Volume 5.22 | Jun 8

Neural Cell News 5.22, June 8, 2011
     In this issue: Science News | Current Publications | Industry News | Policy News | Events
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TOP STORY

UCSB Scientists Discover New Direction in Alzheimer’s Research
In what they are calling a new direction in the study of Alzheimer’s disease, scientists have made an important finding about what happens to brain cells that are destroyed in Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. [Press release from the University of California, Santa Barbara discussing online prepublication in The Journal of Biological Chemistry]

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SCIENCE NEWS

Neuroscientists Map a New Target to Wipe Pain Away
Researchers have discovered a peptide that short circuits a pathway for chronic pain. [Press release from the Indiana University School of Medicine discussing online prepublication in Nature]

Keeping Neurons Alive in Parkinson’s Patients
Researchers plan a clinical trial of an experimental gene therapy using glial-derived neurotrophic factor, a protein that helps keep neurons alive. [Massachusetts Institute of Technology Press Release]

Novel ‘Prodrug’ Alleviates Symptoms in Huntington’s and Alzheimer’s Mice
A study reveals a promising new slow-release compound that protects mice against the neurodegenerative effects of both Huntington’s and Alzheimer’s disease. [Press release from EurekAlert! discussing online prepublication in Cell]

Drugs Being Developed to Tackle Creutzfeldt–Jakob Disease Could Also Help Block Alzheimer’s, Research Shows
Scientists funded by the Medical Research Council UK and Science Foundation Ireland have identified two antibodies which could help block the onset of Alzheimer’s disease in the brain. [University College Dublin Press Release]

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CURRENT PUBLICATIONS (Ranked by Impact Factor of the Journal)

Neuronal Basis of Sequential Foraging Decisions in a Patchy Environment
Researchers found that neurons in primate (Macaca mulatta) dorsal anterior cingulate cortex, an area that is linked to reward monitoring and executive control, encode a decision variable signaling the relative value of leaving a depleting resource for a new one. [Nature]

Suppression of Inflammatory and Neuropathic Pain by Uncoupling Collapsin Response Mediator Protein 2 from the Presynaptic Ca2+ Channel Complex
Investigators report that inflammatory and neuropathic hypersensitivity can be suppressed by inhibiting the binding of collapsin response mediator protein 2 to N-type voltage-gated calcium channel and thereby reducing channel function. [Nature]

Kynurenine 3-Monooxygenase Inhibition in Blood Ameliorates Neurodegeneration
Researchers describe the synthesis and characterization of JM6, a small-molecule prodrug inhibitor of kynurenine 3-monooxygenase. [Cell]

Adult Neural Function Requires MeCP2
Researchers show using an inducible model of Rett syndrome that deletion of Methyl–CpG-Binding Protein 2 (MeCP2) in adult mice recapitulates the germline knockout phenotype, underscoring the ongoing role of MeCP2 in adult neurological function. [Science]

Synaptic Vesicle Retrieval Time is a Cell-Wide Rather Than Individual-Synapse Property
Researchers find that the kinetics of synaptic vesicle endocytosis are widely variable across different neurons and is stochastic regardless of neuronal firing histories or number of presynaptic boutons. [Science]

miR-371-3 Expression Predicts Neural Differentiation Propensity in Human Pluripotent Stem Cells
In this study, researchers characterized 13 human embryonic stem cell (hESC) and 26 human induced pluripotent stem cell (hiPSC) lines to identify markers that predict neural differentiation behavior. [Cell Stem Cell]

Transcription Factor-Induced Lineage Selection of Stem-Cell-Derived Neural Progenitor Cells
Researchers show that transcription factors like Lmx1a, Phox2b, Nkx2.2, and Olig2 can induce desired neuronal lineages from most expressing neural progenitor cells by a mechanism resembling developmental binary cell-fate switching. [Cell Stem Cell]

Kinase Inhibitors Modulate Huntingtin Cell Localization and Toxicity
Investigators show that the stress-dependent phosphorylation of huntingtin at Ser13 and Ser16 affects N17 conformation and targets full-length huntingtin to chromatin-dependent subregions of the nucleus, the mitotic spindle and cleavage furrow during cell division. [Nat Chem Biol]

The Kynurenine Pathway Modulates Neurodegeneration in a Drosophila Model of Huntington’s Disease
Researchers exploit a transgenic Drosophila melanogaster model of Huntington’s Disease to interrogate the therapeutic potential of kynurenine pathway manipulation. [Curr Biol]

Maturation Time of New Granule Cells in the Dentate Gyrus of Adult Macaque Monkeys Exceeds Six Months
Investigators studied two groups of adult macaque monkeys to determine the time course of adult neurogenesis in the dentate gyrus of the hippocampus. [Proc Natl Acad Sci USA]

INDUSTRY NEWS

$1.1 Million Donation for Pioneering Stem Cell MS Trial
Multiple Sclerosis research is to benefit from a $1.1 million donation to further a pioneering bone marrow stem cell trial, which has been shown to have possible benefits for the treatment of the disease. [University of Bristol Press Release]

Tocagen’s First-in-Human Clinical Trial of Toca 511 Enrolling Patients with High Grade Glioma
Tocagen Inc. announced the company is enrolling patients with recurrent high grade glioma, such as those with glioblastoma multiforme, in its
first-in-human clinical trial of Toca 511. [PR Newswire]

Neuralstem and Summit Pharmaceuticals Enter Into Exclusive Agency Agreement to License NSI-189 Rights in Japan
Neuralstem, Inc. announced that it has signed an exclusive agency licensing agreement with Summit Pharmaceuticals International Corporation, of Tokyo, Japan, a wholly owned subsidiary of Sumitomo Corporation Group. [Neuralstem, Inc. Press Release]

Researchers at Nationwide Children’s Hospital Receive New Grant to Study How Pediatric Brain Tumor, Ependymoma, Develops
Armed with new grant support, investigators at Nationwide Children’s Hospital plan to examine how a common gene of the nervous system leads to the development of a devastating brain tumor, ependymoma. [Nationwide Children’s Hospital 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 Neuroscience 2011
November 12-16, 2011
Washington, DC, United States

Visit our
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JOB OPPORTUNITIES

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Microarray Lab Scientist and Manager (NeuroScience Inc.)

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