shibire(ts1), a temperature-sensitive mutation of the Drosophila gene encoding a Dynamin orthologue, blocks vesicle endocytosis and thus synaptic transmission, at elevated, or restrictive temperatures. By targeted Gal4 expression, UAS-shibire(ts1) has been used to dissect neuronal circuits. We investigated the effects of UAS-shibire(ts1) overexpression in Drosophila photoreceptors at permissive (19 degrees C) and restrictive (31 degrees C) temperatures. At 19 degrees C, overexpression of UAS-shi(ts1) causes decelerated phototransduction and reduced neurotransmitter release. This phenotype is exacerbated with dark adaptation, age and in white mutants. Photoreceptors overexpressing UAS-shibire(ts1) contain terminals with widespread vacuolated mitochondria, reduced numbers of vesicles and bundled microtubules. Immuno-electron microscopy reveals that the latter are dynamin coated. Further, the microtubule phenotype is not restricted to photoreceptors, as UAS-shibire(ts1) overexpression in lamina cells also bundles microtubules. We conclude that dynamin has multiple functions that are interrupted by UAS-shibire(ts1) overexpression in Drosophila photoreceptors, destabilizing their neural communication irreversibly at previously reported permissive temperatures.