One of the most important features of neuronal function is the capacity to dynamically adapt in response to changes in the environment and neuronal activity. Among cellular elements that show this kind of plasticity are dendrites, the components that receive and process neuronal inputs. Dendrite remodeling occurs during normal development of the nervous system as well as in response to injury or diseases in the adult. In either case, selective stabilization and/or elimination of dendritic branches is likely important to shape dendritic arbors. Here I review examples of the phenomena and consider potential cellular and molecular mechanisms that underlie dendrite remodeling and how they might relate in development and disease.
© 2011 The Author. Journal compilation © 2011 Japanese Society of Developmental Biologists.