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Beyond parallel fiber LTD: the diversity of synaptic and non-synaptic plasticity in the cerebellum

Nature Neuroscience volume 4, pages 467475 (2001) | Download Citation

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Abstract

In recent years, it has become clear that motor learning, as revealed by associative eyelid conditioning and adaptation of the vestibulo-ocular reflex, contributes to the well-established cerebellar functions of sensorimotor integration and control. Long-term depression of the parallel fiber–Purkinje cell synapse (which is often called 'cerebellar LTD') is a cellular phenomenon that has been suggested to underlie these forms of learning. However, it is clear that parallel fiber LTD, by itself, cannot account for all the properties of cerebellar motor learning. Here we review recent electrophysiological experiments that have described a rich variety of use-dependent plasticity in cerebellum, including long-term potentiation (LTP) and LTD of excitatory and inhibitory synapses, and persistent modulation of intrinsic neuronal excitability. Finally, using associative eyelid conditioning as an example, we propose some ideas about how these cellular phenomena might function and interact to endow the cerebellar circuit with particular computational and mnemonic properties.

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Acknowledgements

This work was supported by NWO-ALW 810.37.003 (C.H.), USPHS MH01590, MH51106, MH61974 and the Develbiss Fund (D.J.L.) and EC grants PL97 0182 and PL97 6060, and INFM PRA-Cady (E.D.). We thank C. De Zeeuw, M. Mauk, M. Schmolesky and J. Weber for comments.

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Affiliations

  1. Department of Anatomy, Institute of Neuroscience, Erasmus University Rotterdam, PO Box 1738, 3000 DR Rotterdam, The Netherlands

    • Christian Hansel
  2. Department of Neuroscience, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 725 N. Wolfe Street, Baltimore, Maryland 21205, USA

    • David J. Linden
  3. Department of Cellular/Molecular Physiology and Pharmacology, University of Pavia and INFM (Pavia Unit), Via Forlanini 6, Pavia, I 27100, Italy

    • Egidio D'Angelo
  4. Department of Evolutionary and Functional Biology, University of Parma, Parco Area delle Scienze 11, Parma, I 43100, Italy

    • Egidio D'Angelo

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Correspondence to David J. Linden.

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https://doi.org/10.1038/87419

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