Depolarization-induced calcium signals in the somata of cerebellar Purkinje neurons

Masanobu Kano, Ralf Schneggenburger, Alexej Verkhratsky, Arthur Konnerth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Cerebellar Purkinje neurons express voltage-gated Ca2+ channels that are located on their somata and dendrites. Previous reports, based on microelectrode recordings and fura-2 Ca2+ imaging, suggested that depolarization-mediated intracellular Ca2+ signaling is confined almost completely to the dendrites. We investigated the spatial distribution of depolarization-induced Ca2+ signals in Purkinje neurons by applying whole-cell patch-clamp recordings combined with fluorometric Ca2+ imaging to cerebellar slices. Under our recording conditions, depolarizing pulses produced the dendritic but also large somatic Ca2+ signals. By selective perfusion of the slice with a Ca2+-free EGTA-containing solution, we could isolate experimentally Ca2+ signals in somata and dendrites, respectively. Moreover, experiments performed on cerebellar slices from young rats (up to postnatal day 6), in which Purkinje neurons are almost completely devoid of dendrites, showed that Ca2+ currents produced by the activation of somatic Ca2+ channels are associated with Ca2+ transients similar to those seen in the somata of adult Purkinje neurons. Our results strongly indicate that the depolarization-induced somatic Ca2+ signals are caused by Ca2+ entry through voltage-gated channels located on the somatic membrane of Purkinje neurons.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)87-95
Number of pages9
JournalNeuroscience Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1995
Externally publishedYes


  • Brain slices
  • Calcium channels
  • Fura-2 video imaging
  • Whole-cell patch-clamp


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