Characterization of an Extracellular Epitope Antibody to the Neuronal K-Cl Cotransporter, KCC2

Document Type


Publication Date



1. Ion gradients across the cell membrane are important for proper cellular communication and homeostasis. With the exception of erythrocytes, chloride (Cl), one of the most important free anions in animal cells, is not distributed at thermodynamic equilibrium across the plasma membrane. The K-Cl cotransporter (COT), consisting of at least four isoforms, utilizes the larger outwardly directed chemical driving force of K to expel Cl from the cell against its inwardly directed chemical gradient and has been implicated recently as one of the main Cl extruders in developing neurons.

2. Previous in situ hybridization studies have indicated widespread mRNA distribution of the neuronal-specific K-Cl COT isoform (KCC2) throughout the rat central nervous system (CNS). However, immunohistochemical studies have been limited owing to the availability of a more selective antibody to KCC2. The goal of the present study was to develop a new molecular tool for the immunohistochemical identification and neuronal distribution of KCC2. 3. Herein, we present evidence of immunohistochemical corroboration of the widespread KCC2 mRNA expression using a novel extracellular anti-peptide antibody directed against the second extracellular loop (ECL2) of KCC2. Immunoperoxidase and immunofluorescent labelling revealed widespread post-synaptic somatic and dendritic localization of KCC2 in multiple neuronal populations in the cerebral cortex, hippocampus, brainstem, lumbar spinal cord and cerebellum. We also demonstrate that binding of the antibody to an extracellular epitope within ECL2 does not alter cotransporter function. In essence, the present study reports on a new molecular tool for structural and functional studies of KCC2.



Find in your library

Off-Campus WSU Users