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Dendrites$
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Greg Stuart, Nelson Spruston, and Michael Häusser

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780198566564

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198566564.001.0001

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Biochemical compartmentalization in dendrites

Biochemical compartmentalization in dendrites

Chapter:
(p.251) Chapter 10 Biochemical compartmentalization in dendrites
Source:
Dendrites
Author(s):

Fritjof Helmchen

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198566564.003.0010

Dendrites have both electrical and biochemical characters, which are closely linked. This chapter discusses dendrites as compartments for chemical signals such as concentration changes of ions or other second messengers, which can cause activation of enzymes. In particular, it focuses on the question to what extent these signals can be confined to only part of the dendritic tree. Such ‘compartmentalization’ is considered the basis of local modifications of dendritic properties, in particular to achieve input-specific changes of synaptic strength. Following an introduction, the chapter first discusses general factors that affect compartmentalization of chemical signals, including diffusion, intracellular binding, and removal mechanisms. It then provides examples of dendritic ion and second messenger signaling, with the main focus on calcium signaling, for which the most detailed information is available from imaging studies.

Keywords:   biochemical compartmentalization, chemical signals, dendritic tree, ion concentration, synaptic strength, calcium signaling

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