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News tips from the Journal of Neuroscience

b> receptor signaling in mammalian neurons is depolarizing or hyperpolarizing. In this week's Journal, Hekmat-Scafe et al. explore the homologous K+/Cl cotransporter in Drosophila. Null mutations in the kazachoc (kcc) gene were lethal, but partial loss-of-function mutations resulted in increased seizure sensitivity. Why the name kazachoc? Well, this is a Slavic dance that involves squatting and kicking, which reminded the authors of flies with the bang-sensitive (BS) phenotype, a behavior that correlates with seizure sensitivity. And what is a BS phenotype you ask? Well, flies are vortexed for 10 s at high speed, and BS-sensitive flies display a period of paralysis followed by hyperactivity. For kcc mutants, BS sensitivity showed incomplete penetrance and was more prominent at lower temperatures and younger ages. Kcc-related seizure susceptibility was also reduced in flies treated with the GABAA receptor antagonist picrotoxin and in flies that expressed reduced levels of the GABAA receptor.


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Contact: Sara Harris
sharris@sfn.org
202-962-4000
Society for Neuroscience
29-Aug-2006


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