Intradendritic release of calcium induced by glutamate in cerebellar Purkinje cells

Neuron. 1991 Oct;7(4):577-83. doi: 10.1016/0896-6273(91)90370-f.


The ability of excitatory amino acids to induce increases in the intracellular Ca2+ concentration ([Ca2+]i) of cerebellar Purkinje cells was examined by digital fluorescence ratio imaging of voltage-clamped Purkinje cells dialyzed with the Ca2+ indicator fura-2. Purkinje cells responded with large inward currents accompanied by increases in dendritic [Ca2+]i when challenged with the excitatory amino acid agonists glutamate and quisqualate. The rise in [Ca2+]i was transient and reached peak values of several hundred nanomolar. The response subsisted in the absence of extracellular Ca2+, a condition that eliminates Ca2+ entry through voltage-gated Ca2+ channels, indicating that Ca2+ arose in large part from an intracellular compartment. In support of this hypothesis, only the first agonist application elicited a [Ca2+]i increase in slices maintained in Ca(2+)-free medium, as expected if the intracellular stores become depleted. These results indicate that metabotropic glutamate receptors are functional in Purkinje cells and point to glutamate as a possible modulator of [Ca2+]i in these neurons.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Calcium / metabolism*
  • Dendrites / metabolism*
  • Egtazic Acid / pharmacology
  • Electrophysiology
  • Fura-2
  • Glutamates / pharmacology*
  • Glutamic Acid
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Osmolar Concentration
  • Purkinje Cells / drug effects
  • Purkinje Cells / metabolism*
  • Purkinje Cells / physiology
  • Quisqualic Acid / pharmacology
  • Synapses / physiology


  • Glutamates
  • Glutamic Acid
  • Egtazic Acid
  • Quisqualic Acid
  • Calcium
  • Fura-2