Cerebellar molecular layer interneurons are dispensable for cued and contextual fear conditioning

Purkinje cells are the only output cell of the cerebellar cortex. Their spatiotemporal activity is controlled by molecular layer interneurons (MLIs) through GABAA receptor-mediated inhibition. Recently, it has been reported that the cerebellar cortex is required for consolidation of conditioned fear responses during fear memory formation. Although the relevance of MLIs during fear memory formation is currently not known, it has been shown that synapses made between MLIs and Purkinje cells exhibit long term plasticity following fear conditioning. The present study examined the role of cerebellar MLIs in the formation of fear memory using a genetically-altered mouse line (PC-∆γ2) in which GABAA receptor-mediated signaling at MLI to Purkinje cell synapses was functionally removed. We found that neither acquisition nor recall of fear memories to tone and context were altered after removal of MLI-mediated inhibition.


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