Volume 4.46 | Nov 24

Neural Cell News 4.46, November 24, 2010.
In this issue:  Science News |  Current Publications |  Industry News |  Policy News |  Events
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Process Leading to Protein Diversity in Cells Important for Proper Neuron Firing  ShareThis
Researchers have documented a novel form of splicing in the cytoplasm of a nerve cell, which dictates a special form of a potassium channel protein in the outer membrane. The channel protein is found in the dendrites of hippocampus cells — the seat of memory, learning, and spatial navigation — and is involved in coordinating the electrical firing of nerve cells. [Press release from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine discussing online prepublication in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA]



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Modulating a Protein in the Brain Could Help Control Alzheimer’s Disease
A protein known to exist in the brain for more than 30 years, called 5-lipoxygenase, has been found to play a regulatory role in the formation of the amyloid beta in the brain, the major component of plaques implicated in the development of Alzheimer’s disease, according to researchers. [Press release from ScienceDaily discussing online prepublication in Annals of Neurology]

Innovative Neural Probe Senses and Stimulates Individual Brain Cells
Imec, together with its partners within the European FP6 Program NeuroProbes, has created a new neural probe enabling electrical and chemical recording and stimulation of single neurons in the brain. Applications of the new technology are vast, ranging from tools for fundamental research on the functioning of the brain, to instruments for more precise diagnosis of brain seizures before brain-surgery. [Imec Press Release]

Professor Zvi Ram Presents Phase III Recurrent Glioblastoma Survival and Quality of Life Data from First Pivotal Study of NovoTTF-100A
Data presented from a pivotal, phase III randomized clinical trial for patients with recurrent glioblastoma tumors suggest that Tumor Treating Fields (TTF) therapy may increase median survival time and improve quality of life scores compared to best standard of care chemotherapy. [Press release from Newswise discussing data presented at the Society for Neuro-Oncology Annual Scientific Meeting]

Team Reports Molecular Structure of Dopamine Receptor
A team has solved the structure of one of the receptors that responds to the neurotransmitter dopamine. Although dopamine transmission is essential to normal brain functioning, the biological assembly of the molecules involved in this crucial neuronal interplay had not been known-until now. [Press release from The Scripps Research Institute discussing online prepublication in Science]

Important Brain Area Organized by Color and Orientation
A brain area known to play a critical role in vision is divided into compartments that respond separately to different colors and orientations, researchers have discovered. The findings have important implications for furthering our understanding of perception and attention. [Press release from Vanderbilt University discussing online prepublication in Nature Neuroscience]

Differences in Brain Development Between Males and Females May Hold Clues to Mental Health Disorders
Researchers have discovered differences in the development of the amygdala region of the brain — which is critical to the expression of emotional and social behaviors — in animal models that may help to explain why some mental health disorders are more prevalent among boys. [Press release from ScienceDaily discussing online prepublication in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA]

Mysterious Cells May Play Role in ALS
By tracking the fate of a group of immature cells that persist in the adult brain and spinal cord, Johns Hopkins researchers discovered in mice that these cells undergo dramatic changes in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). [Press release from Johns Hopkins Medicine discussing online prepublication in Neuron]

Origin of Cells Associated with Nerve Repair Discovered
Scientists have discovered the origin of a unique type of cell that can help the central nervous system regenerate. This may allow more of these cells to be produced and used to repair spinal cord injuries. [Press release from the Wellcome Trust discussing online prepublication in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA]

New Imaging Method Developed at Stanford Reveals Stunning Details of Brain Connections
Researchers applying a state-of-the-art imaging system to brain-tissue samples from mice, have been able to quickly and accurately locate and count the myriad connections between nerve cells in unprecedented detail, as well as to capture and catalog those connections’ surprising variety. [Press release from Stanford University School of Medicine discussing online prepublication in Neuron]

Sensory Detection and Discrimination: Study Reveals Neural Basis of Rapid Brain Adaptation
Scientists uncovered the biological basis of the brain’s ability for rapid adaptation: neurons located at the beginning of the brain’s sensory information pathway that change their level of simultaneous firing. [Press release from PhysOrg discussing online prepublication in Nature Neuroscience]


CURRENT PUBLICATIONS (Ranked by Impact Factor of the Journal)

Structure of the Human Dopamine D3 Receptor in Complex with a D2/D3 Selective Antagonist
The crystal structure of the human dopamine D3 receptor (D3R) in complex with the small molecule D2R/D3R-specific antagonist eticlopride reveals important features of the ligand binding pocket and extracellular loops. [Science]

Functional Organization for Color and Orientation in Macaque V4
The results help to resolve long-standing controversies regarding functional diversity and retinotopy in V4 and indicate the presence of spatially biased distribution of featural representation in V4 in the ventral visual pathway. [Nat Neurosci]

Thalamic Synchrony and the Adaptive Gating of Information Flow to Cortex
The results here suggest a shift in coding strategy with adaptation that directly controls information relayed to cortex, which could have implications for encoding velocity signatures of textures. [Nat Neurosci]

NG2(+) CNS Glial Progenitors Remain Committed to the Oligodendrocyte Lineage in Postnatal Life and following Neurodegeneration
The results indicate that NG2(+) cells in the normal CNS are oligodendrocyte precursors with restricted lineage potential and that cell loss and gliosis are not sufficient to alter the lineage potential of these progenitors. [Neuron]

Single-Synapse Analysis of a Diverse Synapse Population: Proteomic Imaging Methods and Markers
A lack of methods for measuring the protein compositions of individual synapses in situ has so far hindered the exploration and exploitation of synapse molecular diversity. Here, researchers describe the use of array tomography, a new high-resolution proteomic imaging method, to determine the composition of glutamate and GABA synapses in somatosensory cortex of Line-H-YFP Thy-1 transgenic mice. [Neuron]

Intron Retention Facilitates Splice Variant Diversity in Calcium-Activated Big Potassium Channel Populations
Researchers report that the stress axis-regulated exon (STREX)-containing calcium-activated big potassium channel splice variant expression and physiology are regulated in part by cytoplasmic splicing and intron retention. [Proc Natl Acad Sci USA]

Sex Difference in Cell Proliferation in Developing Rat Amygdala Mediated by Endocannabinoids has Implications for Social Behavior
The findings suggest that sex differences in endocannabinoids mediate a sex difference in glial cell genesis in the developing medial amygdala that impacts sex-specific behaviors in adolescence. [Proc Natl Acad Sci USA]

Neural Crest Origin of Olfactory Ensheathing Glia
Here, using fate-mapping techniques in chicken embryos and genetic lineage tracing in mice, researchers show that olfactory ensheathing cells in fact originate from the neural crest and hence share a common developmental heritage with Schwann cells. [Proc Natl Acad Sci USA]

5-lipoxygenase (5-LO) as an Endogenous Modulator of Amyloid Beta Formation In Vivo
Researchers evaluated the molecular mechanism by which 5-LO regulates amyloid beta formation in vitro and in vivo by pharmacological and genetic approaches. [Ann Neurol]


Proteostasis Therapeutics Enters into Research Collaboration with Harvard University – Laboratory of Dr. Laurie Glimcher
Proteostasis Therapeutics announced that it has entered into a research collaboration with the laboratory of Laurie H. Glimcher, M.D., Irene Heinz Given Professor of Immunology at the Harvard School of Public Health and Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. The collaborative work is focused on evaluating new signaling pathways important for the treatment of neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson’s disease and Huntington’s disease. [Proteostasis Therapeutics Press Release]

Celldex Therapeutics Reports Positive Results from Rindopepimut Phase 2 Brain Cancer Study at SNO 2010
Celldex Therapeutics, Inc. announced the presentation of complete data for the primary endpoint of ACT III, a multi-center, single arm, Phase 2 clinical trial of rindopepimut (CDX-110) in patients with newly diagnosed glioblastoma multiforme. [Celldex Therapeutics, Inc. Press Release]

Additional Phase 3 Clinical Trial Data Published in Annals of Neurology Showing Dalfampridine
Extended Release Tablets Improved Walking Ability in People with Multiple Sclerosis
Acorda Therapeutics, Inc. announced that data from the second of two pivotal dalfampridine extended release tablets Phase 3 clinical trials in multiple sclerosis were published in the October 2010 edition of Annals of Neurology. [Acorda Therapeutics, Inc. Press Release]

Merck KGaA: Enrollment Completed for ORACLE MS Study of Cladribine Tablets in Patients at Risk of Developing MS
Merck KGaA announced the completion of patient enrollment in the ORACLE MS 1 clinical study. This randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled, international Phase III trial is designed to evaluate the therapeutic effects of Cladribine Tablets on the time to conversion to multiple sclerosis (MS) in people with a first clinical event suggestive of the disease. [Merck KGaA Press Release]

Roach Elected President-Elect of Child Neurology Society
E. Steve Roach, MD, Chief of Neurology at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, has been elected President-Elect of the Child Neurology Society (CNS). [Nationwide Children’s Hospital Press Release]


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 (Listed by Date)

The American Society for Cell Biology 50th Annual Meeting
December 11-15, 2010
Philadelphia, United States

Keystone Symposia: Adult Neurogenesis
January 9-14, 2011
Taos, New Mexico

Select Biosciences 5th Annual Stem Cells World Congress
January 24-25, 2011
San Diego, United States

Phacilitate 7th Annual Cell & Gene Therapy Forum 2011
January 24-26, 2011
Washington, DC, United States

Keystone Symposia – Stem Cells in Development, Tissue Homeostasis and Disease
January 30-February 4, 2011
Santa Fe, United States

Neurodegenerative Diseases: The Molecular and Cellular Basis for Neurodegeneration
February 21-26, 2011
Taos, United States

Trends in Central Nervous System Malignancies
March 25-26, 2011
Bucharest, Romania

Wiring the Brain: Making Connections
April 12-15, 2011
Powerscourt, Ireland

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


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Product Manager – Pluripotent Stem Cells (STEMCELL Technologies)

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