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Simulated responses of cerebellar Purkinje cells are independent of the dendritic location of granule cell synaptic inputs.

E De Schutter, JM Bower

Division of Biology 216-76, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena 91125.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 91:4736-40 (1994)

Abstract - Cerebellar Purkinje cell responses to granule cell synaptic inputs were examined with a computer model including active dendritic conductances. Dendritic P-type Ca2+ channels amplified postsynaptic responses when the model was firing at a physiological rate. Small synchronous excitatory inputs applied distally on the large dendritic tree resulted in somatic responses of similar size to those generated by more proximal inputs. In contrast, in a passive model the somatic postsynaptic potentials to distal inputs were 76% smaller. The model predicts that the somatic firing response of Purkinje cells is relatively insensitive to the exact dendritic location of synaptic inputs. We describe a mechanism of Ca2+-mediated synaptic amplification, based on the subspiking threshold recruitment of P-type Ca2+ channels in the dendritic branches surrounding the input site.

PMID: 8197127 [PubMed]