Structure, development, and plasticity of dendritic spines

Curr Opin Neurobiol. 1999 Jun;9(3):343-8. doi: 10.1016/s0959-4388(99)80050-6.


Dendritic spines are distinguished by their shapes, subcellular composition, and synaptic receptor subtypes. Recent studies show that actin-dependent movements take place in spine heads, that spines emerge from stubby and shaft synapses after dendritic filopodia disappear, and that spines can form without synaptic activation, are maintained by optimal activation, and are lost with excessive activation or during degeneration.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / cytology*
  • Brain / physiology
  • Dendrites / physiology*
  • Dendrites / ultrastructure*
  • Neuronal Plasticity / physiology*