The growth of the dendritic trees of Purkinje cells in the cerebellum of the rat

Brain Res. 1976 Aug 6;112(1):1-35. doi: 10.1016/0006-8993(76)90331-0.


The growth of Purkinje cell dendritic trees in the cerebellum of the rat was studied over the first 50 days of life, using the technique of network analysis and the Golgi-Cox impregnation method. Our findings showed that a growth spurt occurred from the 10th to 30th day post partum (pp) and involved the production of a massive number of branches of fairly constant length. Growth of the tree occurred firstly in the lateral domain, so that by 15 days pp most trees were of adult width. Thereafter, increases in height occurred until 30 days pp. Associated with this change in direction of growth, from the mainly transverse to the vertical plane, was a deviation from the normal random pattern of branching of the tree, but this was reestablished when reorientation was complete, and growth in the vertical plane underway. The lengths of proximal segments increased once they had become established, but distal branches probably maintained a constant length. The above results, together with changes in segment length, trichotomy, branching probability, and growth cone morphology during development have been discussed in relation to current concepts of dendritic growth.

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Animals
  • Cell Count
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cerebellum / physiology*
  • Dendrites / cytology
  • Dendrites / physiology*
  • Models, Neurological
  • Purkinje Cells / cytology
  • Purkinje Cells / physiology*
  • Rats
  • Statistics as Topic