Distal Extension of Climbing Fiber Territory and Multiple Innervation Caused by Aberrant Wiring to Adjacent Spiny Branchlets in Cerebellar Purkinje Cells Lacking Glutamate Receptor δ2
Journal of Neuroscience
Organized synapse formation on to Purkinje cell (PC) dendrites by parallel fibers (PFs) and climbing fibers (CFs) is crucial for cerebellar function. In PCs lacking glutamate receptor ␦2 (GluR␦2), PF synapses are reduced in number, numerous free spines emerge, and multiple CF innervation persists to adulthood. In the present study, we conducted anterograde and immunohistochemical labelings to investigate how CFs innervate PC dendrites under weakened synaptogenesis by PFs. In the GluR␦2
... the GluR␦2 knock-out mouse, CFs were distributed in the molecular layer more closely to the pial surface compared with the wild-type mouse. Serial electron microscopy demonstrated that CFs in the knock-out mouse innervated all spines protruding from proximal dendrites of PCs, as did those in the wildtype mouse. In the knock-out mouse, however, CF innervation extended distally to spiny branchlets, where nearly half of the spines were free of innervation in contrast to complete synapse formation by PFs in the wild-type mouse. Furthermore, from the end point of innervation, CFs aberrantly jumped to form ectopic synapses on adjacent spiny branchlets, whose proximal portions were often innervated by different CFs. Without GluR␦2, CFs are thus able to expand their territory along and beyond dendritic trees of the target PC, resulting in persistent surplus CFs by innervating the distal dendritic segment. We conclude that GluR␦2 is essential to restrict CF innervation to the proximal dendritic segment, by which territorized innervation by PFs and CFs is properly structured and the formation of excess CF wiring to adjacent PCs is suppressed.