Fiber Optic-Based Photostimulation of Larval Zebrafish
The perturbation of neural activity is a powerful experimental approach for understanding brain function. Light-gated ion channels and pumps (optogenetics) can be used to control neural activity with high temporal and spatial precision in animal models. This optogenetic approach requires suitable methods for delivering light to the brain. In zebrafish, fiber optic stimulation of agarose-embedded larvae has successfully been used in several studies to control neural activity and behavior. This approach is easy to implement and cost-efficient. Here, a protocol for fiber optic-based photostimulation of larval zebrafish is provided.
Key wordsOptic fiber Photostimulation Zebrafish Optogenetics Laser Agarose Mounting
I thank Tod R. Thiele, António M. Fernandes, and Christian Brysch for comments on the manuscript, and Tod R. Thiele for contributing his experience regarding zebrafish fiber optic experiments. I am grateful to Wolfgang Driever for support. This study was supported by the Excellence Initiative of the German Federal and State Governments DFG EXC307 (CIN - Interdisciplinary Centre for Integrative Neuroscience), DFG EXC294 (BIOSS - Centre for Biological Signalling Studies), as well as the Baden-Württemberg Stiftung (Eliteprogramme for Postdocs).