Spine microdomains for postsynaptic signaling and plasticity.

Journal Article (Review;Journal Article)

Changes in the molecular composition and signaling properties of excitatory glutamatergic synapses onto dendritic spines mediate learning-related plasticity in the mammalian brain. This molecular adaptation serves as the most celebrated cell biological model for learning and memory. Within their micron-sized dimensions, dendritic spines restrict the diffusion of signaling molecules and spatially confine the activation of signal transduction pathways. Much of this local regulation occurs by spatial compartmentalization of glutamate receptors. Here, we review recently identified cell biological mechanisms regulating glutamate receptor mobility within individual dendritic spines. We discuss the emerging functions of glutamate receptors residing within sub-spine microdomains and propose a model for distinct signaling platforms with specialized functions in synaptic plasticity.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Newpher, TM; Ehlers, MD

Published Date

  • May 2009

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 19 / 5

Start / End Page

  • 218 - 227

PubMed ID

  • 19328694

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1879-3088

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0962-8924

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.tcb.2009.02.004


  • eng