Calcium as a trigger for cerebellar long-term synaptic depression. Academic Article uri icon


  • Cerebellar long-term depression (LTD) is a form of long-term synaptic plasticity that is triggered by calcium(Ca2+) signals in the postsynaptic Purkinje cell. This Ca2+comes both from IP3-mediated release from intracellular Ca2+ stores, as well as from Ca2+ influx through voltage-gated Ca2+ channels. The Ca2+ signal that triggers LTD occurs locally within dendritic spines and is due to supralinear summation of signals coming from these two Ca2+ sources. The properties of this postsynaptic Ca2+signal can explain several features of LTD, such as its associativity, synapse specificity, and dependence on thetiming of synaptic activity, and can account for the slow kinetics of LTD expression. Thus, from a Ca2+ signaling perspective, LTD is one of the best understood forms of synaptic plasticity.

publication date

  • September 2012