Immunoglobulin-like receptors and their impact on wiring of brain synapses

Scott Cameron, A Kimberley Usrey

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Synapse formation is mediated by a surprisingly large number and wide variety of genes encoding many different protein classes. One of the families increasingly implicated in synapse wiring is the immunoglobulin superfamily (IgSF). IgSF molecules are by definition any protein containing at least one Ig-like domain, making this family one of the most common protein classes encoded by the genome. Here, we review the emerging roles for IgSF molecules in synapse formation specifically in the vertebrate brain, focusing on examples from three classes of IgSF members: (a) cell adhesion molecules, (b) signaling molecules, and (c) immune molecules expressed in the brain. The critical roles for IgSF members in regulating synapse formation may explain their extensive involvement in neuropsychiatric and neurodevelopmental disorders. Solving the IgSF code for synapse formation may reveal multiple new targets for rescuing IgSF-mediated deficits in synapse formation and, eventually, new treatments for psychiatric disorders caused by altered IgSF-induced synapse wiring.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)567-590
Number of pages24
JournalAnnual Review of Genetics
StatePublished - Nov 23 2018


  • IgSF
  • immune molecules
  • immunoglobulin superfamily
  • MHCI molecules
  • synapse formation
  • synaptogenesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics


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