In the cerebellar network, a precise relationship between plasticity and neuronal discharge has been predicted. However, the potential generation of persistent changes in Purkinje cell (PC) spike discharge as a consequence of plasticity following natural stimulation patterns has not been clearly determined. Here, we show that facial tactile stimuli organized in theta-patterns can induce stereotyped N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA-A) receptor-dependent changes in PCs and molecular layer interneurons (MLIs) firing: invariably, all PCs showed a long-lasting increase (Spike-Related Potentiation or SR-P) and MLIs a long-lasting decrease (Spike-Related Suppression or SR-S) in baseline activity and spike response probability. These observations suggests that tactile sensory stimulation engages multiple long-term plastic changes that are distributed along the mossy fiber-parallel fiber (MF-PF) pathway and operate synergistically to potentiate spike generation in PCs. In contrast, theta-pattern electrical stimulation (ES) of PFs indistinctly induced SR-P and SR-S both in PCs and MLIs, suggesting that tactile sensory stimulation preordinates plasticity upstream of the PF-PC synapse. All these effects occurred in the absence of complex spike changes, supporting the theoretical prediction that PC activity is potentiated when the MF-PF system is activated in the absence of conjunctive climbing fiber (CF) activity.

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doi.org/10.3389/fncel.2016.00036, hdl.handle.net/1765/84806
Frontiers in cellular neuroscience
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Department of Neuroscience

Ramakrishnan, K.B, Voges, K, De Propris, L, de Zeeuw, C.I, & D'Angelo, E. (2016). Tactile stimulation evokes long-lasting potentiation of purkinje cell discharge in vivo. Frontiers in cellular neuroscience, 10(FEB). doi:10.3389/fncel.2016.00036