Immunology

Scientists tackle two distinct immunological disorders

In two recent studies, a team of scientists reports the mechanisms underlying two distinct immunological disorders affecting children and adults. Stephanie Humblet-Baron (VIB-KU Leuven) was the researcher at the helm of both ...

Immunology

Scientists find molecular 'switch' for allergic asthma treatment

A team of Russian scientists has identified the role of the interleukin-6 molecule in the development of allergic asthma. It may comprise a new target for the treatment of this disease. The results are published in Frontiers ...

Cancer

A code for reprogramming immune sentinels

For the first time, a research team at Lund University in Sweden has successfully reprogrammed mouse and human skin cells into immune cells called dendritic cells. The process is quick and effective, representing a pioneering ...

Inflammatory disorders

A new mechanism in the control of inflammation

After infection or tissue injury, the inflammatory immune response attacks the infection and repairs the damaged tissue. However, sometimes excess inflammation can have the opposite effect, increasing injury in a process ...

Neuroscience

Study pinpoints what makes human neurons unique

Human neurons are much larger than those of model organisms mice and rats, so it's been unclear whether it's size that makes a difference in our brain's computational power. Now, in a study appearing October 18 in the journal ...

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Dendrite

Dendrites (from Greek δένδρον déndron, “tree”) are the branched projections of a neuron that act to conduct the electrochemical stimulation received from other neural cells to the cell body, or soma, of the neuron from which the dendrites project. Electrical stimulation is transmitted onto dendrites by upstream neurons via synapses which are located at various points throughout the dendritic arbor. Dendrites play a critical role in integrating these synaptic inputs and in determining the extent to which action potentials are produced by the neuron. Recent research has also found that dendrites can support action potentials and release neurotransmitters, a property that was originally believed to be specific to axons.

The long outgrowths on immune system dendritic cells are also called dendrites. These dendrites do not process electrical signals.

Certain classes of dendrites (i.e. Purkinje cells of cerebellum, cerebral cortex) contain small projections referred to as "appendages" or "spines". Appendages increase receptive properties of dendrites to isolate signal specificity. Increased neural activity at spines increases their size and conduction which is thought to play a role in learning and memory formation. There are approximately 200,000 spines per cell, each of which serve as a postsynaptic process for individual presynaptic axons.

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