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High-Pass Filtering and Dynamic Gain Regulation Enhance Vertical Bursts Transmission along the Mossy Fiber Pathway of Cerebellum

Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience
Frontiers Media SA
Publication Date
DOI: 10.3389/fncel.2010.00014
  • Neuroscience
  • Original Research


Signal elaboration in the cerebellum mossy fiber input pathway presents controversial aspects, especially concerning gain regulation and the spot-like (rather than beam-like) appearance of granular to molecular layer transmission. By using voltage-sensitive dye imaging in rat cerebellar slices (Mapelli et al., 2010), we found that mossy fiber bursts optimally excited the granular layer above ∼50 Hz and the overlaying molecular layer above ∼100 Hz, thus generating a cascade of high-pass filters. NMDA receptors enhanced transmission in the granular, while GABA-A receptors depressed transmission in both the granular and molecular layer. Burst transmission gain was controlled through a dynamic frequency-dependent involvement of these receptors. Moreover, while high-frequency transmission was enhanced along vertical lines connecting the granular to molecular layer, no high-frequency enhancement was observed along the parallel fiber axis in the molecular layer. This was probably due to the stronger effect of Purkinje cell GABA-A receptor-mediated inhibition occurring along the parallel fibers than along the granule cell axon ascending branch. The consequent amplification of burst responses along vertical transmission lines could explain the spot-like activation of Purkinje cells observed following punctuate stimulation in vivo.

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