Climbing fiber multi-innervation of mouse Purkinje dendrites with arborization common to human

Science. 2023 Jul 28;381(6656):420-427. doi: 10.1126/science.adi1024. Epub 2023 Jul 27.


Canonically, each Purkinje cell (PC) in the adult cerebellum receives only one climbing fiber (CF) from the inferior olive. Underlying current theories of cerebellar function is the notion that this highly conserved one-to-one relationship renders Purkinje dendrites into a single computational compartment. However, we discovered that multiple primary dendrites are a near-universal morphological feature in humans. Using tract tracing, immunolabeling, and in vitro electrophysiology, we found that in mice ~25% of mature multibranched cells receive more than one CF input. Two-photon calcium imaging in vivo revealed that separate dendrites can exhibit distinct response properties to sensory stimulation, indicating that some multibranched cells integrate functionally independent CF-receptive fields. These findings indicate that PCs are morphologically and functionally more diverse than previously thought.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Axons* / physiology
  • Dendrites* / physiology
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Purkinje Cells* / physiology
  • Purkinje Cells* / ultrastructure
  • Synapses / physiology