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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1999 Apr 27;96(9):5257-62.

Impaired motor coordination and Purkinje cell excitability in mice lacking calretinin.

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  • 1Brain Research Unit CP601, Université Libre de Bruxelles, 1070 Brussels, Belgium. sschiffm@ulb.ac.be

Abstract

In the cerebellum, the parallel fiber-Purkinje cell synapse can undergo long-term synaptic plasticity suggested to underlie motor learning and resulting from variations in intracellular calcium concentration ([Ca2+]i). Ca2+ binding proteins are enriched in the cerebellum, but their role in information processing is not clear. Here, we show that mice deficient in calretinin (Cr-/-) are impaired in tests of motor coordination. An impairment in Ca2+ homeostasis in Cr-/- Purkinje cells was supported by the high Ca2+-saturation of calbindin-D28k in these cells. The firing behavior of Purkinje cells is severely affected in Cr-/- alert mice, with alterations of simple spike firing rate, complex spike duration, and simple spike pause. In contrast, in slices, transmission at parallel fiber- or climbing fiber-Purkinje cell synapses is unaltered, indicating that marked modifications of the firing behavior in vivo can be undetectable in slice. Thus, these results show that calretinin plays a major role at the network level in cerebellar physiology.

PMID:
10220453
PMCID:
PMC21851
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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