ZFIN ID: ZDB-PUB-160812-5
Responses of cerebellar Purkinje cells during fictive optomotor behavior in larval zebrafish
Scalise, K., Shimizu, T., Hibi, M., Sawtell, N.B.
Date: 2016
Source: Journal of neurophysiology   116(5): 2067-2080 (Journal)
Registered Authors: Hibi, Masahiko, Shimizu, Takashi
Keywords: cerebellum, electrophysiology, optomotor, zebrafish
MeSH Terms:
  • Animals
  • Animals, Genetically Modified
  • Cerebellum/chemistry
  • Cerebellum/cytology
  • Cerebellum/physiology*
  • Motor Activity/physiology*
  • Photic Stimulation/methods*
  • Purkinje Cells/chemistry
  • Purkinje Cells/physiology*
  • Visual Perception/physiology*
  • Zebrafish
PubMed: 27512018 Full text @ J. Neurophysiol.
Although most studies of the cerebellum have been conducted in mammals, cerebellar circuitry is highly conserved across vertebrates. Hence studies of simpler systems may provide a useful perspective on cerebellar function. The larval zebrafish is particularly promising in this regard because of its accessibility to optical monitoring and manipulations of neural activity. Though several studies suggest that the cerebellum plays a role in behavior at larval stages, little is known about the signals conveyed by identified neuron classes within the cerebellum. Here we use electrophysiological recordings to characterize subthreshold, simple spike, and climbing fiber responses in larval zebrafish Purkinje cells in the context of the fictive optomotor response (OMR)-a paradigm in which fish adjust motor output to stabilize their virtual position relative to a visual stimulus. Though visual responses were prominent in Purkinje cells, they lacked the direction or velocity sensitivity that would be expected for controlling the OMR. On the other hand, Purkinje cells exhibited strong responses during fictive swim bouts. Temporal characteristics of these responses are suggestive of a general role for the cerebellum in controlling swimming. Climbing fibers encoded both visual and motor signals but did not appear to encode signals that could be used to adjust OMG gain, such as retinal slip. Finally, the observation of diverse relationships between simple spikes and climbing fiber responses in individual Purkinje cells highlights the importance of distinguishing between these two types of activity in calcium imaging experiments.