Cerebellar granule cell signaling is indispensable for normal motor performance

Joon Hyuk Lee, Mehak M. Khan, Amanda P. Stark, Soobin Seo, Aliya Norton, Zhiyi Yao, Christopher H. Chen, Wade G. Regehr

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Within the cerebellar cortex, mossy fibers (MFs) excite granule cells (GCs) that excite Purkinje cells (PCs), which provide outputs to the deep cerebellar nuclei (DCNs). It is well established that PC disruption produces motor deficits such as ataxia. This could arise from either decreases in ongoing PC-DCN inhibition, increases in the variability of PC firing, or disruption of the flow of MF-evoked signals. Remarkably, it is not known whether GCs are essential for normal motor function. Here we address this issue by selectively eliminating calcium channels that mediate transmission (CaV2.1, CaV2.2, and CaV2.3) in a combinatorial manner. We observe profound motor deficits but only when all CaV2 channels are eliminated. In these mice, the baseline rate and variability of PC firing are unaltered, and locomotion-dependent increases in PC firing are eliminated. We conclude that GCs are indispensable for normal motor performance and that disruption of MF-induced signals impairs motor performance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number112429
JournalCell Reports
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 30 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology

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