved in the individual steps of this phenomenon of neuronal regeneration.


Adult neurogenesis Neuronal regeneration Proteomics Apteronotus leptorhynchus Zebrafish 





Central posterior/prepacemaker nucleus


Electric organ discharge


Glial fibrillary acidic protein


Terminal deoxynucleotidyl-transferase-mediated dUTP-biotin nick end-labeling



I thank Robert C. Beason, Theodore H. Bullock, Cecilia Ubilla, and Marianne M. Zupanc for their most helpful comments on the manuscript. Part of this review was written while the author was a Visiting Scholar in the laboratory of Ted Bullock at the Department of Neurosciences of the University of California at San Diego. Financial support was provided by funds from the Wellcome Trust and the International University Bremen.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Engineering and ScienceInternational University BremenBremenGermany
  2. 2.Department of NeurosciencesUniversity of California at San DiegoLa JollaUSA

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