The zebrafish has recently assumed a central position in the study of vertebrate development. Numerous studies of other fish have shown that their central nervous systems, and especially their visual systems, continue to add new neurons throughout life, which is probably related to their abilities to regenerate axons and whole nervous tissue. Retinal neurogenesis had not been examined in adult zebrafish, and two reports concluded that the optic tectum ceased neurogenesis early in life, so the question arose whether the zebrafish was anomalous in this regard. We labeled embryonic (24- and 48-h postfertilization) and adult zebrafish with the thymidine analog, bromo-deoxyuridine, and, after short and long survivals, examined the retina and brain for labeled cells. They were abundant in both the optic tectum and the retina. Although the rate of retinal growth slows considerably between embryonic and adult stages, the patterns of neurogenesis in both the embryo and the adult are similar to those described in other fish, so these “fish-specific” features of general interest can justifiably be studied in zebrafish.
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