PubMed 20845003

Referenced in Channelpedia wiki pages of: none

Automatically associated channels: Cav2.1 , Slo1

Title: Enhanced synaptic inhibition disrupts the efferent code of cerebellar Purkinje neurons in leaner Cav2.1 Ca 2+ channel mutant mice.

Authors: Saak V Ovsepian, David D Friel

Journal, date & volume: Cerebellum, 2012 Sep , 11, 666-80

PubMed link:

Cerebellar Purkinje cells (PCs) encode afferent information in the rate and temporal structure of their spike trains. Both spontaneous firing in these neurons and its modulation by synaptic inputs depend on Ca(2+) current carried by Ca(v)2.1 (P/Q) type channels. Previous studies have described how loss-of-function Ca(v)2.1 mutations affect intrinsic excitability and excitatory transmission in PCs. This study examines the effects of the leaner mutation on fast GABAergic transmission and its modulation of spontaneous firing in PCs. The leaner mutation enhances spontaneous synaptic inhibition of PCs, leading to transitory reductions in PC firing rate and increased spike rate variability. Enhanced inhibition is paralleled by an increase in the frequency and amplitude of spontaneous inhibitory postsynaptic currents (sIPSCs) measured under voltage clamp. These differences are abolished by tetrodotoxin, implicating effects of the mutation on spike-induced GABA release. Elevated sIPSC frequency in leaner PCs is not accompanied by increased mean firing rate in molecular layer interneurons, but IPSCs evoked in PCs by direct stimulation of these neurons exhibit larger amplitude, slower decay rate, and a higher burst probability compared to wild-type PCs. Ca(2+) release from internal stores appears to be required for enhanced inhibition since differences in sIPSC frequency and amplitude in leaner and wild-type PCs are abolished by thapsigargin, an ER Ca(2+) pump inhibitor. These findings represent the first account of the functional consequences of a loss-of-function P/Q channel mutation on PC firing properties through altered GABAergic transmission. Gain in synaptic inhibition shown here would compromise the fidelity of information coding in these neurons and may contribute to impaired cerebellar function resulting from loss-of function mutations in the Ca(V)2.1 channel gene.