Ca(2+) signaling in dendritic spines

Curr Opin Neurobiol. 2007 Jun;17(3):345-51. doi: 10.1016/j.conb.2007.04.003. Epub 2007 Apr 23.


Recent studies have revealed that Ca(2+) signals evoked by action potentials or by synaptic activity within individual dendritic spines are regulated at multiple levels. Ca(2+) influx through glutamate receptors and voltage-sensitive Ca(2+) channels located on spines depends on the channel subunit composition, the activity of kinases and phosphatases, the local membrane potential and past patterns of activity. Furthermore, sources of spine Ca(2+) interact nonlinearly such that activation of one Ca(2+) channel can enhance or depress the activity of others. These studies have revealed that each spine is a complex and partitioned Ca(2+) signaling domain capable of autonomously regulating the electrical and biochemical consequences of synaptic activity.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Calcium / metabolism
  • Calcium Channels / physiology
  • Calcium Signaling / physiology*
  • Dendritic Spines / physiology*
  • Models, Biological
  • Neurons / cytology
  • Receptors, Glutamate / metabolism


  • Calcium Channels
  • Receptors, Glutamate
  • Calcium