Axons form the long-range connections of biological neuronal networks, which are built through the developmental process of axon guidance. Here, we describe a protocol to precisely and non-invasively control axonal growth trajectories in live zebrafish embryos using focal light activation of a photoactivatable Rac1. We outline techniques for photostimulation, time-lapse imaging, and immunohistochemistry. These approaches enable engineering of long-range axonal circuitry or repair of defective circuits in living zebrafish, despite a milieu of competing endogenous signals and repulsive barriers. For complete details on the use and execution of this protocol, please refer to Harris et al. (2020).
© 2021.

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Photo of Paola Arlotta

Dr. Arlotta is interested in understanding the molecular laws that govern the birth, differentiation and assembly of the cerebral cortex, the part of the brain that controls how we sense, move and think. She integrates developmental and evolutionary knowledge to investigate therapies for brain repair and for modeling neuropsychiatric disease.

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