Volume 5.14 | Apr 13

Neural Cell News 5.14, April 13, 2011
     In this issue: Science News | Current Publications | Industry News | Policy News | Events
 
TOP STORY

Experimental Alzheimer’s Disease Drugs Might Help Patients With Nerve Injuries: Compounds Helped Nerve Extensions Re-Grow Faster in Mouse Studies
Drugs already in development to treat Alzheimer’s disease may eventually be tapped for a different purpose altogether: re-growing the ends of injured nerves to relieve pain and paralysis. [Press release from Johns Hopkins Medicine discussing online prepublication in Nature]

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SCIENCE NEWS

New Target for Developing Effective Anti-Depressants
For the first time in a human model, scientists have discovered how anti-depressants make new brain cells. [Press release from King’s College
London discussing online prepublication in Molecular Psychiatry]

Allen Institute for Brain Science Announces First Comprehensive Gene Map of the Human Brain
The Allen Institute for Brain Science has released the world’s first anatomically and genomically comprehensive human brain map, a previously
unthinkable feat made possible through leading-edge technology and more than four years of rigorous studies and documentation. [Allen Institute for Brain Science Press Release]

Patients’ Own Cells Yield New Insights into the Biology of Schizophrenia
Scientists report both that neurons generated from the patient-derived induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) made fewer connections with each
other, and that Loxapine, an antipsychotic drug commonly used to treat schizophrenia, restored neuronal connectivity in iPSC neurons from all patients. [Press release from the Salk Institute for Biological Studies discussing online prepublication in Nature]

Scripps Research Scientists Identify Mechanism of Long-Term Memory
Using advanced imaging technology, scientists have identified a change in chemical influx into a specific set of neurons in the common fruit
fly that is fundamental to long-term memory. [Press release from The Scripps Research Institute discussing online prepublication in the Journal of Neuroscience]

New Clue Found for Fragile X Syndrome-Epilepsy Link
The protein that is missing in fragile X syndrome, FMRP, controls the production of a protein that regulates electrical signals in brain
cells, scientists at have found. [Press release from Emory University discussing online prepublication in the Journal of Neuroscience]

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CURRENT PUBLICATIONS (Ranked by Impact Factor of the Journal)

DISC1-Dependent Switch from Progenitor Proliferation to Migration in the Developing Cortex
Here researchers report that phosphorylation of DISC1, a major susceptibility factor for several mental disorders, acts as a molecular switch from maintaining proliferation of mitotic progenitor cells to activating migration of postmitotic neurons in mice. [Nature]

Modeling Schizophrenia Using Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells
To elucidate the cellular and molecular defects of schizophrenia (SCZD), researchers directly reprogrammed fibroblasts from SCZD patients into human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) and subsequently differentiated these disorder-specific hiPSCs into neurons. [Nature]

Neuronal GPCR Controls Innate Immunity by Regulating Noncanonical Unfolded Protein Response Genes
Here, researchers found that the nervous system controlled the activity of a noncanonical unfolded protein response pathway required for innate immunity in Caenorhabditis elegans. [Science]

Nonreceptor Tyrosine Kinase BMX Maintains Self-Renewal and Tumorigenic Potential of Glioblastoma Stem Cells by Activating STAT3
Here researchers demonstrate that the bone marrow X-linked (BMX) nonreceptor tyrosine kinase activates STAT3 signaling to maintain self-renewal and tumorigenic potential of glioblastoma stem cells. [Cancer Cell]

Antidepressants Increase Human Hippocampal Neurogenesis by Activating the Glucocorticoid Receptor
In this study, researchers used human hippocampal progenitor cells to investigate the molecular pathways involved in the antidepressant-induced modulation of neurogenesis. [Mol Psychiatry]

Structural Basis for the Role of Inhibition in Facilitating Adult Brain Plasticity
Here researchers present a structural mechanism for the role of inhibition in experience-dependent plasticity. [Nat Neurosci]

SFRPs Act as Negative Modulators of ADAM10 to Regulate Retinal Neurogenesis
Researchers found that genetic inactivation of Sfrp1 and Sfrp2, two postulated Wnt antagonists, perturbs retinal neurogenesis. [Nat Neurosci]

A New Subtype of Progenitor Cell in the Mouse Embryonic Neocortex
Here researchers show that radial glia–like progenitor cells are present in the mouse embryonic neocortex. [Nat Neurosci]

The Long-Term Memory Trace Formed in the Drosophila α/β Mushroom Body Neurons Is Abolished in Long-Term Memory Mutants
Researchers used in vivo functional optical imaging to measure the magnitude of a previously characterized long-term memory trace, which is manifested as increased calcium influx into the axons of α/β mushroom body neurons in response to the conditioned odor. [J Neurosci]

Fragile X Mental Retardation Protein Regulates Protein Expression and mRNA Translation of the Potassium Channel Kv4.2
Here, researchers show that total and plasma membrane protein levels of Kv4.2, the major potassium channel regulating hippocampal neuronal excitability, are reduced in the brain of a fragile X syndrome mouse model. [J Neurosci]

INDUSTRY NEWS

Dr. Eva Feldman, Principal Investigator, Presents Interim Safety Results for Neuralstem ALS Trial
Neuralstem, Inc. announced that Eva Feldman, M.D., Ph.D., Principal Investigator of the Phase I safety trial of Neuralstem’s human spinal
cord stem cells in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and unpaid Neuralstem consultant, presented interim safety data on the first nine patients. [Neuralstem Inc. Press Release]

Pioneering Neuroscientist Honored With The Mortimer D. Sackler, M.D. Prize for Distinguished Achievement in Developmental Psychobiology
Weill Cornell Medical College and the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons have announced that The Mortimer D. Sackler,
M.D. Prize for Distinguished Achievement in Developmental Psychobiology has been awarded to The Rockefeller University’s Dr. Fernando Nottebohm for his seminal work in songbirds that has led to the discovery of neuronal replacement. [Weill Cornell Medical College Press Release]

Patent Dispute Threatens US Alzheimer’s Research
Among people who study Alzheimer’s disease, the Alzheimer’s Institute of America (AIA), based in St Louis, Missouri, is best known for filing
lawsuits against companies and researchers — a practice that scientists say could hamper the progress of research into combating the dreaded disease. [NatureNews]

Maine Neurologist Elected President of American Academy of Neurology
The American Academy of Neurology, the world’s largest professional association of neurologists with more than 24,000 members, has elected
Bruce Sigsbee, MD, FAAN, as its 32nd president. [American Academy of Neurology Press Release]

EMD Serono’s Commitment to Advance Multiple Sclerosis Care and Research Underscored by Data to Be Presented at AAN 2011 Meeting
EMD Serono, Inc., an affiliate of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, announced that new data from the company’s multiple sclerosis portfolio
will be presented at the 63rd Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Neurology (AAN). [EMD Serono, Inc. Press Release]

Biotie Announces start of Phase 2b Trial of SYN115 in Parkinson’s Disease
Biotie Therapies Corp., a development stage company focused on diseases of the central nervous system, announced the start of a Phase
2b trial evaluating SYN115 in Parkinson’s Disease. Results from the study are expected in the first half of 2013. [Biotie Therapies Corporation 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
Visit our events page to see a complete list of events in the neural cell community.
JOB OPPORTUNITIES

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

Research Position on Imaging Neurodegeneration (Singapore Bioimaging Consortium)

Tenure Track, Assistant/Associate Professor (University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine)

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