Genetically eliminating Purkinje neuron GABAergic neurotransmission increases their response gain to vestibular motion

Trace L. Stay, Jean Laurens, Roy V. Sillitoe, Dora E. Angelaki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Purkinje neurons in the caudal cerebellar vermis combine semicircular canal and otolith signals to segregate linear and gravitational acceleration, evidence for how the cerebellum creates internal models of body motion. However, it is not known which cerebellar circuit connections are necessary to perform this computation. We first showed that this computation is evolutionarily conserved and represented across multiple lobules of the rodent vermis. Then we tested whether Purkinje neuron GABAergic output is required for accurately differentiating linear and gravitational movements through a conditional genetic silencing approach. By using extracellular recordings from lobules VI through X in awake mice, we show that silencing Purkinje neuron output significantly alters their baseline simple spike variability. Moreover, the cerebellum of genetically manipulated mice continues to distinguish linear from gravitational acceleration, suggesting that the underlying computations remain intact. However, response gain is significantly increased in the mutant mice over littermate controls. Altogether, these data argue that Purkinje neuron feedback regulates gain control within the cerebellar circuit.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3245-3250
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Volume116
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 19 2019

Keywords

  • Cerebellum
  • Electrophysiology
  • Internal model
  • Transgenic mice
  • Vestibular

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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