Spine structure

Definition

Spine structure is the shape and composition of a dendritic spine. Dendritic spines are small protrusions from the dendritic shaft. Although their structure is variable, a typical spine consists of a spine head that may be mushroom- or cup-shaped and a thinner neck region. Each spine contains elements of the postsynaptic apparatus.

Latest Research and Reviews

News and Comment

  • Research Highlights |

    This study suggests that brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is released from dendritic spines in response to activity and acts in an autocrine manner to mediate structural plasticity of the spine from which it was released.

    • Katherine Whalley
  • Comments and Opinion |

    Classical theories, such as cable theory, can only successfully model signal propagation in neurons on a macroscopic scale. Holcman and Yuste argue that, as the functional importance of neuronal compartments such as dendritic spines becomes apparent, it is important to develop models that can account for the effects of their size and geometry on electrical current flow.

    • David Holcman
    •  & Rafael Yuste
  • Comments and Opinion |

    Excitatory synapses are located in confined chemical spaces called the dendritic spines. These are atypical femtoliter-order microdomains where the behavior of even single molecules may have important biological consequences. Powerful chemical biological techniques have now been developed to decipher the dynamic stability of the synapses and to further interrogate the complex properties of neuronal circuits.

    • Haruhiko Bito