Reciprocal bidirectional plasticity of parallel fiber receptive fields in cerebellar Purkinje cells and their afferent interneurons
The highly specific relationships between parallel fiber (PF) and climbing fiber (CF) receptive fields in Purkinje cells and interneurons suggest that normal PF receptive fields are established by CF-specific plasticity. To test this idea, we used PF stimulation that was either paired or unpaired with CF activity. Conspicuously, unpaired PF stimulation that induced long-lasting, very large increases in the receptive field sizes of Purkinje cells induced long-lasting decreases in receptive field sizes of their afferent interneurons. In contrast, PF stimulation paired with CF activity that induced long-lasting decreases in the receptive fields of Purkinje cells induced long-lasting, large increases in the receptive fields of interneurons. These properties, and the fact the mossy fiber receptive fields were unchanged, suggest that the receptive field changes were due to bidirectional PF synaptic plasticity in Purkinje cells and interneurons.