The visual system of zebrafish and its use to model human ocular Diseases

Authors

  • Gaia Gestri,

    1. Department of Cell and Developmental Biology, University College London, London WC1E 6BT, United Kingdom
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    • G. Gestri, B.A. Link, and S.C.F. Neuhauss contributed equally to this manuscript.

  • Brian A. Link,

    1. Department of Cell Biology, Neurobiology and Anatomy, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53226
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    • G. Gestri, B.A. Link, and S.C.F. Neuhauss contributed equally to this manuscript.

  • Stephan C.F. Neuhauss

    Corresponding author
    1. Institute of Molecular Life Sciences, University of Zurich, CH-8057 Zurich, Switzerland
    • Department of Cell and Developmental Biology, University College London, London WC1E 6BT, United Kingdom
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    • G. Gestri, B.A. Link, and S.C.F. Neuhauss contributed equally to this manuscript.


Abstract

Free swimming zebrafish larvae depend mainly on their sense of vision to evade predation and to catch prey. Hence, there is strong selective pressure on the fast maturation of visual function and indeed the visual system already supports a number of visually driven behaviors in the newly hatched larvae. The ability to exploit the genetic and embryonic accessibility of the zebrafish in combination with a behavioral assessment of visual system function has made the zebrafish a popular model to study vision and its diseases. Here, we review the anatomy, physiology, and development of the zebrafish eye as the basis to relate the contributions of the zebrafish to our understanding of human ocular diseases. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Develop Neurobiol 72: 302–327, 2012

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