Conclusions

Genetic analysis in zebrafish has already revealed an unexpected complexity in signaling requirements for the different dopaminer-gic groups that form in the zebrafish di- and telencephalon. It appears that local patterning of the dorsoventral and anterioposterior axis of the CNS may generate a ''prepattern'', which in combination with different local signals serves to specify neural cells to take on a dopaminergic fate. As such, the regulatory inputs which control DA differentiation, may be convergent rather than following one or two instructive signals only. The rapid genetics and other experimental possibilities available in zebrafish will help to further our understanding of dopaminergic differentiation. A careful comparison with mammalian systems will reveal which aspects of DA differentiation are conserved among vertebrates. Since circuits from basal ganglia into striatum or subpallium are essential for movement control, and circuits with similar function (albeit in different neuroanatomical locations) exist from fish to mammals, one would expect that a significant portion of their molecular determinants may also be conserved.

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