Distribution of granule cells projecting to focal Purkinje cells in mouse uvula-nodulus

N. H. Barmack, V. Yakhnitsa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Mossy and climbing fibers convey a broad array of signals from vestibular end organs to Purkinje cells in the vestibulo-cerebellum. We have shown previously that Purkinje cell simple spikes (SSs) and climbing fiber-evoked complex spikes (CSs) in the mouse uvula-nodulus are arrayed in 400 μm wide sagittal climbing fiber zones corresponding to the rotational axes of the vertical semicircular canals. It is often assumed that mossy fibers modulate a higher frequency of SSs through the intermediary action of granule cells whose parallel fibers course through the Purkinje cell dendritic tree. This assumption is complicated by the diffuse topography of vestibular primary afferent mossy fiber projections to the uvula-nodulus and the dispersion of mossy fiber signals along folial axes by parallel fibers. Here we measure this parallel fiber dispersion. We made microinjections of neurobiotin into the molecular layers of different folia within the mouse vestibulo-cerebellum and measured the distribution of granule cells retrogradely labeled by the injected neurobiotin. Sixty-two percent of labeled granule cells were located outside a 400 μm sagittal zone flanking the injection site. The dispersion of labeled granule cells was ∼2.5 mm along folial axes that were 2.7-2.9 mm wide. Our data suggest that topographic specificity of SSs could not be attributed to the topography of vestibular primary afferent mossy fiber-granule cell projections. Rather the response specificity of SSs must be attributed to other mechanisms related to climbing fiber-evoked Purkinje cell and interneuronal activity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)216-221
Number of pages6
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 22 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Purkinje cell dendrites
  • climbing fibers
  • mossy fibers
  • nodulus
  • parallel fibers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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