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Front Neuroanat. 2014 Jul 9;8:64. doi: 10.3389/fnana.2014.00064. eCollection 2014.

Endoplasmic reticulum calcium stores in dendritic spines.

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Department of Neurobiology, The Weizman Institute Rehovot, Israel.


Despite decades of research, the role of calcium stores in dendritic spines structure, function and plasticity is still debated. The reasons for this may have to do with the multitude of overlapping calcium handling machineries in the neuron, including stores, voltage and ligand gated channels, pumps and transporters. Also, different cells in the brain are endowed with calcium stores that are activated by different receptor types, and their differential compartmentalization in dendrites, spines and presynaptic terminals complicates their analysis. In the present review we address several key issues, including the role of calcium stores in synaptic plasticity, their role during development, in stress and in neurodegenerative diseases. Apparently, there is increasing evidence for a crucial role of calcium stores, especially of the ryanodine species, in synaptic plasticity and neuronal survival.


IP3 receptors; Orai; STIM; dendritic spines; ryanodine receptors

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