Unravelling how βCaMKII controls the direction of plasticity at parallel fibre-Purkinje cell synapses
Long-term plasticity at parallel fibre (PF)-Purkinje cell (PC) synapses is thought to mediate cerebellar motor learning. It is known that calcium-calmodulin dependent protein kinase II (CaMKII) is essential for plasticity in the cerebellum. Recently, Van Woerden et al. demonstrated that the β isoform of CaMKII regulates the bidirectional inversion of PF-PC plasticity. Because the cellular events that underlie these experimental findings are still poorly understood, our work aims at unravelling how β CaMKII controls the direction of plasticity at PF-PC synapses. We developed a bidirectional plasticity model that replicates the experimental observations by Van Woerden et al. Simulation results obtained from this model indicate the mechanisms that underlie the bidirectional inversion of cerebellar plasticity. As suggested by Van Woerden et al., the filamentous actin binding enables β CaMKII to regulate the bidirectional plasticity at PF-PC synapses. Our model suggests that the reversal of long-term plasticity in PCs is based on a combination of mechanisms that occur at different calcium concentrations.