Localization of K-Cl (KCC2) and Na-K-Cl (NKCC) cotransporters in the adult rat brain

John A Payne, J. R. Williams, V. K. Kumari, J. W. Sharp

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1 Scopus citations


Cation chloride cotransporters are hypothesized to play key roles in controlling intracellular and extracellular ionic environments of neurons and hence controlling neuronal function. Identification of these cotransporters in specific brain structures, neuronal types, and localization within the neuron may aid in functional analysis of these proteins. We used immunoperoxidase staining with anti-KCC2 polyclonal and anti-NKCC monoclonal antibodies in localization studies of the adult rat brain. KCC2 staining was strong, punctate and occurred around the soma of neurons in all layers of the neocortex. Staining for NKCC strongly outlined the dendrites and cell bodies of neurons in all layers of the neocortex. There was dark punctate staining for KCC2 in the hippocampus which included apical dendrites of CA1-CA3 pyramidal cells in the oriens layer. NKCC, however, predominately stained the basal dendrites of these neurons. In the molecular cell layer of the cerebellum KCC2 staining showed a punctate pattern oriented along perpendicular running fibers. Immunostaining for NKCC distinctly outlined Purkinje cell bodies and darkly stained their dendritic arborizations within the molecular cell layer. Staining for KCC2 was very strong throughout the depth of the cerebellar granule cell layer. Staining for NKCC was very light in the granule cell layer. KCC2 and NKCC co-localized in many of the same structures of the brain. However, they are often localized in different neuronal types or in different structures within the same neuron. Thus, they may be associated with differential distribution of [Cl-], among neuronal types or within the same neuron.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalFASEB Journal
Issue number5
StatePublished - Mar 20 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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