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Pavlovian eyeblink conditioning is severely impaired in tottering mice

Research group De Zeeuw
Publication year 2021
Published in Journal of Neurophysiology
Authors Nina L de Oude, Freek E Hoebeek, Michiel M Ten Brinke, C.I. De Zeeuw, Henk-Jan Boele

Cacna1a encodes the pore-forming α1A subunit of CaV2.1 voltage-dependent calcium channels, which regulate neuronal excitability and synaptic transmission. Purkinje cells in the cortex of cerebellum abundantly express these CaV2.1 channels. Here, we show that homozygous tottering (tg) mice, which carry a loss-of-function Cacna1a mutation, exhibit severely impaired learning in Pavlovian eyeblink conditioning, which is a cerebellar dependent learning task. Performance of reflexive eyeblinks is unaffected in tg mice. Transient seizure activity in tg mice further corrupted the amplitude of eyeblink CRs. Our results indicate that normal calcium homeostasis is imperative for cerebellar learning and that the oscillatory state of the brain can affect the expression thereof.

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