Dendritic low-threshold Ca2+ channels in rat cerebellar Purkinje cells: Possible physiological implications
- Cite this article as:
- Cavelier, P. & Bossu, JL. Cerebellum (2003) 2: 196. doi:10.1080/14734220310016141
Low-voltage activated (LVA) Ca2+ currents have been characterized in a large variety of neurons including cerebellar Purkinje cells (PCs). This review summarizes and discusses the biophysical, pharmacological properties, as well as the molecular identity of LVA Ca2+ channels described in PCs in various experimental conditions. Putative functional roles for LVA Ca2+ currents include generation of low-threshold Ca2+ spikes (LTS) that underlie burst firing, promotion of intrinsic oscillatory behaviour, Ca2+ entry close to the resting membrane potential and synaptic potentiation. Based on our recent findings on cerebellar rat PCs in slice cultures, this review presents the major evidence demonstrating that LVA Ca2+ channels produce a dendritic initiated LTS with a regulated propagation to the soma. This new role for LVA Ca2+ channels is particularly important in determining firing patterns in PCs.