Leaning to the left: Laterality in the zebrafish forebrain

Marnie E. Halpern, Jennifer O. Liang, Joshua T. Gamse

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

86 Scopus citations


How the brain becomes lateralized is poorly understood. By contrast, much is known about molecular cues that specify the left-right axis of the body, fashioning the asymmetric morphology and positioning of the visceral organs. In zebrafish, the Nodal signaling pathway functions in visceral asymmetry and also in the embryonic brain, to bias laterality of the epithalamus. Formation of an asymmetric pineal complex differentially influences adjacent diencephalic nuclei, the left and right habenulae, which acquire distinctive molecular and cellular features. Results from the genetically tractable zebrafish system provide a promising entry point for exploring how left-right biases are established and propagated in the developing vertebrate brain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)308-313
Number of pages6
JournalTrends in neurosciences
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2003
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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