Kv1 K+ channels control Purkinje cell output to facilitate postsynaptic rebound discharge in deep cerebellar neurons.
ABSTRACT Purkinje cells (PCs) generate the sole output of the cerebellar cortex and govern the timing of action potential discharge from neurons of the deep cerebellar nuclei (DCN). Here, we examine how voltage-gated Kv1 K+ channels shape intrinsically generated and synaptically controlled behaviors of PCs and address how the timing of DCN neuron output is modulated by manipulating PC Kv1 channels. Kv1 channels were studied in cerebellar slices at physiological temperatures with Kv1-specific toxins. Outside-out voltage-clamp recordings indicated that Kv1 channels are present in both somatic and dendritic membranes and are activated by Na+ spike-clamp commands. Whole-cell current-clamp recordings revealed that Kv1 K+ channels maintain low frequencies of Na+ spike and Ca-Na burst output, regulate the duration of plateau potentials, and set the threshold for Ca2+ spike discharge. Kv1 channels shaped the characteristics of climbing fiber (CF) responses evoked by extracellular stimulation or intracellular simulated EPSCs. In the presence of Kv1 toxins, CFs discharged spontaneously at approximately 1 Hz. Finally, "Kv1-intact" and "Kv1-deficient" PC tonic and burst outputs were converted to stimulus protocols and used as patterns to stimulate PC axons and synaptically activate DCN neurons. We found that the Kv1-intact patterns facilitated short-latency and high-frequency DCN neuron rebound discharges, whereas DCN neuron output timing was markedly disrupted by the Kv1-deficient stimulus protocols. Our results suggest that Kv1 K+ channels are critical for regulating the excitability of PCs and CFs and optimize the timing of PC outputs to generate appropriate discharge patterns in postsynaptic DCN neurons.
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ABSTRACT: Without synaptic input, Purkinje neurons can spontaneously fire in a repeating trimodal pattern that consists of tonic spiking, bursting and quiescence. Climbing fiber input (CF) switches Purkinje neurons out of the trimodal firing pattern and toggles them between a tonic firing and a quiescent state, while setting the gain of their response to Parallel Fiber (PF) input. The basis to this transition is unclear. We investigate it using a biophysical Purkinje cell model under conditions of CF and PF input. The model can replicate these toggle and gain functions, dependent upon a novel account of intracellular calcium dynamics that we hypothesize to be applicable in real Purkinje cells.Frontiers in Computational Neuroscience 08/2014; 8(86). · 2.48 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: To any model of brain function, the variability of neuronal spike firing is a problem that needs to be taken into account. Whereas the synaptic integration can be described in terms of the original Hodgkin-Huxley (H-H) formulations of conductance-based electrical signaling, the transformation of the resulting membrane potential into patterns of spike output is subjected to stochasticity that may not be captured with standard single neuron H-H models. The dynamics of the spike output is dependent on the normal background synaptic noise present in vivo, but the neuronal spike firing variability in vivo is not well studied. In the present study, we made long-term whole cell patch clamp recordings of stationary spike firing states across a range of membrane potentials from a variety of subcortical neurons in the non-anesthetized, decerebrated state in vivo. Based on the data, we formulated a simple, phenomenological model of the properties of the spike generation in each neuron that accurately captured the stationary spike firing statistics across all membrane potentials. The model consists of a parametric relationship between the mean and standard deviation of the inter-spike intervals, where the parameter is linearly related to the injected current over the membrane. This enabled it to generate accurate approximations of spike firing also under inhomogeneous conditions with input that varies over time. The parameters describing the spike firing statistics for different neuron types overlapped extensively, suggesting that the spike generation had similar properties across neurons.Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience 01/2014; 8:199. · 4.47 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Unipolar Brush Cells (UBCs) have been suggested to play a critical role in cerebellar functioning, yet the corresponding cellular mechanisms remain poorly understood. UBCs have recently been reported to generate, in addition to early-onset glutamate receptor-dependent synaptic responses, a late-onset response (LOR) composed of a slow depolarizing ramp followed by a spike burst (Locatelli et al., 2013). The LOR activates as a consequence of synaptic activity and involves an intracellular cascade modulating H- and TRP-current gating. In order to assess the LOR mechanisms, we have developed a UBC multi-compartmental model (including soma, dendrite, initial segment, and axon) incorporating biologically realistic representations of ionic currents and a cytoplasmic coupling mechanism regulating TRP and H channel gating. The model finely reproduced UBC responses to current injection, including a burst triggered by a low-threshold spike (LTS) sustained by CaLVA currents, a persistent discharge sustained by CaHVA currents, and a rebound burst following hyperpolarization sustained by H- and CaLVA-currents. Moreover, the model predicted that H- and TRP-current regulation was necessary and sufficient to generate the LOR and its dependence on the intensity and duration of mossy fiber activity. Therefore, the model showed that, using a basic set of ionic channels, UBCs generate a rich repertoire of bursts, which could effectively implement tunable delay-lines in the local microcircuit.Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience 01/2014; 8:237. · 4.47 Impact Factor