Send to

Choose Destination
Genetics. 2010 Jan;184(1):171-83. doi: 10.1534/genetics.109.109074. Epub 2009 Nov 2.

Seizure sensitivity is ameliorated by targeted expression of K+-Cl- cotransporter function in the mushroom body of the Drosophila brain.

Author information

Renal Division, VA Boston Healthcare System, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA.


The kcc(DHS1) allele of kazachoc (kcc) was identified as a seizure-enhancer mutation exacerbating the bang-sensitive (BS) paralytic behavioral phenotypes of several seizure-sensitive Drosophila mutants. On their own, young kcc(DHS1) flies also display seizure-like behavior and demonstrate a reduced threshold for seizures induced by electroconvulsive shock. The product of kcc shows substantial homology to KCC2, the mammalian neuronal K(+)-Cl(-) cotransporter. The kcc(DHS1) allele is a hypomorph, and its seizure-like phenotype reflects reduced expression of the kcc gene. We report here that kcc functions as a K(+)-Cl(-) cotransporter when expressed heterologously in Xenopus laevis oocytes: under hypotonic conditions that induce oocyte swelling, oocytes that express Drosophila kcc display robust ion transport activity observed as a Cl(-)-dependent uptake of the K(+) congener (86)Rb(+). Ectopic, spatially restricted expression of a UAS-kcc(+) transgene was used to determine where cotransporter function is required in order to rescue the kcc(DHS1) BS paralytic phenotype. Interestingly, phenotypic rescue is largely accounted for by targeted, circumscribed expression in the mushroom bodies (MBs) and the ellipsoid body (EB) of the central complex. Intriguingly, we observed that MB induction of kcc(+) functioned as a general seizure suppressor in Drosophila. Drosophila MBs have generated considerable interest especially for their role as the neural substrate for olfactory learning and memory; they have not been previously implicated in seizure susceptibility. We show that kcc(DHS1) seizure sensitivity in MB neurons acts via a weakening of chemical synaptic inhibition by GABAergic transmission and suggest that this is due to disruption of intracellular Cl(-) gradients in MB neurons.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center