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Purkinje Cell Markers
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Purkinje Cell Markers

Purkinje cells (or Purkinje neurons) are a class of GABAergic neuron located in the cerebellar cortex. They are named after their discoverer, Czech anatomist Jan Evangelista Purkyne.

Aldolase C (Zebrin II)

  • a selective marker for Purkinje cells in the human cerebellum. PMID: 3553977PMID: 7814693
  • normally expressed in a series of sagittal stripes of Purkinje cells interrupted by stripes of little or no expression. PMID: 15661364
  • selectively expressed in the hippocampus and Purkinje cells in adult mammalian brain. PMID: 15589842
  • a protein found in about half of the Purkinje cells in the adult mouse cerebellum. PMID: 16277603

CaM-PDE (Calmodulin-dependent phosphodiesterase)

  • selectively expressed in specific neuronal populations in adult rat brain. In cerebellar cortex, it is expressed at high levels in Purkinje cells (soma and dendrites). PMID: 2746332


  • an inositol triphosphate receptor 1-binding protein expressed at high levels in cerebellar Purkinje cells. PMID: 17174474

CD3 (Leu-4)

  • a useful tool for specific and sensitive labelling of differentiated cerebellar Purkinje cells (PCs) in the rat. PMID: 8232751

Calbindin (CaBP, 28-kDa calbindin-D, calcium binding protein Calbindin-D28K)

  • CSF (cerebrospinal fluid) CaBP may be a useful marker for examining the Purkinje cell involvement in cerebellar diseases. PMID: 8229048
  • abundantly expressed in cerebellar Purkinje cells and show increased immunoreactivity (CaBP-IR) when challenged with glutamate or an analog agonist for the ionotropic glutamate receptor (iGluR). PMID: 15143625
  • Purkinje cell is the only site of expression in the cerebellum of the calcium binding protein calbindin-D28k. PMID: 15110084
  • an EF-hand CaBP, which is highly expressed in Purkinje cells (PCs) where it acts primarily as a cellular Ca++ buffer. PMID: 11379822
  • an intracellular calcium binding protein that is expressed in the cell bodies, nuclei, dendrites, and axons of nearly all Purkinje neurons of the rat cerebellum. PMID: 8896818
  • Antibodies against the calcium-binding protein Calbindin D-28k (CaBP) are specific markers of cerebellar Purkinje cells (PC).  PMID: 8177535


cGMP-dependent protein kinase

  • Cerebellar Purkinje cells (PCs) contain a high concentration of cGMP-dependent protein kinase type I (cGKI) which can be used as a specific marker of purkinje cells. PMID: 14568994


  • a marker for ischaemic Purkinje cells in human brain. PMID: 7842303


  • At E12-14, anti-ELF localized to axonal sprouts in the developing neuroblasts of cortex and purkinje cell layer of the cerebellum, as well as in cell bodies in the diencephalon and metencephalon and appears to be a marker of purkinje cell precursors in the cerebellum. PMID: 12149647

GABA-T (gamma-aminobutyric acid transaminase)

  • GABA-T were detected throughout the brain and were detected largely in the medial and ventral regions of the telencephalon, nucleus preopticus, nucleus recessus lateralis of the hypothalamus, and Purkinje cell layer of the cerebellum, is a Purkinje cell differentiation marker. PMID: 17362888PMID: 15236231

GAD67 (67-kDa isoform of glutamic acid decarboxylase)

Guanosine 3':5'-phosphate-dependent protein kinase

  • a specific immunohistochemical marker for cerebellar Purkinje cells. PMID: 6330609


  • expressed by most neurons but is abundant in cerebellar Purkinje cells. PMID: 16933150

HFB-16 (KIAA0864 Protein)

  • particularly useful as a marker for Purkinje cells in the developing human cerebellum. PMID: 15805417

Inositol 1, 4, 5-triphosphate receptors (IP3R)

  • a marker of the Purkinje cells, and identical to the cerebellar Purkinje cell glycoprotein P(400) (P(400)/InsP(3)R). PMID: 14715974
  • a high molecular weight glycoprotein abundantly expressed in Purkinje cells. PMID: 1845986
  • IP3R1 is a cytochemical marker of Purkinje cells. PMID: 10483778
  • Type 1 IP3R (IP3R1) is dramatically enriched in Purkinje neurons in cerebellum and neurons in other regions, consistent with previous studies. By contrast, IP3R2 is only detected in glia, whereas IP3R3 is predominantly neuronal, with little detected in glia. IP3R3 is enriched in neuropil, especially in neuronal terminals (which often contain large dense core vesicles) in limbic and basal forebrain regions including olfactory tubercle, central nucleus of the amygdala, and bed nucleus of the stria terminalis. PMID: 10096607


  • found only in the cerebellum and confined to the Purkinje cells, is a Purkinje cell-specific marker. PMID: 2483097
  • labels all cerebellar Purkinje neurons, is an excellent marker molecule for future studies of normal and aberrant cerebellar development. PMID: 1418751
  • Purkinje cell-specific marker, is important in controlling the development and/or motor control function of Purkinje cells. PMID: 12399102PMID: 15548431

MAP2 (microtubule-associated protein 2)

  • the distribution of MAP2 in Purkinje cells is not determined solely by its binding to tubulin. Other factors must be involved and these appear to be related to dendritic morphology and possibly to branching. PMID: 2398141
  • can be used to reveal the dendritic development of Purkinje cells. PMID: 2350879
  • mainly localized in the neuronal cells throughout development, with the expression in Purkinje cell dendrites being especially remarkable in the growth of arborization from postnatal day 3 to day 20. PMID: 3418347

MAP-120 kDa

  • brain- and neuron-specific and is localized predominantly in Purkinje cell bodies and dendrites in the cerebellum and in dendritic compartments of pyramidal and granule neurons in the hippocampus and dentate gyrus. PMID: 1945041

NMDA-NR1 (NMDA-R1 receptor subtype)

  • The adult cerebellar Purkinje cell is an exceptional neuron in the central nervous system in that it expresses high levels of NMDAR1 (NR1) mRNA without expressing any NMDAR2 (NR2) mRNAs. The mature Purkinje cell produces NR1 protein that is ready to combine with NR2 to form functional NMDARs in excitatory synapses. PMID: 12603279
  • NMDARs transiently produce membrane current in Purkinje cells and may serve as one of the epigenetic factors that support the survival of Purkinje cells in vitro. PMID: 8764653
  • present on the proximal dendrite of the cerebellar Purkinje cell of the guinea pig. PMID: 2829997

OMP (olfactory marker protein)

  • expressed primarily in Purkinje cells (PCs) of the posterior lobe. PMID: 9886028

P400 protein

  • P400 protein is a 250 kd glycoprotein, characteristic of the cerebellum, which is accumulated at the endoplasmic reticulum, at the plasma membrane and at the post-synaptic density of Purkinje cells. PMID: 2153079
  • a glycoprotein localized to the Purkinje cell membrane. PMID: 1892215
  • identical to the inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate receptor protein, is a glycoprotein closely associated with the membranes of Purkinje cells. PMID: 1699178
  • a Purkinje cell-characteristic plasma membrane-associated glycoprotein, which is also present at the postsynaptic density and endoplasmic reticulum and that the expression of P400 protein in Purkinje cells is closely associated with the growth of their dendritic arborization. PMID: 2707487
  • distributed abundantly in the soma, the dendritic arborization, and the axon of the Purkinje cell. PMID: 3141586
  • a glycoprotein of high apparent molecular weight which is abundant in isolated cerebellar Purkinje cells. PMID: 121073

P450scc (P450 side-chain cleavage)

  • appears in the rat Purkinje cell immediately after its differentiation. The expression of this enzyme may remain during neonatal development and in adulthood. PMID: 9421408
  • predominantly localized in the Purkinje cell body and dendrites of the fetal and newborn cerebellum, with weaker immunoreactivity in a few cells of the inner granular layer. PMID: 11020552
  • Immunohistochemical analysis indicated that Purkinje cells in the Xenopus cerebellum were specifically immunostained with the P450scc antibody. PMID: 10098534
  • occurs in the rat cerebellar Purkinje cell after differentiation and remains during neonatal development and into adulthood. PMID: 9421408PMID: 9927309


PCPP-260 (Purkinje cell phosphoprotein of Mr 260,000)

  • a substrate for cAMP-dependent protein kinase, appears to be an integral membrane protein highly enriched in Purkinje cells of the mammalian cerebellum (Walaas et al.: J. Neurosci., 3:291-301, 1983; Walaas et al.: J. Neurosci., 6:954-961, 1986). PMID: 2844000
  • a neuronal membrane phosphoprotein, in cerebellar Purkinje cells. The cAMP-regulated phosphorylation of PCPP-260 is presumably involved in membrane functions important to Purkinje cells. PMID: 3009734
  • a Purkinje cell-specific phosphoprotein that serves as an endogenous substrate of cyclic AMP-dependent protein kinase. PMID: 2410596


  • two major cGMP-hydrolyzing PDEs specifically and differentially expressed in the Purkinje neurons of mouse cerebellum. PDE5 was found in all Purkinje neurons, whereas PDE1B was detected only in a subset of these cells, suggesting that individual Purkinje cells may differentially regulate cGMP, depending on the PDE isozymes expressed. PMID: 12878685
  • PDE5 is expressed in all Purkinje neurons while PDE1B is expressed in only a subset of these neurons. PMID: 15312979


  • PDE9A mRNA was widely distributed throughout the rat and mouse brain, with the highest expression observed in cerebellar Purkinje cells. PMID: 14501210

PEP-19 (PEP19)

  • a presumptive calcium binding protein specific to the nervous system, represents an excellent marker for cerebellar Purkinje cells and dorsal cochlear nucleus (DCoN) cartwheel cells. PMID: 3449006

PMCA (plasma membrane calcium pump)

  • heavily stained the more distal dendrites of the Purkinje cells and, within the resolution of the fluorescence procedure, colocalized with calbindin-D28k. By using alkaline phosphatase-conjugated second antibody, PMCA was again localized to the peripheral soma, to a segmental pattern in dendrites, and to presumed spiny elements. The soma periphery and dendrites of Purkinje cells of the rat cerebellum were also prominently stained with anti-PMCA antibody and compared to parvalbumin localization. PMID: 8265654

PMCA2 (plasma membrane Ca(2+)-transport ATPase-2)

  • a major calcium pump, is expressed at particularly high levels in Purkinje neurons. PMID: 17150372
  • Purkinje cells contain the highest diversity of PMCA isoforms of the cerebellar cortex since the moment of its morphogenesis. From embryonic day 15, the 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. PMID: 17385688


  • mainly distributed in Purkinje neurons, whereas the PMCA seems to be expressed initially in climbing fibers, shifting to soma and spiny branchlets of Purkinje cells at late embryonic stages. PMID: 16104848

Spot 35 protein (S-35)

Zebrin I and Zebrin II

  • Purkinje cell-specific markers. PMID: 10473273
  • Purkinje cells in the cerebellum express the antigen zebrin II (aldolase C) in many vertebrates. PMID: 17278140
  • Zebrin II/aldolase C is a 36 kDa polypeptide expressed by Purkinje cells in the cerebellum of elasmobranchs, teleosts, birds, and mammals, and by octavolateralis pyramidal cells in developing teleosts. PMID: 9406878
  • zebrin II recognizes a single 36-kD polypeptide in Purkinje cells in the rat and fish cerebellum. PMID: 1955583
  • Zebrin II is a polypeptide antigen expressed selectively by Purkinje cells reveals compartments in rat and fish cerebellum. PMID: 2329190

Other Purkinje Cell Markers

  • Identification of candidate Purkinje cell-specific markers by gene expression profiling in wild-type and pcd(3J) mice. PMID: 15582153

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