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Purkinje cell location and structure and connection - An Overview

Purkinje cells are a type of neuron found in the cerebellum, which is a part of the brain involved in motor coordination and control. These cells are named after their discoverer, Jan Evangelista Purkinje.

Purkinje cells are located in a single layer within the cerebellar cortex called the Purkinje cell layer. This layer is located between the molecular layer and the granule cell layer of the cerebellar cortex. The cell bodies of Purkinje cells are flask-shaped and oriented parallel to the surface of the cerebellar cortex. Each Purkinje cell has a large, fan-shaped dendritic arbor that extends into the molecular layer.

Purkinje cells receive inputs from two main sources: climbing fibers and parallel fibers. Climbing fibers originate from the inferior olivary nucleus in the brainstem and make direct, one-to-one connections with Purkinje cells. Parallel fibers originate from granule cells in the granule cell layer of the cerebellar cortex and make many-to-one connections with Purkinje cells. These two sources of input converge onto the dendritic arbor of Purkinje cells, where they integrate information and generate an output signal that is sent to other parts of the brain.

Purkinje cells are known for their complex firing patterns, which are shaped by their unique inputs and intrinsic properties. They play a crucial role in fine-tuning and coordinating motor movements and are involved in a variety of other cognitive functions. Dysfunction of Purkinje cells has been implicated in several neurological disorders, including ataxia and autism spectrum disorders.