Muscarinic Receptor Modulation of the Cerebellar Interpositus Nucleus In Vitro

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How the cerebellum carries out its functions is not clear, even for its established roles in motor control. In particular, little is known about how the cerebellar nuclei (CN) integrate their synaptic and neuromodulatory inputs to generate cerebellar output. CN neurons receive inhibitory inputs from Purkinje cells, excitatory inputs from mossy fibre and climbing fibre collaterals, as well as a variety of neuromodulatory inputs, including cholinergic inputs. In this study we tested how activation of acetylcholine receptors modulate firing rate, intrinsic properties and synaptic transmission in the CN. Using in vitro whole-cell patch clamp recordings from neurons in the interpositus nucleus, the acetylcholine receptor agonist carbachol was shown to induce a short-term increase in firing rate, increase holding current and decrease input resistance of interpositus CN neurons. Carbachol also induced long-term depression of evoked inhibitory postsynaptic currents and a short-term depression of evoked excitatory postsynaptic currents. All effects were shown to be dependent upon muscarinic acetylcholine receptor activation. Overall, the present study has identified muscarinic receptor activation as a modulator of CN activity.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages9
JournalNeurochemical Research
Early online date16 Aug 2018
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 16 Aug 2018


  • cerebellar nuclei
  • acetylcholine
  • muscarinic receptors
  • carbachol


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