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Cell Calcium. 2005 May;37(5):459-66.

Determinants of postsynaptic Ca2+ signaling in Purkinje neurons.

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Institut für Physiologie, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Pettenkoferstr. 12, 80336 München, Germany.


Neuronal integration in Purkinje neurons involves many forms of Ca2+ signaling. Two afferent synaptic inputs, the parallel and the climbing fibers, provide a major drive for these signals. These two excitatory synaptic inputs are both glutamatergic. Postsynaptically they activate alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-propionic acid (AMPA) receptors (AMPARs) and metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluRs). Unlike most other types of central neurons, Purkinje neurons do not express NMDA (N-methyl-D-aspartate) receptors (NMDARs). AMPARs in Purkinje neurons are characterized by a low permeability for Ca2+ ions. AMPAR-mediated synaptic depolarization may activate voltage-gated Ca2+ channels, mostly of the P/Q-type. The resulting intracellular Ca2+ signals are shaped by the Ca2+ buffers calbindin and parvalbumin. Ca2+ clearance from the cytosol is brought about by Ca2+-ATPases in the plasma membrane and the endoplasmic reticulum, as well as the Na+-Ca2+-exchanger. Binding of glutamate to mGluRs induces postsynaptic Ca2+-transients through two G protein-dependent pathways: involving (1) the release of Ca2+ ions from intracellular Ca2+ stores and (2) the opening of the cation channel TRPC1. Homer proteins appear to play an important role in postsynaptic Ca2+ signaling by providing a direct link between the plasma membrane-resident elements (mGluRs and TRPC1) and their intracellular partners, including the IP3Rs.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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