Plasticity of dendritic excitability

J Neurobiol. 2005 Jul;64(1):100-15. doi: 10.1002/neu.20148.


Dendrites are equipped with a plethora of voltage-gated ion channels that greatly enrich the computational and storage capacity of neurons. The excitability of dendrites and dendritic function display plasticity under diverse circumstances such as neuromodulation, adaptation, learning and memory, trauma, or disorders. This adaptability arises from alterations in the biophysical properties or the expression levels of voltage-gated ion channels-induced by the activity of neurotransmitters, neuromodulators, and second-messenger cascades. In this review we discuss how this plasticity of dendritic excitability could alter information transfer and processing within dendrites, neurons, and neural networks under physiological and pathological conditions.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Physiological / physiology
  • Animals
  • Dendrites / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Ion Channel Gating / physiology
  • Learning / physiology
  • Neural Conduction / physiology
  • Neuronal Plasticity / physiology*
  • Neurons / cytology*
  • Neurons / physiology
  • Synapses / physiology