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In the Wikipedia article on long-term potentiation one reads:

»When weak stimuli are applied to many pathways that converge on a single patch of postsynaptic membrane, the individual postsynaptic depolarizations generated may collectively depolarize the postsynaptic cell enough to induce LTP cooperatively.«

I wonder where these patches may be located and which character the postsynaptic depolarizations may have. The patches could be located on the axon hillock (the depolarization being just a "normal" action potential), or they could be located somewhere on the dendritic tree (nearer or further to the synapse), the depolarizations being some dendritic spikes.

In the Wikipedia article on dendritic spikes one reads that

»they are one of the major factors in long-term potentiation«

thus being involved in memory and learning, but also in neural communication as it is said.

On the other side, the Wikipedia article on LTP doesn't mention dendritic spikes explicitly, and it is left open which patches and which kind of depolarizations play which roles in LTP.

My question is: Can it be said, that the main role that dendritic spikes do play is in LTP, and vice versa, that the main contributor to LTP are dendritic spikes (compared to normal action potentials and other kinds of depolarization)?

Or does this question not make sense, a) because an answer would depend on too many factors or b) the concept of "main role" does not make sense at all?

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  • $\begingroup$ For one example where dendritic events contribute to LTP see our paper (Gambino et al. 2014). The jury is out whether it is in all cases of LTP necessary and sufficient to have dendritic events. For a taste of other things dendritic events may contribute to, have a look at Gidon et al. ([2020]( doi.org/10.1126/science.aax6239)). $\endgroup$ – vkehayas Jan 28 at 21:32

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