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Zoological Research
Kunming Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences
ISSN: 2095-8137
Vol. 33, No. 5, 2012, pp. 527-536
Bioline Code: zr12082
Full paper language: English
Document type: Review Article
Document available free of charge

Zoological Research, Vol. 33, No. 5, 2012, pp. 527-536

 en Progress in activity-dependent structural plasticity of neural circuits in cortex
RAO, Xiao-Ping; XU, Zhi-Xiang & XU, Fu-Qiang


Neural circuits of mammalian cerebral cortex have exhibited amazing abilities of structural and functional plasticity in development, learning and memory, neurological and psychiatric diseases. With the new imaging techniques and the application of molecular biology methods, observation neural circuits’ structural dynamics within the cortex in vivo at the cellular and synaptic level was possible, so there were many great progresses in the field of the activity-dependent structural plasticity over the past decade. This paper reviewed some of the aspects of the experimental results, focused on the characteristics of dendritic structural plasticity in individual growth and development, rich environment, sensory deprivation, and pathological conditions, as well as learning and memory, especially the dynamics of dendritic spines on morphology and quantity; after that, we introduced axonal structural plasticity, the molecular and cellular mechanisms of structural plasticity, and proposed some future problems to be solved at last.

Neural circuits; Plasticity; Imaging techniques; Growth and development; Rich environment; Sensory deprivation; Pathological conditions; Learning and memory; Dendritic structural plasticity; Dendritic spine; Axonal structural plasticity; Molecular and cellular mechanism

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