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Journal Article

Coincidence detection in single dendritic spines mediated by calcium release


Denk,  Winfried
Department of Biomedical Optics, Max Planck Institute for Medical Research, Max Planck Society;

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Wang, S. S. H., Denk, W., & Häusser, M. (2000). Coincidence detection in single dendritic spines mediated by calcium release. Nature Neuroscience, 3(12), 1266-1273. doi:10.1038/81792.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0027-A9C0-3
Cerebellar long-term depression (LTD) is a calcium-dependent process in which coincident activity of parallel fiber (PF) and climbing fiber (CF) synapses causes a long-lasting decrease in PF synaptic strength onto Purkinje cells. Here we show that pairing CF activation with bursts of PF activity triggers large (>10 muM) calcium signals in Purkinje cell dendrites. When PFs are densely activated, signals span whole dendritic branchlets and are mediated by voltage-dependent calcium entry. When PFs are sparsely activated, however, signals are restricted to single spines and blocked by metabotropic glutamate receptor antagonists. Single-spine signals and sparse-stimulation LTD are also blocked by thapsigargin, indicating that calcium must be released from stores. Single-spine signals and sparse-stimulation LTD are greatest when PF activation precedes the CF activation within 50?200 ms. This timing rule matches the properties of several forms of motor learning, providing a link between behavior and functional properties of cerebellar synaptic plasticity