Calcium, synaptic plasticity and intrinsic homeostasis in Purkinje neuron models

  • Achard P
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We recently reproduced the complex electrical activity of a Purkinje cell (PC) with very different combinations of ionic channel maximum conductances, suggesting that a large parameter space is available to homeostatic mechanisms. It has been hypothesized that cytoplasmic calcium concentrations control the homeostatic activity sensors. This raises many questions for PCs since in these neurons calcium plays an important role in the induction of synaptic plasticity. To address this question, we generated 148 new PC models. In these models the somatic membrane voltages are stable, but the somatic calcium dynamics are very variable, in agreement with experimental results. Conversely, the calcium signal in spiny dendrites shows only small variability. We demonstrate that this localized control of calcium conductances preserves the induction of long-term depression for all models. We conclude that calcium is unlikely to be the sole activity-sensor in this cell but that there is a strong relationship between activity homeostasis and synaptic plasticity.




Achard, P. (2009). Calcium, synaptic plasticity and intrinsic homeostasis in Purkinje neuron models. Frontiers in Computational Neuroscience, 2.

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