Raising the speed limit--fast Ca(2+) handling in dendritic spines.


Ca2+ influx into dendritic spines is involved in the induction of both long-term potentiation (LTP) and long-term depression (LTD) by activating distinct biochemical cascades, depending on the stimulation protocol. Such conditional activation can be explained by the finding that removal of Ca2+ from spines is extremely rapid (approximately 15 ms) and promoted by a low endogenous buffering capacity. As a consequence, the time course of influx and binding kinetics are important determinants of how much Ca2+ binds to a particular enzyme. In addition structural factors, such as shape and dendritic location, could contribute to fine-tuning of spine Ca2+ handling and synaptic modification.

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@article{Helmchen2002RaisingTS, title={Raising the speed limit--fast Ca(2+) handling in dendritic spines.}, author={Fritjof Helmchen}, journal={Trends in neurosciences}, year={2002}, volume={25 9}, pages={438-41; discussion 441} }