Structural plasticity of dendritic spines
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Dendritic spines are the major targets of excitatory synaptic input. They exist in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, from thin to mushroom-shaped to stubby. One of the striking characteristics of dendritic spines is their motile nature. Spines can undergo various structural modifications such as changes in density, shape, size, and motility. During development, spines are highly dynamic and many spines are formed and eliminated. As animals mature, most spines become stable and the vast majority of them can last throughout life. However, spine morphology can still undergo progressive changes. Structural dynamics of dendritic spines is thought to play important roles in synapse plasticity and information processing. Abnormal spine structures are often associated with malfunction of the nervous system.
KeywordsDendritic Spine Spine Structure Spine Formation Spine Motility Structural Plasticity
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