Postsynaptic enrichment of Eps8 at dendritic shaft synapses of unipolar brush cells in rat cerebellum

G. Sekerková*, M. R. Diño, E. Ilijic, M. Russo, L. Zheng, J. R. Bartles, E. Mugnaini

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Epidermal growth factor receptor pathway substrate 8 (Eps8) is a widely expressed multidomain signaling protein that coordinates two disparate GTPase-dependent mechanisms: actin reorganization via Ras/Rac pathways and receptor trafficking via Rab5. Expression of Eps8, the gene encoding the founding member of the Eps8 family of proteins, was found in cerebellum by virtual Northern analysis and in situ hybridization. Because the cerebellum has a well-known cellular architecture and is a favored model to study synaptic plasticity and actin dynamics, we sought to analyze Eps8 localization in rat cerebellar neurons and synapses by light and electron microscopy. Specificity of Eps8-antibody was demonstrated by immunoblots and in brain sections. In cerebellum, unipolar brush cells (UBCs) were densely Eps8 immunopositive and granule cells were moderately immunostained. In both types of neuron immunoreaction product was localized to the somatodendritic and axonal compartments. Postsynaptic immunostained foci were demonstrated in the glomeruli in correspondence of the synapses formed by mossy fiber terminals with granule cell and UBC dendrites. These foci appeared especially evident in the UBC brush, which contains an extraordinary postsynaptic apparatus of actin microfilaments facing synaptic junctions of the long and segmented varieties. Eps8 immunoreactivity was conspicuously absent in Purkinje cells and their actin-rich dendritic spines, in all types of inhibitory interneurons of the cerebellum, cerebellar nuclei neurons, and astrocytes. In conclusion, Eps8 protein in cerebellum is expressed exclusively by excitatory cortical interneurons and is intracellularly compartmentalized in a cell-class specific manner. This is the first demonstration of the presence of a member of the Eps8 protein family in UBCs and its enrichment at postsynaptic sites.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)116-129
Number of pages14
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2 2007


  • Purkinje cell
  • actin
  • cerebellum
  • granule cells
  • synaptic junction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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