Journal of Neurocytology

, Volume 28, Issue 6, pp 431–438

Fine structural analysis of calcitonin gene-related peptide in the mouse inferior olivary complex

  • Kathleen V. Gregg
  • Georgia A. Bishop
  • James S. King
Article

Abstract

Climbing fiber afferents to the cerebellum, from the inferior olivary complex, have a powerful excitatory effect on Purkinje cells. Changes in the responsiveness of olivary neurons to their afferent inputs, leading to changes in the firing rate or pattern of activation in climbing fibers, have a significant effect on the activation of cerebellar neurons and ultimately on cerebellar function. Several neuropeptides have been localized in both varicosities and cell bodies of the mouse inferior olivary complex, one of which, calcitonin gene related peptide (CGRP), has been shown to modulate the activity of olivary neurons. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the synaptic relationships of CGRP-containing components of the caudal medial accessory olive and the principal olive of adult mice, using immunohistochemistry and electron microscopy. The vast majority of immunoreactive profiles were dendrites and dendritic spines within and outside the glial boundaries of synaptic glomeruli (clusters). Both received synaptic inputs from non-CGRP labeled axon terminals. CGRP was also present within the somata of olivary neurons as well as in profiles that had cytological characteristics of axons, some of which were filled with synaptic vesicles. These swellings infrequently formed synaptic contacts. At the LM level, few, if any, CGRP-immunoreactive climbing fibers, were seen, suggesting that CGRP is compartmentalized within the somata and dendrites of olivary neurons and is not transported to their axon terminals. Thus, in addition to previously identified extrinsic sources of CGRP, the widespread distribution of CGRP within olivary somata and dendrites identifies an intrinsic source of the peptide suggesting the possibility of dendritic release and a subsequent autocrine or paracrine function for this peptide within olivary circuits.

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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kathleen V. Gregg
    • 1
  • Georgia A. Bishop
    • 2
    • 1
  • James S. King
    • 2
    • 1
  1. 1.Neuroscience Graduate ProgramThe Ohio State UniversityColumbusUSA
  2. 2.Department of NeuroscienceUSA

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