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Neuropeptides. 1992 Jul;22(3):167-74.

Differential modulation of Purkinje cell activity by enkephalin and corticotropin releasing factor.

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Department of Cell Biology, Neurobiology and Anatomy, Ohio State University, Columbus 43210.


Several peptides have been localized within afferents to the opossum's cerebellum, including cholecystokinin (15), enkephalin (16, 17) and corticotropin releasing factor (7, 9). Each of these peptides has a heterogeneous laminar and lobular distribution. Two peptide, enkephalin (ENK) and corticotropin releasing factor (CRF) are present in specific populations of climbing fibers and mossy fibers, which have an overlapping distribution in several areas of the cerebellum, in particular the lateral aspect of vermal lobules VII and VIII. Within this location ENK and CRF are co-localized in individual climbing fibers and mossy fibers (7). In the present study, the physiological effects of these peptides on Purkinje cell activity were analyzed. The data indicate that ENK and CRF have opposite effects on Purkinje cell activity. ENK suppresses spontaneous activity as well as that induced by application of glutamate and aspartate, as described previously (5). In contrast, CRF enhances both spontaneous and amino acid-induced unit activity. Further, when applied simultaneously, CRF blocks the suppressive effect induced by ENK. Previous studies have shown that climbing fibers, as well as the mossy fiber-parallel fiber pathway, are excitatory to Purkinje cells (11). However, immunohistochemical data have shown that these afferents are heterogeneous with respect to their chemical content (7-9, 15-17, 25). As found in the current and previous studies (3, 5) peptides in climbing and mossy fibers modulate the responsiveness of Purkinje cells to primary excitatory neurotransmitters in selected areas of the cerebellar cortex. However, the firing rate of individual Purkinje cells is differentially altered depending on which neurochemical messenger(s) are released.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS).

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