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Neuron. 1991 Dec;7(6):891-902.

Electrical activity in cerebellar cultures determines Purkinje cell dendritic growth patterns.

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Department of Neurosciences, Roche Institute of Molecular Biology, Roche Research Center, Nutley, New Jersey 07110.


In primary dissociated cultures of mouse cerebellum a number of Purkinje cell-specific marker proteins and characteristic ionic currents appear at the appropriate developmental time. During the first week after plating, Purkinje cell dendrites elongate, but as electrical activity emerges the dendrites stop growing and branch. If endogenous electrical activity is inhibited by chronic tetrodotoxin or high magnesium treatment, dendrites continue to elongate, as if they were still immature. At the time that branching begins, intracellular calcium levels become sensitive to tetrodotoxin, suggesting that this cation may be involved in dendrite growth. Even apparently mature Purkinje cells alter their dendritic growth in response to changes in activity, suggesting long-term plasticity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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