Volume 4.22 | Jun 9

Neural Cell News 4.22, June 9, 2010.
In this issue:  Science News |  Current Publications |  Industry News |  Policy News |  Events
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TOP STORY


‘Remote Control’ for Cholesterol Regulation Discovered in Brain
Circulation of cholesterol is regulated in the brain by the hunger-signaling hormone ghrelin, researchers say. The finding points to a new potential target for the pharmacologic control of cholesterol levels. [Press release from the University of Cincinnati discussing online prepublication in Nature Neuroscience]

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SCIENCE NEWS


Protein Lets Brain Repair Damage from Multiple Sclerosis, Other Disorders
A protein that helps build the brain in infants and children may aid efforts to restore damage from multiple sclerosis (MS) and other neurodegenerative diseases, researchers have found. [Press release from Washington University in St. Louis discussing online prepublication in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences]

Immune System Helps Transplanted Stem Cells Navigate in Central Nervous System
By discovering how adult neural stem cells navigate to injury sites in the central nervous system, researchers have helped solve a puzzle in the creation of stem cell-based treatments: How do these cells know where to go? [Press release from UC Irvine discussing online prepublication in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences]

Reducing Alzheimer’s-Related Protein in Young Brains Improves Learning in Down Syndrome Animal Model
Reducing a protein called beta-amyloid in young mice with a condition resembling Down syndrome improves their ability to learn, researchers have found. [Press release from ScienceDaily discussing online prepublication in PLoS ONE]

Experimental Targeted Therapy Shows Early Promise Against Medulloblastomas – A Type of Childhood Brain Cancer
Researchers presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology findings of a pediatric brain tumor study using an experimental drug that targets the underlying genetic makeup of the tumor. [Press release from St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital discussing research presented at the 46th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology]  

New Cause of Cognitive Decline in Aging Population Discovered in Nerve Cell Specializations
Researchers have found that certain types of specializations on nerve cells called “spines” are depleted as a person ages, causing cognitive decline in the part of the brain that mediates the highest levels of learning. [Press release from ScienceDaily discussing online prepublication in the Journal of Neuroscience]

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CURRENT PUBLICATIONS (Ranked by Impact Factor of the Journal)


Melanocortin Signaling in the CNS Directly Regulates Circulating Cholesterol
The data suggest that a neural circuit in the brain is directly involved in the control of cholesterol metabolism by the liver. [Nat Neurosci]

Dynamin I Phosphorylation by GSK3 Controls Activity-Dependent Bulk Endocytosis of Synaptic Vesicles
Glycogen synthase kinase 3 (GSK3) is a critical enzyme in neuronal physiology; however, it is not yet known whether it has any specific role in presynaptic function. Researchers found that GSK3 phosphorylates a residue on the large GTPase dynamin I (Ser-774) both in vitro and in primary rat neuronal cultures. [Nat Neurosci]

Molecular Maps of the Reorganization of Genome-Nuclear Lamina Interactions during Differentiation
To visualize this process in molecular detail, researchers generated high-resolution maps of genome-nuclear lamina interactions during subsequent differentiation of mouse embryonic stem cells via lineage-committed neural precursor cells into terminally differentiated astrocytes. [Mol Cell]

Bone Morphogenetic Protein-7 Release from Endogenous Neural Precursor Cells Suppresses the Tumourigenicity of Stem-Like Glioblastoma Cells
Here, researchers show that endogenous neural precursor cells perform an anti-tumour response by specifically targeting stem-like brain tumour cells. [Brain]

Migration of Engrafted Neural Stem Cells is Mediated by CXCL12 Signaling Through CXCR4 in a Viral Model of Multiple Sclerosis
The data highlight the importance of the CXCL12:CXCR4 pathway in regulating homing of engrafted stem cells to sites of tissue damage within the CNS of mice persistently infected with a neurotropic virus undergoing immune-mediated demyelination. [Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A]

CXCR4 Promotes Differentiation of Oligodendrocyte Progenitors and Remyelination
The data indicate that CXCR4 activation, by promoting the differentiation of oligodendrocyte precursor cells into oligodendrocytes, is critical for remyelination of the injured adult CNS. [Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A]

Bone Marrow Mononuclear Cells Promote Proliferation of Endogenous Neural Stem Cells Through Vascular Niches After Cerebral Infarction
Herein researchers examine whether bone marrow mononuclear cells affected the properties of endothelial cells and neural stem/progenitor cells, and whether they promoted neurogenesis and functional recovery after stroke. [Stem Cells]

Selective Changes in Thin Spine Density and Morphology in Monkey Prefrontal Cortex Correlate with Aging-Related Cognitive Impairment
Researchers have investigated the effects of aging on pyramidal neurons and synapse density in layer III of area 46 in dorsolateral prefrontal cortex of young and aged, male and female rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta) that were tested for cognitive status through the delayed non-matching-to-sample and delayed response tasks. [J Neurosci]

Fragile X Protein Controls Neural Stem Cell Proliferation in the Drosophila Brain
The results demonstrate that Fragile X protein is required during brain development to control the exit from quiescence and proliferative capacity of neuroblasts as well as neuron production, which may provide insights into the autistic component of Fragile X syndrome. [Hum Mol Genet]

Lowering Beta-Amyloid Levels Rescues Learning and Memory in a Down Syndrome Mouse Model
It is not known if beta-amyloid contributes to intellectual disability in younger individuals. Researchers used a gamma-secretase inhibitor to lower beta-amyloid levels in young mice that model Down syndrome (DS). This treatment corrected learning deficits characteristic of these mice, suggesting that beta-amyloid-lowering therapies might improve cognitive function in young DS patients. [PLoS ONE]





INDUSTRY NEWS


New Brain Research Institute Chooses Home in Johns Hopkins Bioscience Park
The Lieber Institute for Brain Development, a neuroscience research institute dedicated to developing novel treatments, diagnostic tests, and insights into disorders arising from abnormalities in brain development, has announced that it will establish a permanent research facility at the Science + Technology Park at Johns Hopkins, next to the Johns Hopkins East Baltimore medical campus. [Johns Hopkins Medicine Press Release]

StemCells, Inc. Grants Research License to Children’s Hospital of Orange County
This license authorizes the Children’s Hospital of Orange County to proliferate, maintain and use human neural stem cells for non-commercial purposes. [StemCells, Inc. Press Release]

Immunocellular Brain Cancer Vaccine Shows Promise
A small, early-stage trial of a therapeutic brain cancer vaccine developed by ImmunoCellular Therapeutics Ltd. showed that nearly half the patients were alive without their cancer worsening 18 months after diagnosis, the company said. [Reuters]

The 2010 Kavli Prizes Honors Eight Scientists in Astrophysics, Nanotech and Neuroscience
Eight scientists will share three million-dollar Kavli Prizes for their contributions in the fields of astrophysics, nanoscience and neuroscience. [Scientific American]

Dr. Michael D. Ehlers, Distinguished Neurobiologist, Joins Pfizer
Pfizer Inc. announced that Michael D. Ehlers, M.D., Ph.D., has joined the company as Chief Scientific Officer for Neuroscience Research. [Pfizer Press Release]



POLICY NEWS


City of Hope Receives FDA Approval for First Human Neural Stem Cell Clinical Trial to Treat Brain Tumors
City of Hope researchers received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to conduct the first-in-human study of a neural stem cell-based therapy targeting recurrent high-grade gliomas. [Food and Drug Administration, United States]

Drug Substitutes for Training in Rats, Inducing a Memory of Safety
Researchers have found a way to pharmacologically induce a memory of safety in the brain of rats, mimicking the effect of training. The finding suggests possibilities for new treatments for individuals suffering from anxiety disorders. [National Institute of Mental Health, United States]

NIH-Supported Study Looks for Earliest Changes in the Brain That May Lead to Alzheimer’s Disease
Volunteers are being sought for a clinical study examining the subtle changes that may take place in the brains of older people many years before overt symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease appear. [National Institutes of Health, United States]

The New York Stem Cell Foundation Awards Fellowships to Eight Innovative Stem Cell Scientists
The New York Stem Cell Foundation (NYSCF) announced the award of eight new NYSCF-Druckenmiller Fellows. [The New York Stem Cell Foundation Press Release]

Gene Test Hope for Personalized Cancer Therapy
National Health Service patients are to be offered personalized cancer treatment under a pilot scheme to carry out genetic tests on individuals’ tumours. [National Health Service, United Kingdom]



EVENTS

8th International Conference on Cell and Stem Cell Engineering
June 11-12, 2010
Dublin, Ireland

International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR) 8th Annual Meeting
June 16-19, 2010
San Francisco, United States

BIT’s 1st World Congress of NeuroTalk 2010
June 25-28, 2010
Singapore City, Singapore

7th Federation of European Neuroscience Societies (FENS) Forum of European Neuroscience
July 3-7, 2010
Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Translational Cancer Medicine 2010 – USA
July 11-14, 2010
San Francisco, United States

United Kingdom National Stem Cell Network (UKNSCN) Annual Scientific Conference
July 12-14, 2010
Nottingham, United Kingdom

Select Biosciences 3rd Annual Stem Cells Europe Conference
August 24-25, 2010
Edinburgh, Scotland

Joint Metastasis Research Society – American Association of Cancer Research Conference on Metastasis and the Tumor Microenvironment
September 12-15, 2010
Philadelphia, United States

Stem Cells USA & Regenerative Medicine Congress 2010
September 13-15, 2010
Philadelphia, United States

4th American Association of Cancer Research International Conference on Molecular Diagnostics in Cancer Therapeutic Development
September 27-30, 2010
Denver, United States

6th International Symposium on Neuroprotection and Neurorepair
October 1-4, 2010
Rostock, Germany

2010 World Stem Cell Summit
October 4-6, 2010
Detroit, United States

Translational Cancer Research for Basic Scientists
October 17-22, 2010
Boston, United States

Fraunhofer Life Science Symposium 2010
October 29-30, 2010
Leipzig, Germany

Stem Cell Society Singapore Symposium 2010: Translating Science to Therapy
November 2-3, 2010
Singapore City, Singapore

40th Annual Meeting of the Society for Neuroscience 2010
November 13-17, 2010
San Diego, United States

Stem Cell Network 10th Annual Scientific Meeting
November 22-24, 2010
Calgary, Canada

Visit our events page to stay up to date with the latest events in the cell, gene and immunotherapy community.


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