Homeostatic Plasticity of Subcellular Neuronal Structures: From Inputs to Outputs

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Neurons in the brain are highly plastic, allowing an organism to learn and adapt to its environment. However, this ongoing plasticity is also inherently unstable, potentially leading to aberrant levels of circuit activity. Homeostatic forms of plasticity are thought to provide a means of controlling neuronal activity by avoiding extremes and allowing network stability. Recent work has shown that many of these homeostatic modifications change the structure of subcellular neuronal compartments, ranging from changes to synaptic inputs at both excitatory and inhibitory compartments to modulation of neuronal output through changes at the axon initial segment (AIS) and presynaptic terminals. Here we review these different forms of structural plasticity in neurons and the effects they may have on network function.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)656-667
JournalTrends in Neurosciences
Issue number10
Early online date13 Sept 2016
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2016


  • homeostatic plasticity
  • axon initial segment
  • structural plasticity
  • dendritic spines
  • presynaptic terminals


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