bims-climfi Biomed News
on Cerebellar cortical circuitry
Issue of 2021‒08‒08
one paper selected by
Jun Maruta
Mount Sinai Health System

  1. J Neurophysiol. 2021 Aug 04.
      The climbing fiber input to the cerebellum conveys instructive signals that can induce synaptic plasticity and learning by triggering complex spikes accompanied by large calcium transients in Purkinje cells. In the cerebellar flocculus, which supports oculomotor learning, complex spikes are driven by image motion on the retina, which could indicate an oculomotor error. In the same neurons, complex spikes also can be driven by non-visual signals. It has been shown that the calcium transients accompanying each complex spike can vary in amplitude, even within a given cell, therefore, we compared the calcium responses associated with the visual and non-visual inputs to floccular Purkinje cells. The calcium indicator GCaMP6f was selectively expressed in Purkinje cells, and fiber photometry was used to record the calcium responses from a population of Purkinje cells in the flocculus of awake behaving mice. During visual (optokinetic) stimuli and pairing of vestibular and visual stimuli, the calcium level increased during contraversive retinal image motion. During performance of the vestibulo-ocular reflex in the dark, calcium increased during contraversive head rotation and the associated ipsiverse eye movements. The amplitude of this non-visual calcium response was comparable to that during conditions with retinal image motion present that induce oculomotor learning. Thus, population calcium responses of Purkinje cells in the cerebellar flocculus to visual and non-visual input are similar to what has been reported previously for complex spikes, suggesting that multimodal instructive signals control the synaptic plasticity supporting oculomotor learning.
    Keywords:  Climbing fibers; Purkinje cells; calcium; oculomotor; visual