Membrane properties and synaptic responses of Golgi cells and stellate cells in the turtle cerebellum in vitro

J Physiol. 1992 Nov:457:329-54. doi: 10.1113/jphysiol.1992.sp019381.


1. Intracellular recordings from anatomically identified Golgi cells and deep stellate cells were obtained in a slice preparation of the turtle cerebellar cortex. 2. Golgi cells and stellate cells had very similar firing patterns, which differed from those of Purkinje cells. In the interneurones, a short time constant and a high input resistance ensured a short response time. A pronounced spike after-hyperpolarization (spike AHP) participated in the rapid repolarization following a depolarizing input. The active and passive membrane properties of the interneurones ensured a very tight temporal coupling between input and output. 3. TTX abolished both the action potentials and a subthreshold depolarizing response. The Na+ excitability was increased by addition of Mn2+ or Co2+ to block calcium channels, or by addition of potassium channel blockers. 4. Ca2+ spikes and a Ca2+ plateau could be evoked following addition of potassium channel blockers. A partly 4-aminopyridine (4-AP)-sensitive transient hyperpolarization was found to control Ca2+ excitability in Golgi cells. It is suggested that this hyperpolarization is due to an A-like conductance. 5. A strong anomalous rectification was activated just below spike threshold, and dominated the subthreshold membrane potential at time scales longer than ca 100 ms. The anomalous rectification was partly blocked by Cs+. 6. Temporal integration over time scales up to ca 25 s was provided by activity-dependent adaptation in firing frequency and a long-lasting after-hyperpolarization (AHPL), which had both TTX-sensitive, Ca(2+)-independent, and Ca(2+)-dependent components. 7. Spontaneous IPSPs and EPSPs were abundant. The IPSPs were abolished by bicuculline. EPSPs were easily evoked by parallel fibre stimulation, had a shorter time course than in Purkinje cells, and were suppressed by the spike AHP. 8. Due to a short response time and a relatively short overall time frame for temporal integration, cerebellar interneurones operate on a faster time scale than the Purkinje cells, the output neurones of the cerebellar cortex. 9. It is suggested that information from shared sources, e.g. the parallel fibres, is distributed onto dynamically different cellular populations based on differences in the intrinsic membrane properties of the postsynaptic neurones.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Action Potentials / physiology
  • Animals
  • Calcium-Transporting ATPases / physiology
  • Cell Membrane / physiology*
  • Cerebellar Cortex / cytology
  • Cerebellar Cortex / physiology*
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Interneurons / physiology*
  • Membrane Potentials / physiology
  • Stellate Ganglion / cytology
  • Synapses / physiology*
  • Turtles / physiology*


  • Calcium-Transporting ATPases