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Dev Neurobiol. 2011 Nov;71(11):956-81. doi: 10.1002/dneu.20963.

Casting a net on dendritic spines: the extracellular matrix and its receptors.

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  • 1Division of Biomedical Sciences, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Program, University of California Riverside, Riverside, California 92521, USA.


Dendritic spines are dynamic structures that accommodate the majority of excitatory synapses in the brain and are influenced by extracellular signals from presynaptic neurons, glial cells, and the extracellular matrix (ECM). The ECM surrounds dendritic spines and extends into the synaptic cleft, maintaining synapse integrity as well as mediating trans-synaptic communications between neurons. Several scaffolding proteins and glycans that compose the ECM form a lattice-like network, which serves as an attractive ground for various secreted glycoproteins, lectins, growth factors, and enzymes. ECM components can control dendritic spines through the interactions with their specific receptors or by influencing the functions of other synaptic proteins. In this review, we focus on ECM components and their receptors that regulate dendritic spine development and plasticity in the normal and diseased brain.

Copyright © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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