• PMCA;
  • isoforms;
  • cerebellum;
  • development


The plasma membrane Ca2+-ATPase (PMCA) is highly expressed in the nervous system, but little information is available about its implication in neuronal development. We have analyzed the expression and localization of different isoforms of PMCA in membrane vesicles and sections of chick cerebellum from embryonic day 10 to hatching. We found that the relative amount of each PMCA isoform and their spatiotemporal distribution in the cerebellum are directly linked to precise cellular types during the cerebellar maturation, even in a non-neural tissue as choroid plexus. Purkinje cells contain the highest diversity of PMCA isoforms of the cerebellar cortex since the moment of its morphogenesis. From embryonic day 15, the PMCA2 was highly expressed in the whole Purkinje cell, while PMCAs 1 and 3 had a more restricted distribution in the soma and dendritic branches, and these distributions were evolving according with cell maturation. Other cellular types seem to contain a specific combination of isoforms, but with a well-defined distribution pattern at late moments of development. Thus, PMCAs 1 and 3 were located in the soma of molecular layer interneurons, and only the PMCA2 was observed in granule cells at hatching. Furthermore, PMCA isoforms are also expressed in cellular compartments characterized by a high amount of synapses, suggesting a key role of these proteins in synaptogenesis and in the maturation of neuronal electrophysiological properties. Developmental Dynamics 236:1227–1236, 2007. © 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.