Dendritic spines: from structure to in vivo function

Nathalie L. Rochefort, Arthur Konnerth*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalLiterature reviewpeer-review

Abstract

Dendritic spines arise as small protrusions from the dendritic shaft of various types of neuron and receive inputs from excitatory axons. Ever since dendritic spines were first described in the nineteenth century, questions about their function have spawned many hypotheses. In this review, we introduce understanding of the structural and biochemical properties of dendritic spines with emphasis on components studied with imaging methods. We then explore advances in in vivo imaging methods that are allowing spine activity to be studied in living tissue, from super-resolution techniques to calcium imaging. Finally, we review studies on spine structure and function in vivo. These new results shed light on the development, integration properties and plasticity of spines.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)699-708
Number of pages10
JournalEMBO Reports
Volume13
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2012

Keywords

  • calcium
  • plasticity
  • spine
  • super-resolution imaging
  • two-photon imaging
  • OCULAR DOMINANCE PLASTICITY
  • LONG-TERM POTENTIATION
  • EXPERIENCE-DEPENDENT PLASTICITY
  • SERIAL ELECTRON-MICROSCOPY
  • CA1 PYRAMIDAL NEURONS
  • ADULT VISUAL-CORTEX
  • SYNAPTIC PLASTICITY
  • CORTICAL-NEURONS
  • POSTSYNAPTIC DENSITY
  • HIPPOCAMPAL-NEURONS

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