The electro-dynamics of the dendritic space in Purkinje cells of the cerebellum.

I. B. Kulagina, S. M. Korogod, G. Horcholle-Bossavit, C. Batini, S. Tyc-Dumont


The functional geometry of the reconstructed dendritic arborization of Purkinje neurons is the object of this work. The combined effects of the local geometry of the dendritic branches and of the membrane mechanisms are computed in passive configuration to obtain the electrotonic structure of the arborization. Steady-currents applied to the soma and expressed as a function of the path distance from the soma form different clusters of profiles in which dendritic branches are similar in voltages and current transfer effectiveness. The locations of the different clusters are mapped on the dendrograms and 3D representations of the arborization. It reveals the presence of different spatial dendritic sectors clearly separated in 3D space that shape the arborization in ordered electrical domains, each with similar passive charge transfer efficiencies. Further simulations are performed in active configuration with a realistic cocktail of conductances to find out whether similar spatial domains found in the passive model also characterize the active dendritic arborization. During tonic activation of excitatory synaptic inputs homogeneously distributed over the whole arborization, the Purkinje cell generates regular oscillatory potentials. The temporal patterns of the electrical oscillations induce similar spatial sectors in the arborization as those observed in the passive electrotonic structure. By taking a video of the dendritic maps of the membrane potentials during a single oscillation, we demonstrate that the functional dendritic field of a Purkinje neuron displays dynamic changes which occur in the spatial distribution of membrane potentials in the course of the oscillation. We conclude that the branching pattern of the arborization explains such continuous reconfiguration and discuss its functional implications.

Full Text:




  • There are currently no refbacks.