Zones and Stripes: Development of Cerebellar Topography

  • Roy V. Sillitoe
  • Richard Hawkes


Cerebellar architecture is organized around the Purkinje cell. Purkinje cells in the mouse cerebellum come in many different subtypes, organized first into four transverse zones and then further grouped into hundreds of reproducible topographical units – stripes. Stripes are identified by their functional properties, connectivity, and expression profiles. The molecular pattern of stripes is highly reproducible between individuals and conserved through evolution. Pattern formation in the cerebellar cortex is a multistage process that begins with the generation of the Purkinje cells in the ventricular zone (VZ) of the fourth ventricle. During this stage or shortly after, Purkinje cell subtypes are specified toward specific positions. Purkinje cells migrate from the VZ to form an array of clusters that form the framework for cerebellar topography. At around birth these clusters disperse, triggered by a Reelin signaling pathway, to form the adult stripe array.

The chapter will begin with a brief overview of adult cerebellar topography, primarily focusing on the mouse cerebellum, and then discuss the cellular and molecular mechanisms that establish these remarkable patterns.


Purkinje Cell Mossy Fiber Climbing Fiber External Granular Layer Unipolar Brush Cell 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



We thank Dr. Carol Armstrong for her advice. This study was supported by a grant to RH from the Canadian Institutes for Health Research and by new investigator start-up funds to RVS from Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Dominick P. Purpura Department of NeuroscienceAlbert Einstein College of Medicine 812 Kennedy CenterBronxUSA
  2. 2.Department of Cell Biology and Anatomy Genes and Development Research Group, and Hotchkiss Brain InstituteThe University of CalgaryCalgaryCanada

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