Experimental Brain Research

, Volume 14, Issue 5, pp 463–471

Maturation of the cerebellar Purkinje cells

I. Postnatal evolution of the Purkinje cell spontaneous firing in the rat
  • F. Crepel

DOI: 10.1007/BF00236588

Cite this article as:
Crepel, F. Exp Brain Res (1972) 14: 463. doi:10.1007/BF00236588


The postnatal evolution of the Purkinje cell spontaneous firing (simple spikes) has been studied in the white Rat from 3 days after birth until adulthood using the following parameters: modal interspike interval, mean interspike interval, and ratio of the modal over the mean interspike interval of the discharge. Furthermore, two experimental conditions have been used: rats anaesthetized with Nembutal and rats only locally analgesied, the two preparations being curarized. It is shown that:

1∘) Between 3 and 5 days after birth, the spontaneous activity of many Purkinje cells is only formed by brief bursts of several spike potentials occuring more or less frequently. Evidence is given that some of these bursts are climbing fiber responses, the others being presumably elicited in Purkinje cells by parallel fibers activation. 2∘) After 5 days, the firing pattern (simple spikes) of Purkinje cells become more subtained and is formed by a more or less regular succession of spikes. Experimental conditions significantly change for all ages studied this firing pattern, and also change the time course of the evolution of all the considered parameters excepted for the modal interspike interval. 3∘) As a whole, Purkinje cells look immature until 8 days after birth. They rapidly mature between days 10 and 20. After the end of the 3rd postnatal week they show no significant differences when compared to the spontaneous firing of adult Purkinje cells, at least for the unanaesthetized preparations.

At all ages a good correlation exist between Purkinje cells spontaneous firing (simple spikes) and data from the litterature concerning synaptogenesis in the cerebellum (parallel fibers Purkinje cells synapses).

Key words

Purkinje cells Spontaneous firing Ontogenesis Statistical methods 

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1972

Authors and Affiliations

  • F. Crepel
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratoire de Physiologie comparéeUniversité Paris VIFrance

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