Embryonic Purkinje cells grafted on the surface of the cerebellar cortex integrate in the adult unlesioned cerebellum

F. Rossi, T. Borsello, P. Strata

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The presence of an injury or the selective degeneration of specific neuronal populations is commonly assumed to be a necessary prerequisite for the survival and the integration of grafted neurons in the recipient brain. In the present study we have placed solid grafts of cerebellar anlage in the fourth ventricle of adult rats, in close contact with the host cerebellar cortex, to assess the capacity of embryonic Purkinje cells to interact with adult neurons and integrate in the unlesioned cerebellar cortex. Numerous grafted Purkinje cells are indeed able to leave the implant and migrate into the host molecular layer, where they develop adult structural features. In addition, such cells are able to elicit the growth of host climbing fibre sprouts which end in newly formed arborizations impinging upon their dendritic trees. Climbing fibre collateral branches also penetrate the implant to innervate Purkinje cells which have not migrated in the host cerebellum. These results show that embryonic Purkinje cells are able to survive and integrate in an adult unlesioned cerebellar cortex. In addition, adult olivary axons respond to the increased size of the target population by expanding their terminal domain to innervate grafted Purkinje cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)589-593
Number of pages5
JournalEuropean Journal of Neuroscience
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1992


  • Climbing fibre
  • Neuron-target interactions
  • Plasticity
  • Rat
  • Sprouting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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