Integration of biochemical signalling in spines

Nat Rev Neurosci. 2005 Jun;6(6):423-34. doi: 10.1038/nrn1685.


Short-term and long-term changes in the strength of synapses in neural networks underlie working memory and long-term memory storage in the brain. These changes are regulated by many biochemical signalling pathways in the postsynaptic spines of excitatory synapses. Recent findings about the roles and regulation of the small GTPases Ras, Rap and Rac in spines provide new insights into the coordination and cooperation of different pathways to effect synaptic plasticity. Here, we present an initial working representation of the interactions of five signalling cascades that are usually studied individually. We discuss their integrated function in the regulation of postsynaptic plasticity.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Calcium Signaling / physiology
  • Dendritic Spines / chemistry
  • Dendritic Spines / metabolism
  • Dendritic Spines / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Neuronal Plasticity / physiology*
  • Signal Transduction / physiology*
  • Synapses / chemistry
  • Synapses / metabolism
  • Synapses / physiology*