Local communication within dendritic spines: Models of second messenger diffusion in granule cell spines of the mammalian olfactory bulb

Thomas B. Woolf, Charles A. Greer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Dendritic spines are generally believed to play a role in modulating synaptically induced electrical events. In addition, they may also confine second messengers and thus topologically limit the distance over which second messenger cascades may be functionally significant. In order to address this possibility, computer simulations of transient second messenger concentration changes were performed. The results show the importance of spine morphology and binding and extrusion mechanisms in controlling second messenger transients. In the presence of intrinsic cytoplasmic binding sites and kinetic rates similar to that expected for calcium, second messengers were confined to the spine head. In the absence of binding/extrusion mechanisms, the size and time course of the input transient to the spine head influenced the second messenger transients that might be seen at the base of the spine neck and in other spines. Large and/or sustained increases in second messenger concentration in the spine head were communicated to the spine base and to other spine heads. The results emphasize the importance of a knowledge of breakdown pathways, concentrations and kinetics of binding sites, and extrusion mechanisms for understanding the dynamics of local chemical changes for dendritic spine function. © 1994 Wiley‐Liss, Inc.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)247-267
Number of pages21
JournalSynapse
Volume17
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1994
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Computational modeling
  • Dendritic spines
  • Dendrodendritic circuits
  • Granule cells
  • Olfactory bulb
  • Second messenger diffusion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

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