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Curr Opin Neurobiol. 2004 Jun;14(3):288-96.

Eph receptors in the adult brain.

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  • 1Developmental Neurobiology Program, The Burnham Institute, 10901 North Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla, California 92037, USA.


The Eph receptors are a large family of receptor tyrosine kinases with important roles in the establishment of neuronal and vascular networks during embryonic development. The functions of Eph receptors in the adult brain have only recently been investigated, and the results are forcing us to amend the conventional view that these molecules function predominantly in a developmental context. This review summarizes this rapidly expanding new area of research, which has shown that the Eph receptors regulate the structure and physiological function of excitatory synapses through multiple mechanisms, and might thus play a significant role in higher brain functions.

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