The ability to efficiently store memories in the brain is a fundamental process and its impairment is associated with multiple human mental disorders. Evidence indicates that long-term memory formation involves alterations of synaptic efficacy produced by modifications in neural transmission and morphology. The Eph receptors and their cognate ephrin ligands have been shown to be involved in these key neuronal processes by regulating events such as presynaptic transmitter release, postsynaptic glutamate receptor conductance and trafficking, synaptic glutamate reuptake, and dendritic spine morphogenesis. Recent findings show that Ephs and ephrins are needed for memory formation in different organisms. These proteins participate in the formation of various types of memories that are subserved by different neurons and brain regions. Ephs and ephrins are involved in brain disorders and diseases with memory impairment symptoms, including Alzheimer's disease and anxiety. Drugs that agonize or antagonize Ephs/ephrins signaling have been developed and could serve as therapeutic agents to treat such diseases. Ephs and ephrins may therefore induce cellular alterations mandatory for memory formation and serve as a target for pharmacological intervention for treatment of memory-related brain diseases.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work is supported by the Israel Science Foundation.
© The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of CINP.
- Eph receptor
- memory formation
- synaptic plasticity
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Psychiatry and Mental health
- Pharmacology (medical)