Sci. STKE, 8 November 2005
NEUROBIOLOGY Wringing the Neck
The susceptibility of individual synapses to plasticity induction may be influenced by the ability of signaling molecules to move into and out of the head of the dendritic spine. Thus, regulation of protein movement by the spine neck offers a potentially powerful mechanism to control individual synapses. Bloodgood and Sabatini found that diffusional equilibration across the necks of dendritic spines is directly regulated by activity. By combining two-photon microscopy with two-photon laser photoactivation, protein movement was measured across the necks of a large population of spines. A subclass of spines were effectively isolated from the dendrite. Spine compartments have traditionally been treated as static entities, but it now appears that spine-dendrite coupling is strongly dynamic. Diffusion barriers vary considerably over time in a way that reflects the cell's recent history of spiking.
Citation: Wringing the Neck. Sci. STKE 2005, tw397 (2005).
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