bims-climfi Biomed News
on Cerebellar cortical circuitry
Issue of 2021‒01‒31
one paper selected by
Jun Maruta
Mount Sinai Health System

  1. J Neurosci. 2021 Jan 26. pii: JN-RM-3013-19. [Epub ahead of print]
      The Golgi cells, together with granule cells and mossy fibers, form a neuronal microcircuit regulating information transfer at the cerebellum input stage. Despite theoretical predictions, little was known about long-term synaptic plasticity at Golgi cell synapses. Here we have used whole-cell patch-clamp recordings and calcium imaging to investigate long-term synaptic plasticity at excitatory synapses impinging on Golgi cells. In acute mouse cerebellar slices, mossy fiber theta-burst stimulation (TBS) could induce either long-term potentiation (LTP) or long-term depression (LTD) at mossy fiber-Golgi cell and granule cell-Golgi cell synapses. This synaptic plasticity showed a peculiar voltage-dependence, with LTD or LTP being favored when TBS induction occurred at depolarized or hyperpolarized potentials, respectively. LTP required, in addition to NMDA channels, activation of T-type Ca2+ channels, while LTD required uniquely activation of L-type Ca2+ channels. Notably, the voltage-dependence of plasticity at the mossy fiber-Golgi cell synapses was inverted with respect to pure NMDA receptor-dependent plasticity at the neighboring mossy fiber-granule cell synapse, implying that the mossy fiber presynaptic terminal can activate different induction mechanisms depending on the target cell. In aggregate, this result shows that Golgi cells show cell-specific forms of long-term plasticity at their excitatory synapses, that could play a crucial role in sculpting the response patterns of the cerebellar granular layer.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENTThis paper shows for the first time a novel form of Ca2+ channel-dependent synaptic plasticity at the excitatory synapses impinging on cerebellar Golgi cells. This plasticity is bidirectional and inverted with respect to NMDA receptor-dependent paradigms, with LTD and LTP being favored at depolarized and hyperpolarized potentials, respectively. Furthermore, LTP and LTD induction requires differential involvement of T-type and L-type voltage-gated Ca2+ channels rather than the NMDA receptors alone. These results, along with recent computational predictions, support the idea that Golgi cell plasticity could play a crucial role in controlling information flow through the granular layer along with cerebellar learning and memory.