PublicatiesForward Signaling by Unipolar Brush Cells in the Mouse Cerebellum
Unipolar brush cells (UBCs) are glutamatergic interneurons prominently present in the granular layer of the vestibulocerebellum. UBCs engage in extensive synaptic contact with a single presynaptic mossy fiber and signal to downstream granule cells through an elaborate network of mossy fiber-like axons. Ultrastructural examinations and electrophysiological recordings in organotypic slice cultures have indicated that UBCs target not only granule cells but also other UBCs, thus forming chains of two or perhaps more interconnected UBCs. In this report, we show recordings of spontaneous and evoked (di)synaptic events in granule cells and UBCs in fresh cerebellar slices from juvenile mice (5-7 weeks). The patterns of arrival of synaptic events were consistent with the presence of a presynaptic UBC, and recordings from UBCs displayed spontaneous protracted synaptic events characteristic of UBC excitatory synaptic transmission. These results highlight that chains of UBCs could further extend the temporal range of delayed and protracted signaling in the cerebellar cortical network.