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Neural Plasticity
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 8301737, 9 pages
Review Article

Emerging Roles of BAI Adhesion-GPCRs in Synapse Development and Plasticity

1Department of Neuroscience, Baylor College of Medicine, One Baylor Plaza, Houston, TX 77030, USA
2Integrative Molecular and Biomedical Sciences Program, Baylor College of Medicine, One Baylor Plaza, Houston, TX 77030, USA
3Verna and Marrs McLean Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Baylor College of Medicine, One Baylor Plaza, Houston, TX 77030, USA

Received 14 July 2015; Revised 6 October 2015; Accepted 12 October 2015

Academic Editor: Lin Xu

Copyright © 2016 Joseph G. Duman et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Synapses mediate communication between neurons and enable the brain to change in response to experience, which is essential for learning and memory. The sites of most excitatory synapses in the brain, dendritic spines, undergo rapid remodeling that is important for neural circuit formation and synaptic plasticity. Abnormalities in synapse and spine formation and plasticity are associated with a broad range of brain disorders, including intellectual disabilities, autism spectrum disorders (ASD), and schizophrenia. Thus, elucidating the mechanisms that regulate these neuronal processes is critical for understanding brain function and disease. The brain-specific angiogenesis inhibitor (BAI) subfamily of adhesion G-protein-coupled receptors (adhesion-GPCRs) has recently emerged as central regulators of synapse development and plasticity. In this review, we will summarize the current knowledge regarding the roles of BAIs at synapses, highlighting their regulation, downstream signaling, and physiological functions, while noting the roles of other adhesion-GPCRs at synapses. We will also discuss the relevance of BAIs in various neurological and psychiatric disorders and consider their potential importance as pharmacological targets in the treatment of these diseases.