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Cerebellar Purkinje cells receive two different excitatory inputs from parallel and climbing fibers, causing simple and complex spikes, respectively. Purkinje cells present three modes of simple spike firing, namely tonic, silent and bursting. The influence of complex spike firing on simple spike firing has been extensively studied. However, it is unknown whether and how the simple spike firing mode may influence complex spike waveform and firing rate in vivo. We studied complex spike firing during tonic and silent mode periods in non-anesthetized mice. We found that complex spike firing rate is not influenced by simple spike firing modes, but that the complex spike waveform is altered following high frequency simple spike firing. This alteration is a specific decrement of the second depolarizing component of the complex spike. We demonstrate that the amplitude of the second depolarizing component is inversely proportional to the simple spike firing rate preceding the complex spike and that this amplitude is independent of previous complex spike firing. This waveform modulation is different from previously reported modulation in paired-pulse depression and refractoriness. © 2004 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original publication




Journal article


Neuroscience Letters

Publication Date





171 - 176