Harmaline-induced climbing fiber activation causes amino acid and peptide release in the rodent cerebellar cortex and a unique temporal pattern of Fos expression in the olivo-cerebellar pathway

Alvin J. Beitz, Dale Saxon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

32 Scopus citations

Abstract

Cerebellar climbing fibers have a unique relationship with the dendritic tree of cerebellar Purkinje cells and have been proposed as a key input in establishing long-term plastic changes in the cerebellar cortex. Although both glutamate and aspartate and a number of neuropeptides have been implicated as climbing fiber-released neurotransmitters/neuromodulators, the in vivo release of these substances during climbing fiber stimulation remains to be demonstrated. In the present study, climbing fibers were activated with harmaline and rats or mice were implanted with a microdialysis probe or a microperfusion probe, respectively, to measure amino acid or peptide release. Additional rats were euthanized at various timepoints post-harmaline injection and Fos immunocytochemistry was used to visualize the activation pattern of the inferior olive, cerebellar cortex and deep nuclei over time. Fos expression was first detected in the inferior olive at 15 min post-harmaline injection followed by expression in the deep cerebellar nuclei (30 min) and then in the cerebellar cortex (1 h). Between 2 and 6 h Purkinje cells expressing Fos were found in variable numbers in both the vermal and paravermal regions and there was a distinct parasagittal-banding pattern in the vermal region. Of several amino acids measured following harmaline administration only glutamate and aspartate levels increased significantly in the first dialysate sample compared to preharmaline levels and their release was blocked by prior lesion of the inferior olive. Citrulline also increased following climbing fiber stimulation, but this occurred in the second and third dialysate samples and may reflect nitric oxide production. Four peptides were examined in cerebellar microperfusates following climbing fiber stimulation. Only corticotropin releasing factor (CRF), calcitonin gene related peptide (CGRP) and bradykinin were significantly increased compared to pre-harmaline levels. These results suggest that glutamate, aspartate, CRF and CGRP are released from climbing fibers during activation of the olivocerebellar system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)49-74
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of Neurocytology
Volume33
Issue number1 SPEC. ISS.
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2004

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