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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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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 28 January 2021

Biochemical compartmentalization in dendrites

Biochemical compartmentalization in dendrites

(p.251) Chapter 10 Biochemical compartmentalization in dendrites

Fritjof Helmchen

Oxford University Press

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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