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Curr Opin Neurobiol. 2005 Jun;15(3):334-42.

Plasticity of dendritic function.

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Neuroscience Center, Louisiana State University Health Science Center, 2020 Gravier Street, New Orleans, Louisiana 70112, USA.


The various properties of neuronal dendrites--their morphology, active membrane and synaptic properties--all play important roles in determining the functional capabilities of central nervous system neurons. Because of their fundamental involvement in both synaptic integration and synaptic plasticity, the active dendritic properties are important for both neuronal information processing and storage. The active properties of dendrites are determined by the densities of voltage-gated ion channels located within the dendrites in addition to the biophysical characteristics of those channels. The real power of this system resides in the level of plasticity that is provided by the many forms of channel modulation known to exist in neurons. Indeed, voltage gated ion channel modulation shapes the active properties of neuronal dendrites to specific conditions, thus tailoring the functional role of the single neuron within its circuit.

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