Depolarization-induced calcium signals in the somata of cerebellar Purkinje neurons

Masanobu Kano, Ralf Schneggenburger, Alexej Verkhratsky, Arthur Konnerth

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Cerebellar Purkinje neurons express voltage-gated Ca2+ channels that are located on their somata and dendrites. Previous reports, based on microelectrode recordings and fura-2 Ca2+ imaging, suggested that depolarization-mediated intracellular Ca2+ signaling is confined almost completely to the dendrites. We investigated the spatial distribution of depolarization-induced Ca2+ signals in Purkinje neurons by applying whole-cell patch-clamp recordings combined with fluorometric Ca2+ imaging to cerebellar slices. Under our recording conditions, depolarizing pulses produced the dendritic but also large somatic Ca2+ signals. By selective perfusion of the slice with a Ca2+-free EGTA-containing solution, we could isolate experimentally Ca2+ signals in somata and dendrites, respectively. Moreover, experiments performed on cerebellar slices from young rats (up to postnatal day 6), in which Purkinje neurons are almost completely devoid of dendrites, showed that Ca2+ currents produced by the activation of somatic Ca2+ channels are associated with Ca2+ transients similar to those seen in the somata of adult Purkinje neurons. Our results strongly indicate that the depolarization-induced somatic Ca2+ signals are caused by Ca2+ entry through voltage-gated channels located on the somatic membrane of Purkinje neurons. © 1995.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)87-95
    Number of pages8
    JournalNeuroscience Research
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 1995


    • Brain slices
    • Calcium channels
    • Fura-2 video imaging
    • Whole-cell patch-clamp


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