Ca(v)2.1 in Cerebellar Purkinje Cells Regulates Competitive Excitatory Synaptic Wiring, Cell Survival, and Cerebellar Biochemical Compartmentalization

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In the adult cerebellum, each Purkinje cell (PC) is innervated by a single climbing fiber (CF) in proximal dendrites and 10(5)-10(6) parallel fibers (PFs) in distal dendrites. This organized wiring is established postnatally through heterosynaptic competition between PFs and CFs and homosynaptic competition among multiple CFs. Using PC-specific Ca(v)2.1 knock-out mice (PC-Ca(v)2.1 KO mice), we have demonstrated recently that postsynaptic Ca(v)2.1 plays a key role in the homosynaptic competition by promoting functional strengthening and dendritic translocation of single "winner" CFs. Here, we report that Ca(v)2.1 in PCs, but not in granule cells, is also essential for the heterosynaptic competition. In PC-Ca(v)2.1 KO mice, the extent of CF territory was limited to the soma and basal dendrites, whereas PF territory was expanded reciprocally. Consequently, the proximal somatodendritic domain of PCs displayed hyperspiny transformation and fell into chaotic innervation by multiple CFs and numerous PFs. PC-Ca(v)2.1 KO mice also displayed patterned degeneration of PCs, which occurred preferentially in aldolase C/zebrin II-negative cerebellar compartments. Furthermore, the mutually complementary expression of phospholipase C beta 3 (PLC beta 3) and PLC beta 4 was altered such that their normally sharp boundary was blurred in the PCs of PC-Cav2.1 KO mice. This blurring was caused by an impaired posttranscriptional downregulation of PLC beta 3 in PLC beta 4-dominant PCs during the early postnatal period. A similar alteration was noted in the banded expression of the glutamate transporter EAAT4 in PC-Cav2.1 KO mice. Therefore, Cav2.1 in PCs is essential for competitive synaptic wiring, cell survival, and the establishment of precise boundaries and reciprocity of biochemical compartments in PCs.



    JOURNAL OF NEUROSCIENCE 32(4), 1311-1328, 2012-01-25


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