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Encyclopedia > Dendrites

In biology, a dendrite is a slender, typically branched projection of a nerve cell, or "neuron," which conducts the electrical stimulation received from other cells to the body or soma of the cell from which it projects. This stimulation arrives through synapses, which typically are located near the tips of the dendrites and away from the soma.


Many dendrites convey stimulation passively, without action potentials and without activation of voltage-gated ion channels. In such dendrites the voltage change that results from stimulation at a synapse may extend both towards and away from the soma. In other dendrites, voltage-gated channels help propagate excitatory synaptic stimulation whether or not an action potential is present. This propagation is efficient only toward the soma due to an uneven distribution of channels along such dendrites.


The structure and branching of a neuron's dendrites strongly influences how it integrates the input from many others, particularly those that input only weakly (more at synapse). This integration is in aspects "temporal" -- involving the summation of stimuli that arrive in rapid succession -- as well as "spatial" -- entailing the aggregation of excitatory and inhibitory inputs from separate branches or "arbors."


Compare: axon


See also: dendritic spine


In chemistry, a dendrite is a crystal that branches into two parts during growth.


In paleontology, a dendrite is a pseudofossil formed by naturally occurring fissures in the rock that get filled up by percolating minerals.


  Results from FactBites:
 
Dendrite - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1278 words)
Dendrites play a critical role in integrating these synaptic inputs and in determining the extent to which action potentials are produced by the neuron.
Dendrites are made up of dendritic segments which are named according to their relative position to the soma.
Dendrites account for the bulk of the surface area of neurons, with as much as 98% of the neuronal phospholipid bilayer membrane devoted to the dendritic arbor.
Dendrite - definition of Dendrite in Encyclopedia (235 words)
In biology, a dendrite is a slender, typically branched projection of a nerve cell, or "neuron," which conducts the electrical stimulation received from other cells to the body or soma of the cell from which it projects.
This stimulation arrives through synapses, which typically are located near the tips of the dendrites and away from the soma.
In such dendrites the voltage change that results from stimulation at a synapse may extend both towards and away from the soma.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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