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Neuron. 1997 Jan;18(1):71-9.

Persistent multiple climbing fiber innervation of cerebellar Purkinje cells in mice lacking mGluR1.

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Department of Physiology, Jichi Medical School, Minamikawachi-machi, Japan.


Most of the cerebellar Purkinje cells (PCs) of an adult animal are innervated individually by a single climbing fiber (CF) that forms strong excitatory synapses with the PCs. This one-to-one relationship between a PC and a CF is a consequence of a developmentally regulated regression of the innervation of PCs by CFs. We found that, in mice deficient in the type 1 metabotropic glutamate receptor (mGluR1), the regression of supernumerary CFs ceases by the end of the second postnatal week, which is about one week earlier than in normal mice. Consequently, about one third of PCs in the mGluR1 mutant mice are innervated by multiple CFs in adulthood. We conclude that the regression of CFs normally occurs in two developmental phases and that mGluR1 plays a crucial role in the second phase.

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