The cerebellum is a brain structure involved in coordination, control, and learning of movements, as well as certain aspects of cognitive function. Purkinje cells are the sole output neurons from the cerebellar cortex and therefore play crucial roles in the overall function of the cerebellum. The type-1 metabotropic glutamate receptor (mGluR1) is a key "hub" molecule that is critically involved in the regulation of synaptic wiring, excitability, synaptic response, and synaptic plasticity of Purkinje cells. In this review, we aim to highlight how mGluR1 controls these events in Purkinje cells. We also describe emerging evidence that altered mGluR1 signaling in Purkinje cells underlies cerebellar dysfunctions in several clinically relevant mouse models of human ataxias.
Keywords: Purkinje cell; cerebellum; cognitive function; metabotropic glutamate receptor; signaling.