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Purkinje cell


1. Large neuron with many branching extensions that is found in the cortex of the cerebellum of the brain and that plays a fundamental role in controlling motor movement. They are characterized by cell bodies that are flasklike in shape, by numerous branching dendrites, and by a single long axon. Most Purkinje cells release a neurotransmitter called GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid), which exerts inhibitory actions on certain neurons and thereby reduces the transmission of nerve impulses. These inhibitory functions enable Purkinje cells to regulate and coordinate motor movements. (

2. A class of GABAergic neurons located in the cerebellar cortex. (

3. A class of output neurons in the cerebellum, which are the only neurons that convey signals away from the cerebellum. They form a layer of large ganglion cells near the surface of the cerebellum. (

4. A large densely branching neuron that is the characteristic cell of the cerebellar cortex. (

Syn: Purkinje neuron

Word origin: Named after Czech physiologist Jan Evangelista Purkinje who first discovered the cells in 1837.

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