Plasticity of voltage-gated ion channels in pyramidal cell dendrites

Curr Opin Neurobiol. 2010 Aug;20(4):503-9. doi: 10.1016/j.conb.2010.06.006. Epub 2010 Aug 4.


Dendrites of pyramidal neurons integrate multiple synaptic inputs and transform them into axonal action potential output. This fundamental process is controlled by a variety of dendritic channels. The properties of dendritic ion channels are not static but can be modified by neuronal activity. Activity-dependent changes in the density, localization, or biophysical properties of dendritic voltage-gated channels can persistently alter the integration of synaptic inputs. Furthermore, dendritic intrinsic plasticity can induce neuronal output mode transitions (e.g. from regular spiking to burst firing). Recent advances in the field reviewed here represent an important step toward uncovering the principles of neuronal input/output transformations in response to various patterns of brain activity.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Action Potentials / physiology
  • Animals
  • Brain / cytology
  • Dendrites / physiology*
  • Ion Channel Gating / physiology*
  • Ion Channels / physiology*
  • Models, Neurological
  • Neuronal Plasticity / physiology*
  • Nonlinear Dynamics
  • Pyramidal Cells / cytology*
  • Signal Transduction / physiology


  • Ion Channels