, Volume 130, Issue 4, pp 601-615,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 02 Aug 2008

Besides Purkinje cells and granule neurons: an appraisal of the cell biology of the interneurons of the cerebellar cortex

Abstract

Ever since the groundbreaking work of Ramon y Cajal, the cerebellar cortex has been recognized as one of the most regularly structured and wired parts of the brain formed by a rather limited set of distinct cells. Its rather protracted course of development, which persists well into postnatal life, the availability of multiple natural mutants, and, more recently, the availability of distinct molecular genetic tools to identify and manipulate discrete cell types have suggested the cerebellar cortex as an excellent model to understand the formation and working of the central nervous system. However, the formulation of a unifying model of cerebellar function has so far proven to be a most cantankerous problem, not least because our understanding of the internal cerebellar cortical circuitry is clearly spotty. Recent research has highlighted the fact that cerebellar cortical interneurons are a quite more diverse and heterogeneous class of cells than generally appreciated, and have provided novel insights into the mechanisms that underpin the development and histogenetic integration of these cells. Here, we provide a short overview of cerebellar cortical interneuron diversity, and we summarize some recent results that are hoped to provide a primer on current understanding of cerebellar biology.