Investigating the importance of neurons that express both teashirt (tsh) and julius seizure (jus) in altering seizure sensitivity

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Description
"Drosophila melanogaster is an excellent model organism for genetic experiments. Previous research proposed the Drosophila gene julius seizure (jus) as a suitable model to study the development of epilepsy (i.e. epileptogenesis). jus expression is critical for normal neuronal function. While we know that jus is expressed throughout the ventral nerve cord and central brain, we have not identified the cell subpopulations that are most crucial for regulating seizure sensitivity. In this study, we investigate the importance of neurons that express both teashirt (tsh) and jus in altering seizure sensitivity. tsh is primarily expressed in the ventral nerve cord and has some expression in the central brain. tsh-GAL4-driven expression of UAS-RNAi-jus (tsh-GAL4>RNAi-jus) resulted in both a strong bang-sensitivity phenotype in comparison to known jus mutants, such as jusiso7.8 and jusf04904, and in a cold-sensitive phenotype. Interestingly, mechanical shock resulted in a different post-recovery grooming behavior than when they were cold-shocked, suggesting a trigger of a different cellular pathway. Prior research of jus suggested that the key developmental stage was the early pupal stage. The GAL80ts experiment performed in this study would need to be repeated to determine the key developmental stage. Despite the behavioral assays, there was poor colocalization between tsh and jus expression. However, there are various explanations as to why the amount of tsh cells and tsh and jus colocalized cells were fewer than expected. Overall, tsh-GAL4 is a useful driver to better understand how jus-expressing neurons affect several different behaviors."

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