Association between apoptotic neural tissue and cell proliferation in the adult teleost brain

Fei Tieng Lim, Satoshi Ogawa, Ishwar S. Parhar

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    1 Citation (Scopus)


    Injury to neuronal tissues in the central nervous system (CNS) of mammals results in neural degeneration and sometime leads to loss of function, whereas fish retain a remarkable potential for neuro-regeneration throughout life. Thus, understanding the mechanism of neuro-regeneration in fish CNS would be useful to improve the poor neuro-regenerative capability in mammals. In the present study, we characterized a neuro-regenerative process in the brain of a cichlid, tilapia, Oreochromis niloticus. Morphological observations showed that the damaged brain region (habenula) successfully regrew and reinnervated axonal projections by 60 days post-damage. A fluorescent carbocyanine tracer, DiI tracing revealed a recovery of the major neuronal projection from the regenerated habenula to the interpenduncular nucleus by 60 days post-damage. TUNEL assay showed a significant increase of apoptotic cells (~234%, P<0.01) at one day post-damage, while the number of bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU)-positive proliferative cells were significantly increased (~92%, P<0.05) at 7 days post-damage compared with sham-control fish. To demonstrate a potential role of apoptotic activity in the neuro-regeneration, effects of degenerative neural tissue on cell proliferation were examined in vivo. Implantation of detached neural but not non-neural tissues into the cranial cavity significantly (P<0.01) increased the number of BrdU-positive cells nearby the implantation regions at 3 days after the implantation. Furthermore, local injection of the protein extract and cerebrospinal fluid collected from injured fish brain significantly induced cell proliferation in the brain. These results suggest that factor(s) derived from apoptotic neural cells may play a critical role in the neuro-regeneration in teleost brain.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)60-72
    Number of pages13
    JournalBrain Research
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2016


    • BrdU
    • Habenula
    • Neuro-regeneration
    • Tilapia
    • TUNEL

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