bims-climfi Biomed News
on Cerebellar cortical circuitry
Issue of 2020‒01‒12
two papers selected by
Jun Maruta
Mount Sinai Health System

  1. J Comp Neurol. 2020 Jan 06.
    Ando T, Ueda M, Luo Y, Sugihara I.
      A significant population of neurons in the vestibular nuclei projects to the cerebellum as mossy fibers (MFs) which are involved in the control and adaptation of posture, eye-head movements and autonomic function. However, little is known about their axonal projection pattern. We studied the morphology of single axons of medial vestibular nucleus (MVN) neurons as well as those originating from primary afferents, by labeling with biotinylated dextran amine (BDA). MVN axons (n = 35) were classified into three types based on their major predominant termination patterns. The Cbm-type terminated only in the cerebellum (15 axons), whereas others terminated in the cerebellum and contralateral vestibular nuclei (cVN/Cbm-type, 13 axons), or in the cerebellum and ipsilateral vestibular nuclei (iVN/Cbm-type, 7 axons). Cbm- and cVN/Cbm-types mostly projected to the nodulus and uvula without any clear relationship with longitudinal stripes in these lobules. They were often bilateral, and sometimes sent branches to the flocculus and to other vermal lobules. Also, the iVN/Cbm-type projected mainly to the ipsilateral nodulus. Neurons of these types of axons showed different distribution within the MVN. The number of MF terminals of some vestibulocerebellar axons, iVN/Cbm-type axons in particular, and primary afferent axons was much smaller than observed in previously studied MF axons originating from major precerebellar nuclei and the spinal cord. The results demonstrated that a heterogeneous population of MVN neurons provided divergent MF inputs to the cerebellum. The cVN/Cbm- and iVN/Cbm-types indicate that some excitatory neuronal circuits within the vestibular nuclei supply their collaterals to the vestibulocerebellum as MFs. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    Keywords:  RRID:AB_2313920; aldolase C; cerebellar cortex; cerebellar mossy fibers; cerebellum; medial vestibular nucleus; mice
  2. PLoS Biol. 2020 Jan 06. 18(1): e3000596
    Grasselli G, Boele HJ, Titley HK, Bradford N, van Beers L, Jay L, Beekhof GC, Busch SE, de Zeeuw CI, Schonewille M, Hansel C.
      Neurons store information by changing synaptic input weights. In addition, they can adjust their membrane excitability to alter spike output. Here, we demonstrate a role of such "intrinsic plasticity" in behavioral learning in a mouse model that allows us to detect specific consequences of absent excitability modulation. Mice with a Purkinje-cell-specific knockout (KO) of the calcium-activated K+ channel SK2 (L7-SK2) show intact vestibulo-ocular reflex (VOR) gain adaptation but impaired eyeblink conditioning (EBC), which relies on the ability to establish associations between stimuli, with the eyelid closure itself depending on a transient suppression of spike firing. In these mice, the intrinsic plasticity of Purkinje cells is prevented without affecting long-term depression or potentiation at their parallel fiber (PF) input. In contrast to the typical spike pattern of EBC-supporting zebrin-negative Purkinje cells, L7-SK2 neurons show reduced background spiking but enhanced excitability. Thus, SK2 plasticity and excitability modulation are essential for specific forms of motor learning.