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J Neurosci. 2012 Mar 14;32(11):3865-76. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3679-11.2012.

Loss of neuronal potassium/chloride cotransporter 3 (KCC3) is responsible for the degenerative phenotype in a conditional mouse model of hereditary motor and sensory neuropathy associated with agenesis of the corpus callosum.

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Center of Excellence in Neuroscience of the Université de Montréal, Centre de Recherche du Centre Hospitalier de l'Université de Montréal, University of Montreal, Montréal, Québec H2L 4MI, Canada.


Disruption of the potassium/chloride cotransporter 3 (KCC3), encoded by the SLC12A6 gene, causes hereditary motor and sensory neuropathy associated with agenesis of the corpus callosum (HMSN/ACC), a neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative disorder affecting both the peripheral nervous system and CNS. However, the precise role of KCC3 in the maintenance of ion homeostasis in the nervous system and the pathogenic mechanisms leading to HMSN/ACC remain unclear. We established two Slc12a6 Cre/LoxP transgenic mouse lines expressing C-terminal truncated KCC3 in either a neuron-specific or ubiquitous fashion. Our results suggest that neuronal KCC3 expression is crucial for axon volume control. We also demonstrate that the neuropathic features of HMSN/ACC are predominantly due to a neuronal KCC3 deficit, while the auditory impairment is due to loss of non-neuronal KCC3 expression. Furthermore, we demonstrate that KCC3 plays an essential role in inflammatory pain pathways. Finally, we observed hypoplasia of the corpus callosum in both mouse mutants and a marked decrease in axonal tracts serving the auditory cortex in only the general deletion mutant. Together, these results establish KCC3 as an important player in both central and peripheral nervous system maintenance.

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