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Keywords:

  • epilepsy;
  • seizure;
  • ethanolamine kinase;
  • phospholipids;
  • acute;
  • cholinergic

ABSTRACT

Genetic factors that influence seizure susceptibility can act transiently during the development of neural circuits or might be necessary for the proper functioning of existing circuits. We provide evidence that the Drosophila seizure-sensitive mutant easily shocked (eas) represents a neurological disorder in which abnormal functioning of existing neural circuits leads to seizure sensitivity. The eas+ gene encodes for the protein Ethanolamine Kinase, involved in phospholipid biosynthesis. We show that induction of eas+ in adult mutant flies rescues them from seizure sensitivity despite previously known developmental defects in brain morphology. Additionally, through cell-type-specific rescue, our results suggest a specific role for eas+ in excitatory rather than inhibitory neural transmission. Overall, our findings emphasize an important role for proper phospholipid metabolism in normal brain function and suggest that certain classes of epilepsy syndromes could have the potential to be treated with gene therapy techniques. J. Comp. Neurol. 521:3500-3507, 2013. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.