A change in the pattern of activity affects the developmental regression of the Purkinje cell polyinnervation by climbing fibers in the rat cerebellum
Pattern of activity during development is important for the refinement of the final architecture of the brain. In the cerebellar cortex, the regression from multiple to single climbing fiber innervation of the Purkinje cell occurs during development between postnatal days (P) 5 and 15. However, the regression is hampered by altering in various ways the morpho-functional integrity of the parallel fiber input. In rats we disrupted the normal activity pattern of the climbing fiber, the terminal arbor of the inferior olive neurons, by administering harmaline for 4 days from P9 to P12. At all studied ages (P15-87) after harmaline treatment multiple (double only) climbing fiber EPSC-steps persist in 28% of cells as compared with none in the control. The ratio between the amplitudes of the larger and the smaller climbing fiber-evoked EPSC increases in parallel with the decline of the polyinnervation factor, indicating a gradual enlargement of the synaptic contribution of the winning climbing fiber synapse at the expense of the losing one. Harmaline treatment had no later effects on the climbing fiber EPSC kinetics and I/V relation in Purkinje cells (P15-36). However, there was a rise in the paired-pulse depression indicating a potentiation of the presynaptic mechanisms. In the same period, after harmaline treatment, parallel fiber-Purkinje cell electrophysiology was unaffected. The distribution of parallel fiber synaptic boutons was also not changed. Thus, a change in the pattern of activity during a narrow developmental period may affect climbing fiber-Purkinje cell synapse competition resulting in occurrence of multiple innervation at least up to 3 months of age. Our results extend the current view on the role of the pattern of activity in the refinement of neuronal connections during development. They suggest that many similar results obtained by different gene or receptor manipulations might be simply the consequence of disrupting the pattern of activity.
Citation : Andjus, P.R. et al. (2003) A change in the pattern of activity affects the developmental regression of the Purkinje cell polyinnervation by climbing fibers in the rat cerebellum. Neuroscience, 121 (3), pp. 563-572.
Research Institute : Leicester Institute for Pharmaceutical Innovation - From Molecules to Practice (LIPI)
Peer Reviewed : Yes