Purkinje Cell

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Purkinje cell

[pər′kin·jē ‚sel]
Any of the cells of the cerebral cortex with large, flask-shaped bodies forming a single cell layer between the molecular and granular layers.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Purkinje Cell


any one of numerous large neurons of the cerebellar cortex whose axons extend beyond the cortex; first described in 1837 by J. E. Purkinje.

Purkinje cells transmit the commands of the cerebellar cortex to its subordinate motor centers, the cerebellar and vestibular nuclei. In mammals and birds, the bodies of Purkinje cells are arranged in the cerebellar cortex in a single layer, called the gangliar, or Purkinje, layer. The Purkinje layer is located between the molecular layer, into which each Purkinje cell extends a dendrite, and the granular layer, through which the axon of a Purkinje cell passes into the white matter of the cerebellum. The flattened dendrite of a Purkinje cell has smooth branches of the first, second, and third orders and short branches (not more than 20 μ long) that are covered with spines. These branches come in contact with the axon endings of the granular cells of the cerebellar cortex; in a cat, for example, there are about 0.2 million synapses per dendrite. The smooth branches of a dendrite and the body of the Purkinje cell come in contact with a convoluted liana-like fiber (one per Purkinje cell) that enters the cerebellum from the inferior olivas and some other nuclei of the medulla oblongata. Both types of synapses are excitatory.

The inhibitory endings of Purkinje cells are formed by intercellular cortical neurons (basket, stellate, and Golgi cells); gamma-aminobutyric acid seems to be the mediator. The same mediator is probably secreted by the axon endings of Purkinje cells onto the neurons of the cerebellar and vestibular nuclei.

The dendrites of Purkinje cells have become progressively more complex and flattened in the course of vertebrate evolution; the total number of Purkinje cells has also increased, totaling 15–20 million in man.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Weak CD68 expression in glia (yellow arrow) and Purkinje cells (red arrow) in the substantia grisea and substantia alba layer, CD68 immunostaining Bar 50 mm, 2d1-Control group.
Axelrad, "Electrical inhibition of Purkinje cells in the cerebellum of the rat," Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, vol.
Cheron, "Purkinje cell dysfunction and alteration of long-term synaptic plasticity in fetal alcohol syndrome," Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, vol.
These animals are characterized by a primary deficiency in the synapses made by parallel fibers onto the Purkinje cells. In these mutant mice, the cerebellar dysfunction impairs learning, which suggests that these synapses are involved in fear memory consolidation (17).
Nandy (1981) observed that the Purkinje cells are more prone to age changes than the granule cells of the cerebellum regarding both lipofuscin formation and cell loss.
(11) found a [V.sub.0.5] value of -70 mV in their study on purkinje cells, whereas Shoeb et al.
Using advanced imaging, the researchers went on to show that the rescue of social behaviours correlates with reversal of specific MRI-based structural changes, cellular pathology and Purkinje cell excitability.
B) Purkinje cells and neurons of granular cell layer showing intracytoplasmic BATV-specific pink, positive result detected by FISH (fast red stain; scale bar indicates 200 [micro]m).
Mitochondrial dysfunction driven by the LRRK2-mediated pathway is associated with loss of Purkinje cells and motor coordination deficits in diabetic rat model.
The levels of Ankrd16 are normally low in Purkinje cells, making these neurons vulnerable to proofreading defects.
The level of 'Ankrd16' in Purkinje cells is generally low which makes it vulnerable to the proofreading fails.