The Kaslin group is interested in cellular plasticity in the brain and spinal cord. In particular, the group studies how the neural system can repair itself by mobilising stem cells and how researchers can improve this process.


In the past, neural stem cells and brain regeneration has mostly been studied in vertebrates (such as rodents). But this raises a problem because these vertebrates have very limited potential to regenerate.

Enter the zebrafish. This fish is able to regenerate parts of its central nervous system – even in adult zebrafish. Using the zebrafish model therefore has many advantages for researchers, as it can solve questions that previously could not be answered.

The Kaslin group uses the zebrafish model to reveal how neural stem cell populations are formed during development and how they can be controlled to improve repair after injury or in disease.

Group Members

Research Themes

  • Understanding the molecular and cellular mechanisms that control cellular plasticity in the intact and injured vertebrate brain
  • How neuronal stem cell niches arise and are being maintained, using high-resolution in vivo imaging, novel genetic tools and cellular reprogramming
  • Using high-throughput methods to get a comprehensive understanding of the genetic networks that regulate cellular plasticity during homeostasis and regeneration.

More Publications

Authors Title Published In

Miles LB, Darido C, Kaslin J, Heath JK, Jane SM, Dworkin S.

Mis-expression of grainyhead-like transcription factors in zebrafish leads to defects in enveloping layer (EVL) integrity, cellular morphogenesis and axial extension.

Sci Rep. 2017 Dec 14;7(1):17607. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-17898-7.

Bower NI, Koltowska K, Pichol-Thievend C, Virshup I, Paterson S, Lagendijk AK, Wang W, Lindsey BW, Bent SJ, Baek S, Rondon-Galeano M, Hurley DG, Mochizuki N, Simons C, Francois M, Wells CA, Kaslin J, Hogan BM.

Mural lymphatic endothelial cells regulate meningeal angiogenesis in the zebrafish.

Nat Neurosci. 2017 Jun;20(6):774-783. doi: 10.1038/nn.4558. Epub 2017 May 1.

Kaslin J, Kroehne V, Ganz J, Hans S, Brand M.

Distinct roles of neuroepithelial-like and radial glia-like progenitor cells in cerebellar regeneration.

Development. 2017 Apr 15;144(8):1462-1471. doi: 10.1242/dev.144907. Epub 2017 Mar 13.

Fuad NM, Kaslin J, Wlodkowic D.

Development of chorion-less zebrafish embryos in millifluidic living embryo arrays.

Biomicrofluidics 2017;11:051101. doi: 10.1063/1.5001848.

Lindsey B, Kaslin J.

Optical projection tomography as a novel method to visualize and quantitate whole-brain patterns of cell proliferation in the adult zebrafish brain.

Zebrafish 2017;14(6):574–577. doi: 10.1089/zeb.2017.1418.

Kaslin J, Gibert Y.

Using zebrafish to study human genetic disease.

eLS. John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester, UK. 2017. doi: 10.1002/9780470015902.a0027226.

Suzzi S, Ahrendt R, Hans S, Semenova SA, Bilican S, Sayed S, Winkler S, Spiess S, Kaslin J, Panula P, Brand M.

Loss of lrrk2 impairs cell proliferation and neuronal regeneration in the zebrafish brain.

bioRxiv 2017. doi: 10.1101/140608.

Frisca F, Colquhoun D, Goldshmit Y, Änkö ML, Pébay A, Kaslin J.

Role of ectonucleotide pyrophosphatase/phosphodiesterase 2 in the midline axis formation of zebrafish.

Sci Rep. 2016; 6: 37678. doi: 10.1038/srep37678. Epub 2016 Nov 24.

Luan B, Friedrich T, Zhai J, Streltsov VA, Lindsey BW, Kaslin J, de Jonge MD, Zhu J, Hudghes TC, Hao X.

A library of AuNPs modified by RAFT polymers of different charge and chain length: High throughput synthesis and synchrotron XFM imaging using a zebrafish larvae model.

RSC Advances: An International Journal to Further the Chemical Sciences 2016 Jul;6(28):23550-23563. doi: 10.1039/c6ra02801b.

Lindsey BW, Di Donato S, Kaslin J, Tropepe V.

Sensory-specific modulation of adult neurogenesis in sensory structures is associated with the type of stem cell present in the neurogenic niche of the zebrafish brain.

Eur J Neurosci. 2014 Dec;40(11):3591-607. doi: 10.1111/ejn.12729. Epub 2014 Sep 18.

Goldshmit Y, Frisca F, Pinto AR, Pébay A, Tang JK, Siegel AL, Kaslin J, Currie PD.

Fgf2 improves functional recovery-decreasing gliosis and increasing radial glia and neural progenitor cells after spinal cord injury.

Brain Behav. 2014 Mar;4(2):187-200. doi: 10.1002/brb3.172. Epub 2014 Jan 13.

Kaslin J, Kroehne V, Benato F, Argenton F, Brand M.

Development and specification of cerebellar stem and progenitor cells in zebrafish: from embryo to adult.

Neural Dev. 2013 May 4;8:9. doi: 10.1186/1749-8104-8-9.

Kizil C, Kyritsis N, Dudczig S, Kroehne V, Freudenreich D, Kaslin J, Brand M.

Regenerative neurogenesis from neural progenitor cells requires injury-Induced expression of Gata3.

Dev Cell. 2012 Dec 11;23(6):1230-7. doi: 10.1016/j.devcel.2012.10.014. Epub 2012 Nov 15.

Kaslin J and Brand M.

Cerebellar development and neurogenesis in zebrafish.

Handbook of the Cerebellum and Cerebellar Disorders 2012, pp 1441-1462

Kyritsis N, Kizil C, Zocher S, Kroehne V, Kaslin J, Freudenreich D, Iltzsche A, Brand M.

Acute inflammation initiates the regenerative response in the adult zebrafish brain.

Science 2012 Dec 7;338(6112):1353-1356. doi: 10.1126/science.1228773. Epub 2012 Nov 8.

Gutnick A, Blechman J, Kaslin J, Affolter M,.Bonkowsky J, Levkowitz G.

The hypothalamic neuropeptide oxytocin is required for formation of the neuro-vascular interface of the pituitary.

Dev Cell. 2011 Oct 18;21(4):642-54. doi: 10.1016/j.devcel.2011.09.004.