This article describes ways in which receptors, key components of signal propagation through a synapse, can mediate changes in that propagation. Changes occur at four levels: in the signal-transducing capability of a single receptor molecule, in the number of receptors per cell, in the subcellular placement of receptor molecules, and in the cytoarchitecture of receptor-rich regions. The ability of receptors to shift between different desired states is called plasticity, and such shifts can be long-lived as well as transient. In this article we focus on neuronal receptors, although key findings from a variety of cell systems are reported. Neuronal receptor plasticity may have a special role in the assembly as well as the adaptability of the nervous system.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology