There is increasing evidence that Eph receptors and their transmembrane ligands, named ephrins, interact with glutamate receptors in both developing and adult neurons. EphB receptors interact with proteins that regulate the membrane trafficking of α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methylisoxazole-4-propionate (AMPA) receptor subunits, and both ephrins and EphB receptors have been found to co-localize with N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptors and to positively modulate NMDA receptor function. Moreover, pharmacologic activation of ephrin-Bs amplifies group-I metabotropic glutamate receptor signaling through mechanisms that involve NMDA receptors. The interaction with ionotropic or metabotropic glutamate receptors provides a substrate for the emerging role of ephrins and Eph receptors in the regulation of activity-dependent forms of synaptic plasticity, such as long-term potentiation and long-term depression, which are established electrophysiologic models of associative learning. In addition, these interactions explain the involvement of ephrins/Eph receptors in the regulation of pain threshold and epileptogenesis, as well as their potential implication in processes of neuronal degeneration. This may stimulate the search for new drugs that might modulate excitatory synaptic transmission by interacting with the ephrin/Eph receptor system.
- Epileptogenesis neurodegeneration
- Glutamate receptors
- Synaptic plasticity
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience