Embryonic development of the medaka brain(<Special Issue>Development of Medaka Biology in Japan-Part II)

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In this review, I provide a brief history of neuroanatomical and developmental studies on the medaka (Oryzias latipes) brain in Japan, and describe the embryological development of the medaka brain. Comparative neurology was introduced to Japan from Europe and the United States mainly by young Japanese medical professors around the beginning of the 20th century. Since then, teleost brains of a large number of species have been investigated neuroanatomically by many Japanese comparative neurologists. The structures of the medaka brain are similar to those of the brains of other acanthopterygian teleost fishes, but different with respect to some anatomical features from those of Cypriniformes, such as the zebrafish (Danio rerio). The first developmental study on the medaka brain was carried out by K. Ishii and reported in 1967. Based on my own, Ishii's, and others' observations, I summarize the development of the medaka brain as a series of six successively occurring steps, which are: the gastrula step, neurula step, neural rod step, neural tube step, late-embryonic brain step, and fry brain step. I also briefly describe some interesting medaka developmental mutants.


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