Research Topic

Zebrafish as a Tool for Neurosciences: Evolutionary Conservation and Translational Relevance

About this Research Topic

The zebrafish is an increasingly popular laboratory organism in the neurosciences. There are several reasons for this, which include the relative simplicity of this vertebrate, its small size and prolific nature and the ease with which it can be kept in large numbers cheaply in the laboratory. But perhaps the ...

The zebrafish is an increasingly popular laboratory organism in the neurosciences. There are several reasons for this, which include the relative simplicity of this vertebrate, its small size and prolific nature and the ease with which it can be kept in large numbers cheaply in the laboratory. But perhaps the most important reason for its popularity is that most biologists argue it possesses numerous evolutionarily conserved features. Investigation of such features thus, goes the argument, should allow the biologist to use this small teleost to model numerous aspects of human biology, including human diseases. Briefly, most believe zebrafish research has high translational relevance.

Evolutionary conservation is very well defined at the level of nucleotide sequence of genes. However, at higher levels of the biological organization, the question becomes somewhat more complicated. The higher the level, the less well defined, and perhaps more controversial, the establishment of evolutionary conservation may be.

We would like authors for this Research Topic to explore these questions and review findings pertaining to the use of the zebrafish as a discovery tool for neuroscience. The Research Topic will start with articles that discuss the above evolutionary biology related theoretical questions. This is then followed by papers that present examples on how one can define/assume/utilize translational relevance at different levels of biology. The papers may focus on nucleotide sequence of genes, synteny, amino-acid sequence of proteins and binding pockets of proteins and other functional similarities among mammalian and zebrafish proteins, pharmacological similarities across zebrafish and other species, synaptic function, cytoarchitecture, gross neuroanatomy and connectivity among brain regions in different species, functional similarities among brain regions across zebrafish and other vertebrates, and lastly, behavioural similarities across such species. Authors may focus on basic science questions relating to evolutionary conservation, methods and techniques important in translational neuroscience research with zebrafish, and/or on pre-clinical research relevance, i.e., the use of zebrafish in modeling human disease.

This is a vast field, even when the focus is narrowed to neurobiology related questions and thus the Research Topic is not planned to be comprehensive. Nevertheless, we expect it to present representative examples on the question of evolutionary conservation and translational relevance and what these terms mean when one studies neurobiological phenomena at different levels of biological organization using the zebrafish.

Topics to be covered in this Research Topic may include, but are not limited to:
- Methodological approaches
- Modeling behavioral phenomena
- Molecular and other level similarities between zebrafish and mammals/humans
- Disease models


Keywords: zebrafish, brain, evolution, comparative behavior, genes


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

13 August 2021 Abstract
11 December 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

13 August 2021 Abstract
11 December 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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