bims-climfi Biomed News
on Cerebellar cortical circuitry
Issue of 2020‒06‒07
two papers selected by
Jun Maruta
Mount Sinai Health System


  1. Neuroscience. 2020 Jun 02. pii: S0306-4522(20)30339-0. [Epub ahead of print]
    Inoshita T, Hirano T.
      The cerebellum is involved in motor learning, and long-term depression (LTD) at parallel fiber-to-Purkinje cell (PF-PC) synapses has been considered to be a primary cellular mechanism for motor learning. In addition, the contribution of norepinephrine (NE) to cerebellum-dependent learning paradigms has been reported. Thus, the roles of LTD and of NE in motor learning have been studied separately, and the relationship between the effects of NE and LTD remains unclear. Here, we examined effects of β-adrenergic receptor (β-AR) activity on the synaptic transmission and LTD at PF-PC synapses in the cerebellar flocculus. The flocculus regulates adaptation of oculomotor reflexes, and we previously reported the involvement of both LTD and β-AR in adaptation of an oculomotor reflex in the flocculus. Here we found that specific agonists for β-AR or NE did not directly change synaptic transmission, but lowered the threshold for LTD induction at PF-PC synapses in the flocculus. In addition, protein kinase A (PKA), which is activated downstream of β-AR, facilitated the LTD induction. Altogether, these results suggest that NE facilitates LTD induction at PF-PC synapses in the flocculus by activating PKA through β-AR.
    Keywords:  Cerebellum; Motor learning; Optokinetic response; Synaptic plasticity
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuroscience.2020.05.037
  2. Neuroscience. 2020 Jun 02. pii: S0306-4522(20)30338-9. [Epub ahead of print]
    Park H, Yamamoto Y, Tanaka-Yamamoto K.
      The cerebellum forms regular neural network structures consisting of a few major types of neurons, such as Purkinje cells, granule cells, and molecular layer interneurons, and receives two major inputs from climbing fibers and mossy fibers. Its regular structures consist of three well-defined layers, with each type of neuron designated to a specific location and forming specific synaptic connections. During the first few weeks of postnatal development in rodents, the cerebellum goes through dynamic changes via proliferation, migration, differentiation, synaptogenesis, and maturation, to create such a network structure. The development of this organized network structure presumably relies on the communication between developing elements in the network, including not only individual neurons, but also their dendrites, axons, and synapses. Therefore, it is reasonable that extracellular signaling via synaptic transmission, secreted molecules, and cell adhesion molecules, plays important roles in cerebellar network development. Although it is not yet clear as to how overall cerebellar development is orchestrated, there is indeed accumulating lines of evidence that extracellular signaling acts toward the development of individual elements in the cerebellar networks. In this article, we introduce what we have learned from many studies regarding the extracellular signaling required for cerebellar network development, including our recent study suggesting the importance of unbiased synaptic inputs from parallel fibers.
    Keywords:  Purkinje cells; cerebellar granule cells; climbing fibers; extracellular signaling; molecular layer interneurons; synaptic inputs
    DOI:  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuroscience.2020.05.036