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J Neurosci. 2000 Nov 15;20(22):8262-8.

Regulation of spine calcium dynamics by rapid spine motility.

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  • 1Department of Biological Sciences, Columbia University, New York, New York 10027, USA.


Dendritic spines receive most excitatory inputs in the CNS and compartmentalize calcium. Spines also undergo rapid morphological changes, although the function of this motility is still unclear. We have investigated the effect of spine movement on spine calcium dynamics with two-photon photobleaching of enhanced green fluorescent protein and calcium imaging of action potential-elicited transients in spines from layer 2/3 pyramidal neurons in mouse visual cortex slices. The elongation or retraction of the spine neck during spine motility alters the diffusional coupling between spine and dendrite and significantly changes calcium decay kinetics in spines. Our results demonstrate that the spine's ability to compartmentalize calcium is constantly changing.

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