Module 10: Figure Ca2+-induced synaptic plasticity
Mechanisms of Ca2+-induced synaptic plasticity.
A local increase in Ca2+ within the spine triggers a number of events that culminate in the processes of synaptic plasticity. High levels activate long-term potentiation (LTP) that depends on events such as AMPA receptor (AMPAR) phosphorylation by CaMKII, which also activates the process of receptor insertion that increases the number of receptors in the postsynaptic membrane. Ca2+ also triggers a process of actin remodelling that is part of the morphological change responsible for an increase in the length and volume of the spine. Lower levels of Ca2+ that activate calcineurin (CaN) reverse these processes resulting in long-term depression (LTD). An increase in Ca2+ also activates protein synthesis by polysomes located in the dendrites at the base of the spine. See text for further details.