Volume 10.14 | Apr 13

Neural Cell News 10.14 April 13, 2016
Neural Cell News
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TOP STORY
Damaging Consequences of Zika Virus Infection in Human Minibrains
Researchers demonstrated the harmful effects of ZIKA virus (ZIKV) in human neural stem cells, neurospheres and brain organoids. Since ZIKV has been gradually established as a direct cause of central nervous system malformations, this study helps to elucidate the etiological nature of the recently increasing number of microcephaly cases in Brazil. [Press release from D’Or Institute for Research and Education (EurekAlert!) discussing online prepublication in Science] Press Release | Abstract
Watch Webinar: Neuronal Phenotyping of an iPS Cell Model of Rett Syndrome
 
PUBLICATIONS (Ranked by impact factor of the journal)
Cultured Networks of Excitatory Projection Neurons and Inhibitory Interneurons for Studying Human Cortical Neurotoxicity
Scientists developed a human cortical neuron culture system from human embryonic stem cells or human inducible pluripotent stem cells that generated both excitatory and inhibitory neuronal networks resembling the composition of the human cortex. [Sci Transl Med] Abstract

Cranial Grafting of Stem Cell-Derived Microvesicles Improves Cognition and Reduces Neuropathology in the Irradiated Brain
Investigators provide the first evidence that cranial grafting of microvesicles secreted from human neural stem cell affords similar neuroprotective phenotypes after head-only irradiation. [Proc Natl Acad Sci USA]
Abstract | Full Article | Press Release

In Vitro System Using Human Neurons Demonstrates that Varicella-Zoster Vaccine Virus Is Impaired for Reactivation, but not Latency
The authors found that axonal infection of neurons derived from hESCs in a microfluidic device with cell-free parental Oka varicella-zoster virus resulted in latent infection with inability to detect several viral mRNAs by reverse transcriptase-quantitative PCR, no production of infectious virus, and maintenance of the viral DNA genome in endless configuration, consistent with an episome configuration. [Proc Natl Acad Sci USA] Abstract

Formation of Neuronal Circuits by Interactions between Neuronal Populations Derived from Different Origins in the Drosophila Visual Center
Researchers demonstrated that cell-cell interactions play an important role in establishing the arrangement of neurons of different origins in the Drosophila visual center. Specific types of neurons born outside the medulla primordium migrate tangentially into the developing medulla cortex. [Cell Rep] Full Article | Graphical Abstract

Mechanosensory Organ Regeneration in Zebrafish Depends on a Population of Multipotent Progenitor Cells Kept Latent by Schwann Cells
The authors used electroablation in transgenic larvae expressing fluorescent proteins in posterior lateral line (PLL) components to completely ablate single neuromasts in larvae and adult fish. This injury resulted in discontinuity of the interneuromastic cells, Schwann cells, and the PLL nerve. [BMC Biol] Full Article

Prox1 Is Required for Oligodendrocyte Cell Identity in Adult Neural Stem Cells of the Subventricular Zone
Scientists showed that within the subventricular zone (SVZ) Prox1 induces differentiation into oligodendrocytes. They found that loss of Prox1 expression in vivo reduced cell migration into the corpus callosum, where the few Prox1 deficient SVZ- derived remaining cells fail to differentiate into oligodendrocytes. [Stem Cells] Abstract

Cell-Permeable p38 MAP Kinase Promotes Migration of Adult Neural Stem/Progenitor Cells
Researchers showed that p38 MAP kinase (p38) is expressed in doublecortin-positive adult neural stem/progenitor cells (NPCs). Experiments using the p38 inhibitor SB203580 revealed that endogenous p38 participates in NPC migration. [Sci Rep] Full Article

Neural Ablation of the PARK10 Candidate Plpp3 Leads to Dopaminergic Transmission Deficits without Neurodegeneration
Investigators showed that phospholipid phosphatase 3 (PLPP3) is enriched in astroglial cells of the adult murine ventral midbrain. Conditional inactivation of Plpp3 using a Nestin::Cre driver resulted in reduced mesencephalic levels of sphingosine-1-phosphate receptor 1, a well-known mediator of pro-survival responses. [Sci Rep] Full Article

KCa3.1 Inhibition Switches the Phenotype of Glioma-Infiltrating Microglia/Macrophages
Researchers determined whether Ca2+-activated K+ channel (KCa3.1) inhibition could prevent the acquisition of a pro-tumor phenotype by microglia/macrophage (M/MΦ) cells, thus contributing to reduce glioma development. They studied microglia cultured in glioma-conditioned medium or treated with IL-4, as well as M/MΦ cells acutely isolated from glioma-bearing mice and from human glioma biopsies. [Cell Death Dis] Full Article

Rett Syndrome Mutant Neural Cells Lacks MeCP2 Immunoreactive Bands
The purpose of this study was to advance understanding of multiple MeCP2 immunoreactive bands in control neural cells and p.T158M MeCP2e1 mutant cells. Scientists generated stable wild-type and p.T158M MeCP2e1-RFP mutant expressing cells. [PLoS One] Full Article

Shift of MicroRNA Profile upon Orthotopic Xenografting of Glioblastoma Spheroid Cultures
Scientists aimed to identify over-expressed tumor cells with stem-like properties (TSC)-related microRNAs potentially amenable for therapeutic targeting. They used non-differentiated glioblastoma spheroid cultures containing TSCs and compared these to xenografts using a NanoString nCounter platform. [J Neurooncol] Abstract

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REVIEWS
sFRP-Mediated Wnt Sequestration as a Potential Therapeutic Target for Alzheimer’s Disease
The role of secreted frizzled-related proteins (sFRPs) has been poorly described in Alzheimer’s disease (AD), and in this review, the authors analyze the present status of the role of sFRPs on neurodegeneration, their likely involvement, and potential implications in treatment modalities of AD. [Int J Biochem Cell Biol] Abstract

The Role of Neurogenesis during Development and in the Adult Brain
The author introduces the lineage of neural stem cells from embryonic to adult stages and summarizes recent studies on maturation and integration of adult-born neurons. They also discuss the regulation and potential functions of adult neurogenesis in physiological and pathological conditions. [Eur J Neurosci] Abstract

Visit our reviews page to see a complete list of reviews in the neural cell research field.
 
SCIENCE NEWS
Zika Virus May Now Be Tied to Another Brain Disease
The Zika virus may be associated with an autoimmune disorder that attacks the brain’s myelin similar to multiple sclerosis, according to a small study. [Press release from the American Academy of Neurology (EurekAlert!) discussing research to be presented at the American Academy of Neurology’s 68th Annual Meeting, Vancouver] Press Release

Over-the-Counter Drug May Reverse Chronic Vision Damage Caused by Multiple Sclerosis
A common antihistamine used to treat symptoms of allergies and the common cold, called clemastine fumarate, partially reversed damage to the visual system in people with multiple sclerosis in a preliminary study. [Press release from the American Academy of Neurology (EurekAlert!) discussing research to be presented at the American Academy of Neurology’s 68th Annual Meeting, Vancouver] Press Release

Allergan Announces 10 Presentations on Chronic Migraine, Upper and Lower Limb Spasticity and Alzheimer’s Disease
Allergan plc announced that it has 10 presentations. Among the highlights are three platform presentations including post-stroke lower limb spasticity in adults. [Press release from the Allergan plc discussing research to be presented at the American Academy of Neurology’s 68th Annual Meeting, Vancouver] Press Release

Lundbeck to Present Data on Alzheimer’s, Epilepsy and Movement Disorder Medicines at AAN
Lundbeck announced that data on its currently available and investigational neurology medicines will be presented. [Press release from the Lundbeck discussing research to be presented at the American Academy of Neurology’s 68th Annual Meeting, Vancouver] Press Release

Ludwig Scientists Share New Findings on Immunotherapy, Drug Resistance and Tumor Evolution
Research conducted by more than 70 Ludwig scientists will be presented in symposiums, plenaries and poster sessions, and Ludwig researchers will participate in several workshops and meet-the-expert sessions over the course of the meeting. [Press release from Ludwig Cancer Research discussing research to be presented at the 2016 American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting, New Orleans] Press Release

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INDUSTRY NEWS
STEMCELL Technologies Signs Exclusive Agreement with the Institute of Molecular Biotechnology to Commercialize Cerebral Organoid Culture Systems
STEMCELL Technologies has entered into an exclusive licensing agreement with the Institute of Molecular Biotechnology of the Austrian Academy of Sciences for the rights to develop products for cerebral organoid culture to serve the international research community. [STEMCELL Technologies Inc.] Press Release

University of Pennsylvania to Join First-of-Its-Kind Research Collaboration to Fight Cancer with New Immunotherapies
The University of Pennsylvania has joined an unprecedented cancer research effort, the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy, which unites six of the nation’s top medical schools and cancer centers around a shared aim of accelerating breakthrough immunotherapy research that will turn more cancers into a curable disease. The venture is backed by a $250 million gift from the Parker Foundation, making it the largest single contribution ever made to the field of immunotherapy. [University of Pennsylvania] Press Release

Allergan and Heptares Announce Global R&D and Commercialization Partnership for Novel Treatments in Alzheimer’s and Other Neurological Disorders
Allergan plc and Heptares Therapeutics announced that Allergan’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Allergan Pharmaceuticals International Limited and Heptares have entered into a definitive agreement under which Allergan will license exclusive global rights to a broad portfolio of novel subtype-selective muscarinic receptor agonists in development for the treatment of major neurological disorders, including Alzheimer’s disease. [Allergan plc] Press Release

AstraZeneca and Eli Lilly and Company Announce Continuation of Pivotal Clinical Trial for People with Early Alzheimer’s Disease
AstraZeneca and Eli Lilly and Company announced that AMARANTH, a Phase II/III study of AZD3293, an oral beta secretase cleaving enzyme inhibitor currently in development as a potential treatment for early Alzheimer’s disease, will continue into Phase III of the Phase II/III seamless trial. [Astrazeneca] Press Release

Rush Receives $14.5 Million to Fight Alzheimer’s
A $14.5 million NIA grant is supporting a new study led by researchers at Rush that aims to determine if an intervention known as the MIND diet can help prevent Alzheimer’s disease. [Rush University Medical Center] Press Release
 
POLICY NEWS
Funding Shift for Zika Helps NIH, but More Research Money Requested
The White House’s decision this week to shift $589 million in unspent Ebola response funding to fighting Zika won’t require cutting any Ebola research supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). But the Obama administration still is requesting more help from Congress to both fund Zika efforts and replenish money shifted away from Ebola. [ScienceInsider] Editorial

National Institutes of Health (United States)

Food and Drug Administration (United States)

Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research (United States)

European Medicines Agency (European Union)

Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (United Kingdom)

Therapeutic Goods Administration (Australia)
 
EVENTS
NEW 17th International Symposium on Pediatric Neuro-Oncology
June 12-15, 2016
Liverpool, United Kingdom

Visit our events page to see a complete list of events in the neural cell community.
 
JOB OPPORTUNITIES
NEW Engineering Project Lead (Cytonome)

NEW Faculty Positions – Brain Research (IDG/McGovern Institute for Brain Research at Peking University)

NEW Postdoctoral Fellow – Neuroscience (University of Maryland Baltimore)

Scientist – Human Pluripotent Stem Cell Neural Differentiation (STEMCELL Technologies)

Postdoctoral Research Fellow – Neurobiology and Therapeutics (Georgia Institute of Technology)

Postdoctoral Position – Neuroscience (Washington University in St. Louis)

PhD Studentship – Neuroscience (The Roskamp Institute)

Postdoctoral Fellow – Brain Injury (Augusta University)

Principal Investigator Positions – Neuroscience and Neurological Disorders (Institutes of Brain Science Fudan University)

Postdoctoral Fellowship – Stem Cells, Oligodendrogenesis and Remyelination (UC Davis)

PhD Studentship – Various Projects (Hector Fellow Academy)


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