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Dendritic spikes mediate negative synaptic gain control in cerebellar Purkinje cells

Rancz, EA; Hausser, M; (2010) Dendritic spikes mediate negative synaptic gain control in cerebellar Purkinje cells. P NATL ACAD SCI USA , 107 (51) 22284 - 22289. 10.1073/pnas.1008605107.

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Abstract

Dendritic spikes appear to be a ubiquitous feature of dendritic excitability. In cortical pyramidal neurons, dendritic spikes increase the efficacy of distal synapses, providing additional inward current to enhance axonal action potential (AP) output, thus increasing synaptic gain. In cerebellar Purkinje cells, dendritic spikes can trigger synaptic plasticity, but their influence on axonal output is not well understood. We have used simultaneous somatic and dendritic patch-clamp recordings to directly assess the impact of dendritic calcium spikes on axonal AP output of Purkinje cells. Dendritic spikes evoked by parallel fiber input triggered brief bursts of somatic APs, followed by pauses in spiking, which cancelled out the extra spikes in the burst. As a result, average output firing rates during trains of input remained independent of the input strength, thus flattening synaptic gain. We demonstrate that this "clamping" of AP output by the pause following dendritic spikes is due to activation of high conductance calcium-dependent potassium channels by dendritic spikes. Dendritic spikes in Purkinje cells, in contrast to pyramidal cells, thus have differential effects on temporally coded and rate coded information: increasing the impact of transient parallel fiber input, while depressing synaptic gain for sustained parallel fiber inputs.

Type:Article
Title:Dendritic spikes mediate negative synaptic gain control in cerebellar Purkinje cells
DOI:10.1073/pnas.1008605107
Keywords:cerebellum, patch clamp, dendrite, synaptic integration, ACTIVATED POTASSIUM CHANNELS, ELECTRO-PHYSIOLOGICAL PROPERTIES, CA2+-ACTIVATED K+ CHANNELS, CA1 PYRAMIDAL NEURONS, ACTION-POTENTIALS, SENSORY INFORMATION, CALCIUM-CHANNELS, NUCLEAR NEURONS, COMPLEX SPIKE, OUTPUT
UCL classification:UCL > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences
UCL > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Medicine (Division of) > Wolfson Inst for Biomedical Research

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