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J Neurosci. 1997 Dec 1;17(23):9104-12.

Developmental regulation of basket/stellate cell-->Purkinje cell synapses in the cerebellum.

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Arbeitsgruppe Zelluläre Neurobiologie, Max-Planck-Institut für Biophysikalische Chemie, D-37077 Göttingen, Germany.


We used paired recordings to study the development of synaptic transmission between inhibitory interneurons of the molecular layer and Purkinje cells in the cerebellar cortex of the rat. The electrophysiological data were combined with a morphological study of the recorded cells using biocytin or Lucifer yellow staining. Thirty-one interneuron-Purkinje cell pairs were obtained, and 11 of them were recovered morphologically. The age of the rats ranged from 11 to 31 d after birth. During this period synaptic maturation resulted in an 11-fold decrease in the average current evoked in a Purkinje cell by a spike in a presynaptic interneuron. Unitary IPSCs in younger animals exhibited paired-pulse depression, whereas paired-pulse facilitation was found in more mature animals. These data suggest that reduction in transmitter release probability contributed to the developmental decrease of unitary IPSCs. However, additional mechanisms at both presynaptic and postsynaptic loci should also be considered. The decrease of the average synaptic current evoked in a Purkinje cell by an action potential in a single interneuron suggests that as development proceeds interneuron activities must be coordinated to inhibit efficiently Purkinje cells.

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