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Characterization of the Purkinje cell to nuclear cell connections in mice cerebellum

Abstract : The cerebellum integrates motor commands with somatosensory, vestibular, visual and auditory information for motor learning and coordination functions. The deep cerebellar nuclei (DCN) generates the final output by processing inputs from Purkinje cells (PC), mossy and climbing fibers. We investigated the properties of PC connections to DCN cells using optogenetic stimulation in L7-ChR2 mice with in vivo multi electrode extracellular recordings in lobule IV/V of the cerebellar cortex and in the medial nuclei. DCN cells discharged phase locked to local field potentials in the beta, gamma and high frequency bands. We identified two groups of DCN cells with significant differences in action potential waveforms and firing rates, matching previously discriminated in vitro properties of GABAergic and non-GABAergic cells. PCs inhibited the two group of cells gradually (rate coding), however spike times were controlled for only non-GABAergic cells. Our results suggest that PC inputs temporally control the output of cerebellum and the internal DCN circuitry supports this phenomenon since GABAergic cells do not induce a temporal effect through local inhibition.
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Orçun Orkan Özcan. Characterization of the Purkinje cell to nuclear cell connections in mice cerebellum. Neurobiology. Université de Strasbourg, 2017. English. ⟨NNT : 2017STRAJ085⟩. ⟨tel-01715600⟩

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