Protein kinase C: its role in activity-dependent Purkinje cell dendritic development and plasticity

Cerebellum. 2003;2(3):206-14. doi: 10.1080/14734220310016150.


The cerebellum is a central organ in the control of motor learning and performance. In this respect, the cellular plasticity model systems of multiple climbing fiber elimination and long-term depression have been intensively studied. The signalling pathways involved in these plastic changes are now well understood on a molecular level and protein kinase C (PKC) activity appears to be crucially involved in both processes. Furthermore, as shown in recent studies, Purkinje cell dendritic development also critically depends on the activity of PKC. Thereby, the Ca(2+)-dependent PKC subtypes, activated by synaptic inputs through metabotropic glutamate receptors, trigger functional changes as well as long-term anatomical maturation of the Purkinje cell dendritic tree during cerebellar development at different time levels. This review summarizes these findings and forwards the hypothesis of a link between the functional mechanisms underlying LTD and the differentiation of Purkinje cell dendrites.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cerebellar Cortex / cytology
  • Cerebellar Cortex / enzymology
  • Cerebellar Cortex / ultrastructure
  • Dendrites / enzymology
  • Dendrites / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Isoenzymes / metabolism
  • Long-Term Potentiation
  • Neuronal Plasticity*
  • Protein Kinase C / metabolism*
  • Purkinje Cells / enzymology*
  • Purkinje Cells / physiology
  • Purkinje Cells / ultrastructure


  • Isoenzymes
  • Protein Kinase C