bims-climfi Biomed News
on Cerebellar cortical circuitry
Issue of 2020‒09‒13
one paper selected by
Jun Maruta
Mount Sinai Health System

  1. Nat Neurosci. 2020 Sep 07.
    Han KS, Chen CH, Khan MM, Guo C, Regehr WG.
      Climbing fibers from the inferior olive make strong excitatory synapses onto cerebellar Purkinje cell (PC) dendrites and trigger distinctive responses known as complex spikes. We found that, in awake mice, a complex spike in one PC suppressed conventional simple spikes in neighboring PCs for several milliseconds. This involved a new ephaptic coupling, in which an excitatory synapse generated large negative extracellular signals that nonsynaptically inhibited neighboring PCs. The distance dependence of complex spike-simple spike ephaptic signaling, combined with the known CF divergence, allowed a single inferior olive neuron to influence the output of the cerebellum by synchronously suppressing the firing of potentially over 100 PCs. Optogenetic studies in vivo and dynamic clamp studies in slice indicated that such brief PC suppression, as a result of either ephaptic signaling or other mechanisms, could effectively promote firing in neurons in the deep cerebellar nuclei with remarkable speed and precision.