Abstract

Induction of long-term synaptic potentiation (LTP) in excitatory neurons triggers a transient enlargement of dendritic spines followed by decay to sustained size expansion, a process termed structural LTP which contributes to the cellular basis of learning and memory. The activity-induced structural changes in dendritic spines involve spatiotemporal coordination of actin cytoskeleton reorganization, membrane trafficking and membrane remodeling. In this review, we discuss recent progresses in understanding the complex mechanisms underlying structural LTP, with an emphasis on the interplay between the spine plasma membrane and the actin cytoskeleton. We also highlight open questions and challenges to further understand this interesting cell neurobiological phenomenon.

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