Unipolar brush cells

Marco Martina*, Gabriella Sekerkova

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

2 Scopus citations


The unipolar brush cells (UBCs) are excitatory interneurons in the granule cell layer of the cerebellar cortex. They amplify extra-cerebellar inputs from vestibular origin as well as other inputs whose origin is the focus of ongoing research. The UBCs are classifi ed in two functionally and chemically distinct subclasses. Type I UBCs express calretinin, are regularly fi ring, and are located in lobules IX and X. Type II UBCs are characterized by expression of mGluR1a, are burst fi ring and are present throughout the cerebellum, although they are enriched in the vestibulo-cerebellum. Both UBC types show peculiarly slow glutamatergic currents in response to synaptic activation. This electrophysiological property suggests a critical role for these cells in determining the timing of the response of the cerebellar cortex to the peripheral inputs. Recent data also suggest that cerebellar UBCs may be involved in cerebellar ataxias and represent a potential cellular substrate for the generation of tinnitus.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEssentials of Cerebellum and Cerebellar Disorders
Subtitle of host publicationA Primer for Graduate Students
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9783319245515
ISBN (Print)9783319245492
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016


  • Ataxia
  • Calretinin
  • MGluR
  • Mossy fibers
  • Tinnitus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Neuroscience
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences


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