Differential distribution of phospholipase C beta isoforms and diaglycerol kinase-beta in rodents cerebella corroborates the division of unipolar brush cells into two major subtypes

Gabriella Sekerková*, Masahiko Watanabe, Marco Martina, Enrico Mugnaini

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Scopus citations


Sublineage diversification of specific neural cell classes occurs in complex as well as simply organized regions of the central and peripheral nervous systems; the significance of the phenomenon, however, remains insufficiently understood. The unipolar brush cells (UBCs) are glutamatergic cerebellar interneurons that occur at high density in vestibulocerebellum. As they are classified into subsets that differ in chemical phenotypes, intrinsic properties, and lobular distribution, they represent a valuable neuronal model to study subclass diversification. In this study, we show that cerebellar UBCs of adult rats and mice form two subclasses-type I and type II UBCs-defined by somatodendritic expression of calretinin (CR), mGluR1α, phospholipases PLCβ1 and PLCβ4, and diacylglycerol kinase-beta (DGKβ). We demonstrate that PLCβ1 is associated only with the CR+ type I UBCs, while PLCβ4 and DGKβ are exclusively present in mGluR1α+ type II UBCs. Notably, all PLCβ4+ UBCs, representing about 2/3 of entire UBC population, also express mGluR1α. Furthermore, our data show that the sum of CR+ type I UBCs and mGluR1α+ type II UBCs accounts for the entire UBC class identified with Tbr2 immunolabeling. The two UBC subtypes also show a very different albeit somehow overlapping topographical distribution as illustrated by detailed cerebellar maps in this study. Our data not only complement and extend the previous knowledge on the diversity and subclass specificity of the chemical phenotypes within the UBC population, but also provide a new angle to the understanding of the signaling networks in type I and type II UBCs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)719-749
Number of pages31
JournalBrain Structure and Function
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2014



  • Calretinin
  • Cochlear nuclei
  • PLC beta1
  • PLC beta3
  • PLC beta4
  • Purkinje cells
  • Vestibulocerebellum
  • mGluR1alpha

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Histology

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