Paikan Marcaggi

18 avril 2014 - 18 avril 2014


Information storage at Purkinje cell synapses : optical approaches to solve a puzzling unknown

invité par Geneviève Rougon

More than half the total number of brain neurons are cerebellar granule cells and more than 100,000 of them contact each Purkinje cell. These numbers point to the cerebellar granule cell to Purkinje cell synapse as a key site for cerebellar operation. Data suggesting that 90% of these synapses are silent further support the hypothesis that they store information. Yet, the role of plasticity at these synapses is challenged by recent research and rules governing plasticity have remained unclear. Here, I will present data obtained by using optical tools (optogenetic, FRET, two-photon microscopy), which provide insight on the function of two key players in the signaling that lead to synaptic plasticity : type 1 metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluR1) and postsynaptic calcium signaling. I will then present recent results revealing a novel form of synaptic plasticity and confirming that the majority of granule cell to Purkinje cell synapses are silent. Together, these data provide a framework to reassess plasticity rules and use a new experimental strategy to determine how information might be stored at granule cell to Purkinje cell synapse.

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