Volume 10.18 | May 11

Neural Cell News 10.18 May 11, 2016
Neural Cell News
     In this issue: Publications | Reviews | Science News | Industry News | Policy News | Events | Jobs
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TOP STORY
Brazilian Zika Virus Strain Causes Birth Defects in Experimental Models
Researchers have described the first “direct experimental proof” that the Brazilian strain of Zika virus can actually cause severe birth defects. The team conducted studies in mouse models, human stem cells and in cerebral organoids – miniature brains grown in vitro. [Press release from UC San Diego discussing online prepublication in Nature] Press Release | Full Article
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PUBLICATIONS (Ranked by impact factor of the journal)
Olig2-Dependent Reciprocal Shift in PDGF and EGF Receptor Signaling Regulates Tumor Phenotype and Mitotic Growth in Malignant Glioma
Scientists identified mitotic Olig2-expressing cells as tumor-propagating cells in proneural gliomas, elimination of which blocks tumor initiation and progression. Intriguingly, deletion of Olig2 resulted in tumors that grow, albeit at a decelerated rate. [Cancer Cell] Abstract | Graphical Abstract | Press Release

Zika Virus Depletes Neural Progenitors in Human Cerebral Organoids through Activation of the Innate Immune Receptor TLR3
To investigate how Zika virus (ZIKV) infection leads to microcephaly, scientists used human embryonic stem cell-derived cerebral organoids to recapitulate early stage, first trimester fetal brain development. They showed that a prototype strain of ZIKV, MR766, efficiently infects organoids and causes a decrease in overall organoid size that correlates with the kinetics of viral copy number. [Cell Stem Cell]
Full Article | Graphical Abstract | Press Release

DREADD Modulation of Transplanted DA Neurons Reveals a Novel Parkinsonian Dyskinesia Mechanism Mediated by the Serotonin 5-HT6 Receptor
Scientists used a new model where the activity of the transplanted DA neurons can be selectively modulated using a bimodal chemogenetic (DREADD) approach, allowing either enhancement or reduction of the therapeutic effect. They showed that exclusive activation of a cAMP-linked DREADD or serotonin 5-HT6 receptor, located on the grafted DA neurons, is sufficient to induce graft-induced dyskinesias. [Neuron] Abstract | Press Release

Astrocyte Intermediaries of Septal Cholinergic Modulation in the Hippocampus
Investigators showed that acetylcholine release from cholinergic septohippocampal projections causes a long-lasting GABAergic inhibition of hippocampal dentate granule cells in vivo and in vitro. [Neuron]
Abstract | Press Release

Myelinating Satellite Oligodendrocytes Are Integrated in a Glial Syncytium Constraining Neuronal High-Frequency Activity
Researchers showed that satellite oligodendrocytes (s-OLs) form compact myelin and action potentials of the host neuron evoke precisely timed Ba2+-sensitive K+ inward rectifying currents in the s-OL. [Nat Commun] Full Article | Video

Inhibition of the JAK/STAT Pathway Protects Against α-Synuclein-Induced Neuroinflammation and Dopaminergic Neurodegeneration
In vitro, α-SYN exposure activated the JAK/STAT pathway in microglia and macrophages, and treatment with AZD1480 inhibited α-SYN-induced major histocompatibility complex class II and inflammatory gene expression in microglia and macrophages by reducing STAT1 and STAT3 activation. [J Neurosci] Abstract | Press Release

β1-Integrin Restricts Astrocytic Differentiation of Adult Hippocampal Neural Stem Cells
Researchers showed that β1-integrin expression in the adult mouse dentate gyrus is localized to radial neural stem cells (NSCs) and early progenitors, but is lost in more mature progeny. Although NSCs in the hippocampal subgranular zone normally only infrequently differentiate into astrocytes, deletion of β1-integrin significantly enhanced astrocyte differentiation. [Glia] Abstract

Levetiracetam Mitigates Doxorubicin-Induced DNA and Synaptic Damage in Neurons
Searching for pathways altered by anti-cancer treatments in cultured primary neurons, the authors discovered that doxorubicin, a commonly used anti-neoplastic drug, significantly decreased neuronal survival. The drug promoted the formation of DNA double-strand breaks in primary neurons and reduced synaptic and neurite density. [Sci Rep] Full Article

Chitosan Scaffolds Induce Human Dental Pulp Stem Cells to Neural Differentiation: Potential Roles for Spinal Cord Injury Therapy
Scientists investigated the role of chitosan scaffolds in the neural differentiation of dental pulp stem cells in vitro and to assess the supportive effects of chitosan scaffolds in an animal model of spinal cord injury. [Cell Tissue Res] Abstract

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REVIEWS
Common Pitfalls of Stem Cell Differentiation: A Guide to Improving Protocols for Neurodegenerative Disease Models and Research
The authors analyzed the literature that describes differentiation of human pluripotent stem cells into three neural cell types that are commonly used to study diseases, including forebrain cholinergic neurons for Alzheimer’s disease, midbrain dopaminergic neurons for Parkinson’s disease and cortical astrocytes for neurodegenerative and psychiatric disorders. [Cell Mol Life Sci] Full Article

The Extracellular Matrix Niche Microenvironment of Neural and Cancer Stem Cells in the Brain
The authors highlight the shared properties of neural stem cells (NSCs) and cancer stem cells (CSCs) in regard to their extracellular microenvironment called the NSC/CSC niche. Moreover, they point out that extracellular matrix molecules and their complementary receptors influence the behavior of NSCs/CSCs as well as brain tumor progression. [Int J Biochem Cell Biol] Abstract

Visit our reviews page to see a complete list of reviews in the neural cell research field.
 
SCIENCE NEWS
Cellular Architecture of Human IDH1-Mutant Gliomas Revealed Using Single-Cell RNA Sequencing
Winner of the Preuss Research Award, Andrew Venteicher, MD, PhD, presented his research, Cellular Architecture of Human IDH1-Mutant Gliomas Revealed Using Single-Cell RNA Sequencing [Press release from American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS) discussing research presented at the 2016 AANS Annual Scientific Meeting, Chicago] Press Release

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INDUSTRY NEWS
ImmunoCellular Therapeutics Receives Regulatory Approval in Canada, the UK and the Netherlands to Initiate ICT-107 Phase III Trial in Newly Diagnosed Glioblastoma
ImmunoCellular Therapeutics, Ltd. announced that the company has received approval from regulatory authorities in Canada, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands to initiate the ICT-107 Phase III registration trial in patients with newly diagnosed glioblastoma. [ImmunoCellular Therapeutics, Ltd.] Press Release

University of Wisconsin and Harvard Scientists Receive Awards from ASNTR
ASNTR awarded The 2016 Bernard Sanberg Memorial Award for Brain Repair to Marina E. Emborg, MD, PhD, an associate professor of medical physics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. ASNTR also presented The Molly and Bernard Sanberg Memorial Award to Eng H. Lo, PhD, professor of neurology and radiology at Harvard University and Massachusetts General Hospital. [University of Wisconsin (Eurekalert!)] Press Release

Axiogenesis Secures Major Funding for its Expansion Course
Axiogenesis has acquired a major investment from Sino-German High-Tech Fund to further expand product development, strengthen its disease modeling capabilities and increase market presence. Axiogenesis’ current product portfolio includes several validated induced pluripotent stem cell derived cardiac and neural cell types. [Axiogenesis AG (PR Newswire Association LLC)] Press Release

US Phytotherapy Successfully Tests a Viable Treatment for Zika Virus
US Phytotherapy Inc. announced that it has completed crucial research in confirming efficacy of its drug candidate, PROACT-Z, for Zika virus inhibition in the recently completed preliminary cell culture studies. [US Phytotherapy Inc. (PR Newswire Association LLC)] Press Release

Unique Coalition to Launch Human Stem Cell Trial for Traumatic Brain Injury
ProMedica and Stemedica Cell Technologies, Inc., along with the family of hockey legend Gordie Howe, announced plans to collaborate on research to advance the treatment of traumatic brain injury. [Stemedica Cell Technologies, Inc.] Press Release
 
POLICY NEWS
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 ICCSCE 2016: 18th International Conference on Cell and Stem Cell Engineering
September 15-16, 2016
Rome, Italy

Visit our events page to see a complete list of events in the neural cell community.
 
JOB OPPORTUNITIES
NEW Postdoctoral Research Fellow – Neuroscience (McLean Hospital/Harvard Medical School)

NEW Postdoctoral Associate – Neuroscience (Yale University)

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

Investigators – Aging and Metabolism Research (Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation)

Postdoctoral Position – Neurodegenerative Disease Biology (Johns Hopkins University)

Postdoctoral Position – Bioinformatics and Brain Transcriptomics (Cornell University)

Research Associate – Neuroscience (Indiana University)

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

Postdoctoral Fellow – Neuroscience (University of Maryland Baltimore)

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

PhD Studentship – Neuroscience (The Roskamp Institute)


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