Distribution and Restoration of Serotonin-Immunoreactive Paraneuronal Cells During Caudal Fin Regeneration in Zebrafish.

König, Désirée; Dagenais, Paule; Senk, Anita; Djonov, Valentin; Aegerter, Christof M; Jaźwińska, Anna (2019). Distribution and Restoration of Serotonin-Immunoreactive Paraneuronal Cells During Caudal Fin Regeneration in Zebrafish. Frontiers in molecular neuroscience, 12, p. 227. Frontiers Research Foundation 10.3389/fnmol.2019.00227

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Aquatic vertebrates possess diverse types of sensory cells in their skin to detect stimuli in the water. In the adult zebrafish, a common model organism, the presence of such cells in fins has only rarely been studied. Here, we identified scattered serotonin (5-HT)-positive cells in the epidermis of the caudal fin. These cells were distinct from keratinocytes as revealed by their low immunoreactivity for cytokeratin and desmosome markers. Instead, they were detected by Calretinin (Calbindin-2) and Synaptic vesicle glycoprotein 2 (SV2) antibodies, indicating a calcium-regulated neurosecretory activity. Consistently, electron microscopy revealed abundant secretory organelles in desmosome-negative cells in the fin epidermis. Based on the markers, 5-HT, Calretinin and SV2, we referred to these cells as HCS-cells. We found that HCS-cells were spread throughout the entire caudal fin at an average density of 140 cells per mm2 on each fin surface. These cells were strongly enriched at ray bifurcations in wild type fins, as well as in elongated fins of another longfin mutant fish. To determine whether hydrodynamics play a role in the distribution of HCS-cells, we used an interdisciplinary approach and performed kinematic analysis. Measurements of particle velocity with a fin model revealed differences in fluid velocities between bifurcated rods and adjacent non-bifurcated regions. Therefore the accumulation of HCS-cells near bone bifurcations may be a biological adaptation for sensing of water parameters. The significance of this HCS-cell pattern is reinforced by the fact, that it is reestablished in the regenerated fin after amputation. Regeneration of HCS-cells was not impaired by the chemical inhibition of serotonin synthesis, suggesting that this neurotransmitter is not essential for the restorative process. In conclusion, our study identified a specific population of solitary paraneurons in the zebrafish fin, whose distribution correlates with fluid dynamics.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Pre-clinic Human Medicine > Institute of Anatomy

UniBE Contributor:

Senk, Anita and Djonov, Valentin Georgiev




Frontiers Research Foundation




Anita Senk

Date Deposited:

14 Nov 2019 10:33

Last Modified:

24 Nov 2019 02:45

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

5-HT calretinin hydrodynamics of the fin paraneuronal cells ray bifurcation regeneration serotonin zebrafish fin





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