Signal transmission in the parallel fiber-Purkinje cell system visualized by high-resolution imaging

Ivo Vranesic, Toshio Iijima, Michinori Ichikawa, Gen Matsumoto, Thomas Knöpfel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Citations (Scopus)


We investigated the synaptic transmission in the parallel fiber-Purkinje cell system at high spatio-temporal resolution by using voltage-sensitive dyes and an imaging system. In rat cerebellar slices, cut in the frontal plane or in a plane of the cerebellar surface, local electrical stimulation induced volleys of action potentials in the parallel fibers; subsequent postsynaptic responses from Purkinje cells were observed along the volleys' entire trajectories. Furthermore, the formation of an ordered spatial gradient in parallel fiber conduction velocity across the depth of the molecular layer during postnatal development was observed. In preparations of adult, but not of immature rats, the conduction velocity of parallel fibers in the deep molecular layer was faster than in its more superficial regions. Our observations demonstrate that parallel fibers can mediate Purkinje cell excitation effectively and over considerable distances in a well-organized spatio-temporal manner, thus supporting the classical view of the physiological role assigned to the parallel fibers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13014-13017
Number of pages4
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number26
Publication statusPublished - 1994 Dec 20
Externally publishedYes


  • brain slice
  • cerebellum
  • optical recordings
  • rat
  • voltage-sensitive dyes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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