Send to

Choose Destination
Front Neural Circuits. 2013 Nov 15;7:180. doi: 10.3389/fncir.2013.00180. eCollection 2013.

Reevaluation of the role of parallel fiber synapses in delay eyeblink conditioning in mice using Cbln1 as a tool.

Author information

Department of Physiology, School of Medicine, Keio University Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, Japan ; Core Research for Evolutional Science and Technology, Japan Science and Technology Corporation Kawaguchi, Saitama, Japan.


The delay eyeblink conditioning (EBC) is a cerebellum-dependent type of associative motor learning. However, the exact roles played by the various cerebellar synapses, as well as the underlying molecular mechanisms, remain to be determined. It is also unclear whether long-term potentiation (LTP) or long-term depression (LTD) at parallel fiber (PF)-Purkinje cell (PC) synapses is involved in EBC. In this study, to clarify the role of PF synapses in the delay EBC, we used mice in which a gene encoding Cbln1 was disrupted (cbln1(-/-) mice), which display severe reduction of PF-PC synapses. We showed that delay EBC was impaired in cbln1(-/-) mice. Although PF-LTD was impaired, PF-LTP was normally induced in cbln1(-/-) mice. A single recombinant Cbln1 injection to the cerebellar cortex in vivo completely, though transiently, restored the morphology and function of PF-PC synapses and delay EBC in cbln1(-/-) mice. Interestingly, the cbln1(-/-) mice retained the memory for at least 30 days, after the Cbln1 injection's effect on PF synapses had abated. Furthermore, delay EBC memory could be extinguished even after the Cbln1 injection's effect were lost. These results indicate that intact PF-PC synapses and PF-LTD, not PF-LTP, are necessary to acquire delay EBC in mice. In contrast, extracerebellar structures or remaining PF-PC synapses in cbln1(-/-) mice may be sufficient for the expression, maintenance, and extinction of its memory trace.


Purkinje cell; cerebellum; long-term depression; motor learning; mouse

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Frontiers Media SA Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center