Long-term potentiation changes cell structures

Professor James Eberwine discusses the structural changes in a cell related to long-term potentiation. These include changes in the shape of dendritic spines.

One of the key questions associated with neuronal functioning is how form relates to function. So, in neurons one has dendrites that contain synapses which allow communication of one cell to another cell. During experience, during long-term potentiation, where those neurons are stimulated in a particular manner, the morphology of a cell changes, the morphology of a synapse changes. That’s related to gene expression in that you have protein abundance changes, RNA changes and it's those changes that underline the physiological changes that then are reflected in functional changes in the cell. In terms of the changes that would modulate LTP (long-term potentiation) within a cell and the underlying morphological changes, you have stimulation from a presynaptic cell where an axon abuts a postsynaptic cell at the dendrite forming a synapse. When you have stimulation of that synapse, you have protein synthesis within that subcellular site, which then modulates the morphology of the cell and sends signals back to the nucleus of the cell, so that you have longer term changes. So you have RNA and protein differences. One of the ways in which the protein differences are manifest is that the dendritic spine, which is where the synapse forms, can elongate, can become shorter, can disappear. It is those changes that underlie the synaptic connections that people think are dysfunctional during cognitive dysfunction.

long term potentiation, ltp, morphology, cell, structure, dendritic spine, protein synthesis, cognitive dysfunction, synaptic connections, spines, synapse, james eberwine

Related Content

2037. Synapse changes during learning

Professor Kenneth Kosik discusses changes in synapses that accompany long-term potentiation, which include enlarged dendritic spines.

  • ID: 2037
  • Source: G2C

1109. NMDA Receptors, Multi-protein Complexes, & LTP

Professor Tom O'Dell describes the role played by NMDA receptors, as part of a large multi-protein complex, in facilitating long-term potentiation (LTP).

  • ID: 1109
  • Source: G2C

865. Mental Retardation

Mental retardation: struggle, stigma, science.

  • ID: 865
  • Source: G2C

1108. Synaptic Plasticity (1)

Professor Tom O'Dell discusses synaptic plasticity - the strengthening and weakening of synaptic connections between neurons.

  • ID: 1108
  • Source: G2C

1107. Depotentiation

Professor Tom O'Dell defines depotentiation - the erasure of long-term potentiation (LTP) at the synapse.

  • ID: 1107
  • Source: G2C

2065. RNA-binding proteins

Professor James Eberwine describes the primary functions of RNA-binding proteins, which include regulating tRNAs, degrading RNAs, synthesizing RNAs, and regulating multigenic gene expression.

  • ID: 2065
  • Source: G2C

549. Long-term Potentiation

Long-term Potentiation of synaptic transmission is commonly referred to as LTP. It can be recorded in many parts of the nervous system, but is very widely studied in the hippocampus.

  • ID: 549
  • Source: G2C

837. Addiction as Overlearning

The idea that drug addiction is a result of 'learning gone wild' was bolstered by several reports.

  • ID: 837
  • Source: G2C

1997. Learning and memory

Learning and memory are two intimately linked cognitive processes that stem from interactions with the environment (experience).

  • ID: 1997
  • Source: G2C

1101. AMPA and NMDA Receptors

Professor Graham Collingridge describes the roles played by NMDA and AMPA receptors in long-term potentiation (LTP).

  • ID: 1101
  • Source: G2C