Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Examining the determinants of persistent and severe COVID-19

As COVID-19 wreaks havoc across the globe, one characteristic of the infection has not gone unnoticed. The disease is heterogeneous in nature with symptoms and severity of the condition spanning a wide range. The medical ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Impacts of COVID on the immune system

So you've had COVID and have now recovered. You don't have ongoing symptoms and luckily, you don't seem to have developed long COVID.

Medical research

New mechanism extends life of immune system

A new mechanism that slows down and may even prevent the natural aging of immune cells—one of the nine hallmarks of aging—has been identified by an international team led by UCL scientists.

Neuroscience

Research team reveals underpinnings of how motor memory forms

When you are first learning how to ride a bicycle or play a musical instrument, your physical movements are uncoordinated at best. But with time and lots of repetition, your brain's motor neurons create a kind of shorthand ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

How human cells become Zika virus factories

Zika virus has a trick up its sleeve. Once inside the body, the virus likes to make a beeline for dendritic cells, the cells we rely on to launch an effective immune response.

Immunology

New players in the immune response identified

The human body contains 600 to 800 lymph nodes, which are specialized organs that trigger immune responses. To be informed about infections in the body, lymph nodes are connected to the individual organs via lymph vessels. ...

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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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