• dopaminergic neuron;
  • dopamine transporter;
  • zebrafish


We have generated a line of transgenic zebrafish, Tg(dat:EGFP), in which the green fluorescent protein (GFP) is expressed under the control of cis-regulatory elements of the dopamine transporter (dat) gene. In Tg(dat:EGFP) fish, dopamine (DA) neurons are labeled with GFP, including those in ventral diencephalon (vDC) clusters, amacrine cells in the retina, in the olfactory bulb, in the pretectum, and in the caudal hypothalamus. In the vDC, DA neurons of groups 2–6 are correctly labeled with GFP, based on colocalization analyses. MPTP (1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine) treatments induced a modest but significant loss of DA neurons in groups 2–6 of the vDC. This transgenic line will be useful for the study of DA neuron development and in models of DA neuron loss. Developmental Dynamics 240:2539–2547, 2011. © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc.