Volume 4.49 | Dec 15

Neural Cell News 4.49, December 15, 2010.
In this issue:  Science News |  Current Publications |  Industry News |  Policy News |  Events
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Cell of Origin for Brain Tumors may Predict Response to Therapy  ShareThis
A UCSF-led team of scientists has identified for the first time that progenitor rather than neural stem cells underly a type of glioma called
oligodendroglioma. [Press release from the University of California, San Francisco discussing online prepublication in Cancer Cell]



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Alzheimer’s Patients Can’t Effectively Clear Sticky Plaque Component
Neurologists finally have an answer to one of the most important questions about Alzheimer’s disease: Do rising brain levels of a plaque-forming substance mean patients are making more of it or that they can no longer clear it from their brains as effectively? [Press release from Washington University in St. Louis discussing online prepublication in Science]

Gene That Causes Some Cases of Familial ALS Discovered
Using a new gene sequencing method, a team of researchers led by scientists from Johns Hopkins and the National Institutes of Health has discovered a gene that appears to cause some instances of familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). [Press release from Newswise discussing online prepublication in Neuron]

Yale Scientists Find Molecular Glue Needed To Wire the Brain
Yale University researchers have found that a single molecule not only connects brain cells but also changes how we learn. The findings may help researchers discover ways to improve memory and could lead to new therapies to correct neurological disorders. [Press release from Yale University discussing online prepublication in Neuron]

Different Origins Discovered for Medulloblastoma Tumor Subtypes
Investigators have demonstrated for the first time that the most common malignant childhood brain tumor, medulloblastoma, is actually several different diseases, each arising from distinct cells destined to become different structures. [Press release from St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital discussing online prepublication in Nature]

Manchester Scientists Discover New Way of Seeing
Signals from the rod and cone cells in the eyes send information on movement, shape and colour to the brain via neurons that form the optic nerve. The Manchester team has found 2% of these neurons, that produce a light sensitive protein known as melanopsin, play an integral role in measuring the brightness of the world around us. [Press release from The University of Manchester discussing online prepublication in PLoS Biology]


CURRENT PUBLICATIONS (Ranked by Impact Factor of the Journal)

Subtypes of Medulloblastoma Have Distinct Developmental Origins
Here researchers provide evidence that a discrete subtype of medulloblastoma that contains activating mutations in the WNT pathway effector CTNNB1 arises outside the cerebellum from cells of the dorsal brainstem. [Nature]

Decreased Clearance of CNS Beta-Amyloid in Alzheimer’s Disease
Using metabolic labeling, researchers measured Abeta42 and Abeta40 production and clearance rates in the CNS of participants with Alzheimer’s disease and cognitively normal controls. [Science]

Non-Stem Cell Origin for Oligodendroglioma
Using magnetic resonance imaging and detailed developmental analyses, researchers demonstrated that murine oligodendroglioma cells show characteristics of oligodendrocyte progenitor cells (OPCs) and are therapy sensitive, and that OPC rather than neural stem cell markers enriched for tumor formation. [Cancer Cell]

SynCAM 1 Adhesion Dynamically Regulates Synapse Number and Impacts Plasticity and Learning
Synaptogenesis is required for wiring neuronal circuits in the developing brain and continues to remodel adult networks. However, the molecules organizing synapse development and maintenance in vivo remain incompletely understood. Researchers now demonstrate that the immunoglobulin adhesion molecule SynCAM 1 dynamically alters synapse number and plasticity. [Neuron]

Melanopsin Contributions to Irradiance Coding in the Thalamo-Cortical Visual System
The findings identify retinal ganglion cells expressing the photopigment melanopsin (mRGCs) as a potential origin for aspects of visual perception and indicate that they may support vision in people suffering retinal degeneration. [PLoS Biol]

Expression Patterns of Neural Genes in Euperipatoides kanangrensis Suggest Divergent Evolution of Onychophoran and Euarthropod Neurogenesis
Here researchers show that the nature and the selection of onychophoran neural precursors are distinct from euarthropods. [Proc Natl Acad Sci USA]

GABA(A) Receptor Signalling Induces Osmotic Swelling and Cell Cycle Activation of Neonatal Prominin+ Precursors
Researchers have here investigated the hypothesis that GABA may regulate neural stem cell proliferation by inducing cell size changes. [Stem Cells]

Endogenous Expression of Matriptase in Neural Progenitor Cells Promotes Cell Migration and Neuron Differentiation
Recent studies show that type II transmembrane serine proteases play important roles in diverse cellular activities and pathological processes. Their expression and functions in the central nervous system, however, are largely unexplored. In this study, researchers show that the expression of one such member, matriptase, was cell-type restricted and primarily expressed in neural progenitor cells and neurons. [J Biol Chem]

Interaction of Sox1, Sox2, Sox3 and Oct4 During Primary Neurogenesis
Sox1, Sox2 and Sox3, the three members of the SoxB1 subgroup of transcription factors, have similar sequences, expression patterns and overexpression phenotypes. Thus, it has been suggested that they have redundant roles in the maintenance of neural stem cells in development. However, the long-term effect of overexpression or their function in combination with their putative co-factor Oct4 has not been tested. Here, we show that overexpression of sox1, sox2, sox3 or oct91, the Xenopus homologue of Oct4, results in the same phenotype: an expanded neural plate at the expense of epidermis and delayed neurogenesis. [Dev Biol]


Sangamo BioSciences Announces Publication of Data From Program to Develop a ZFP Therapeutic® for Parkinson’s Disease
Sangamo BioSciences, Inc. announced the publication of preclinical data demonstrating protection of nerve tissue and functional improvements in motor symptoms in a validated rat model of Parkinson’s disease using Sangamo’s zinc finger protein (ZFP) technology. [Sangamo Biosciences, Inc. Press Release]

Cytokinetics Announces Successful Completion of Phase IIA “Evidence of Effect” Clinical Trial of CK-2017357 in ALS Patients
Cytokinetics, Incorporated announced the successful completion of its Phase IIa “Evidence of Effect” (EoE) clinical trial of CK-2017357 in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, during an oral presentation included in the Clinical Trials Session at the 21st International Symposium on ALS/MND in Orlando, Florida. [Cytokinetics, Inc. Press Release]

ReNeuron Announces Fundraising
ReNeuron Group plc announces that it has raised £10 million, before expenses. [ReNeuron Group plc Press Release]

Dr. Douglas Coulter Wins Epilepsy Award
Douglas A. Coulter, PhD, a neuroscientist at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, received the 2010 Epilepsy Research Recognition Award for Basic Science from the American Epilepsy Society. [The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Press Release]

DFG Research Center ‘Molecular Physiology Of The Brain’ Extended By 4 Years
After two successful funding periods, the DFG Research Centre “Molecular Physiology of the Brain” (CMPB) at the University of Gottingen has been extended and will now receive funding for a further four years. [Medical News Today 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)

27th Annual Pittsburgh Schizophrenia Conference
December 17, 2010
Pittsburgh, United States

The 3rd Guangzhou International Conference on Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine
December 17-19, 2010
Guangzhou, China

Keystone Symposia — Adult Neurogenesis
January 9-14, 2011
Taos, United States

5th Annual Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine World Congress
January 24-25, 2011
San Diego, United States

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

Cell Culture World Congress 2011 – Optimising Cell Culture Development for Biopharmaceutical, Bioprocessing and Manufacture
February 28-March 2, 2011
Munich, Germany

PITTCON Conference & Expo 2011
March 13-18, 2011
Atlanta, United States

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

United Kingdom National Stem Cell Network 2011 Annual Scientific Conference
March 30-April 1, 2011
York, United Kingdom

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

International Neural Transplantation and Repair 2011 (INTR11)
May 4-8, 2011
Clearwater Beach, United States
World Stem Cells & Regenerative Medicine Congress 2011
May 9-11, 2011
London, United Kingdom

13th Annual C21 BioVentures
May 24-26, 2011
Napa, United States

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


Lab Technologist – Cell Separation (STEMCELL Technologies)

Lab Technologist – Human Embryonic and Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells (STEMCELL Technologies)

Lab Technologist – Tissue Culture (STEMCELL Technologies)

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