Cerebellum Shapes Hippocampal Spatial Code

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Science  21 Oct 2011:
Vol. 334, Issue 6054, pp. 385-389
DOI: 10.1126/science.1207403

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Spatial representation is an active process that requires complex multimodal integration from a large interacting network of cortical and subcortical structures. We sought to determine the role of cerebellar protein kinase C (PKC)–dependent plasticity in spatial navigation by recording the activity of hippocampal place cells in transgenic L7PKCI mice with selective disruption of PKC-dependent plasticity at parallel fiber–Purkinje cell synapses. Place cell properties were exclusively impaired when L7PKCI mice had to rely on self-motion cues. The behavioral consequence of such a deficit is evidenced here by selectively impaired navigation capabilities during a path integration task. Together, these results suggest that cerebellar PKC-dependent mechanisms are involved in processing self-motion signals essential to the shaping of hippocampal spatial representation.

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