Volume 5.28 | Jul 20

Neural Cell News 5.28, July 20, 2011
     In this issue: Science News | Current Publications | Industry News | Policy News | Events
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Researchers Restore Breathing After Spinal Cord Injury in Rodent Model
Researchers bridged a spinal cord injury and biologically regenerated lost nerve connections to the diaphragm, restoring breathing in an adult rodent model of spinal cord injury. [Press release from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine discussing online prepublication in Nature]



Stem Cells Restore Cognitive Abilities Impaired by Brain Cancer Treatment
Human neural stem cells are capable of helping people regain learning and memory abilities lost due to radiation treatment for brain tumors, a study suggests. [Press release from the University of California, Irvine discussing online prepublication in Cancer Research]

Newly Identified Gene Mutation Linked to Parkinson’s
A team of researchers has identified a genetic mutation that causes late-onset Parkinson’s disease, paving the way to a new target for potential treatments that may halt or cure the debilitating neurodegenerative disease. [Press release from The University of British Columbia discussing online prepublication in The American Journal of Human Genetics]

Researchers Uncover a New Piece of the Puzzle in the Development of Our Nervous System
Scientists studying neural development aim to provide insight into the mechanisms that build our nervous system. [Press release from the Institut de Recherches Cliniques de Montréal discussing online prepublication in Neuron]

AMPK Amplifies Huntington’s Disease
Researchers describe how hyperactivation of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) promotes neurodegeneration in Huntington’s disease. [Press release from The Rockefeller University Press discussing online prepublication in The Journal of Cell Biology]

Gene that Causes Type 2 Diabetes May Also Cause Alzheimer’s
Researchers have found that a gene that causes diabetes kills nerve cells in the brain, possibly resulting in Alzheimer’s disease. [Press release from Mount Sinai School of Medicine discussing research presented at the Alzheimer’s Association’s Annual International Conference]

Cancer Cells and Stem Cells Share Same Origin, Researchers Say
Researchers successfully converted human skin cells into brain cells by suppressing the expression of p53, a protein encoded by a widely studied oncogene. [Press release from the University of Southern California discussing online prepublication in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA]

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CURRENT PUBLICATIONS (Ranked by Impact Factor of the Journal)

Functional Regeneration of Respiratory Pathways After Spinal Cord Injury
Here researchers show that, after cervical spinal cord injury, the expression of chondroitin sulphate proteoglycans associated with the perineuronal net is upregulated around the phrenic motor neurons. [Nature]

MicroRNA-Mediated Conversion of Human Fibroblasts to Neurons
Here researchers show that expression of mircoRNA (miR)-9/9* and miR-124 in human fibroblasts induces their conversion into neurons, a process facilitated by NEUROD2. [Nature]

Mammalian Gcm Genes Induce Hes5 Expression by Active DNA Demethylation and Induce Neural Stem Cells
Researchers found that mammalian Gcm1 and Gcm2 (glial cells missing 1 and 2) are involved in the epigenetic regulation of Hes5 transcription by DNA demethylation independently of DNA replication. [Nat Neurosci]

Ephrin-Mediated Cis-Attenuation of Eph Receptor Signaling Is Essential for Spinal Motor Axon Guidance
Researchers show that changes in motor neuron ephrin expression result in trajectory selection defects mirrored by changes in growth cone sensitivity to ephrins in vitro, arguing for ephrin cis-attenuation of Eph function. [Neuron]

VPS35 Mutations in Parkinson Disease
This study implicates disruption of VPS35 and retromer-mediated trans-membrane protein sorting, rescue, and recycling in the neurodegenerative process leading to Parkinson disease. [Am J Hum Genet]

Nuclear Translocation of AMPK-α1 Potentiates Striatal Neurodegeneration in Huntington’s Disease
Researchers report that activation of the α1 isoform of adenosine monophosphate–activated protein kinase (AMPK-α1) occurred in striatal neurons of humans and mice with Huntington’s disease. [J Cell Biol]

Increase Developmental Plasticity of Human Keratinocytes with Gene Suppression
In this study, primary human keratinocytes were successfully induced into a stage of plasticity by transient inactivation of p53, without enforced expression of any of the transcription factors previously used in induced pluripotent stem cell generation. [Proc Nat Acad Sci USA]

Human Neural Stem Cell Transplantation Ameliorates Radiation-Induced Cognitive Dysfunction
The potential of using stem cell replacement as a strategy to combat radiation-induced cognitive decline was addressed by irradiating athymic nude rats followed 2 days later by intrahippocampal transplantation with human neural stem cells. [Cancer Res]

Rapid and Efficient Generation of Functional Motor Neurons from Human Pluripotent Stem Cells Using Gene Delivered Transcription Factor Codes
Researchers evaluated the motor neuron (MN) gene expression profile of retinoic acid/sonic hedgehog-differentiated human embryonic stem cells to identify rate-limiting factors involved in MN development. [Mol Ther]

Electrospun Nanofibrillar Surfaces Promote Neuronal Differentiation and Function from Human Embryonic Stem Cells
In this study, the impact of randomly oriented electrospun polyamide nanofibrous architecture on neurogenic differentiation of human embryonic stem cells compared to the lack of nanofibrous features in vitro in a neural inducing condition was examined. [Tissue Eng Part A]


BrainStorm Signs MOU for Collaboration with Massachusetts General Hospital and University of Massachusetts Medical School to Conduct Human Clinical Trials in the United States
BrainStorm Cell Therapeutics Inc. announced that it has entered into a Memorandum of Understating with Massachusetts General Hospital and the University of Massachusetts Medical School in anticipation of applying for FDA approval to begin ALS human clinical trials in the United States. [BrainStorm Cell Therapeutics Inc. Press Release]

Celprogen Announces Development of Neuronal Stem Cells Derived from Adult Human Brains; May Someday Be an Effective Therapy for Alzheimer`s Patients
Celprogen has developed neuronal stem cells that can be differentiated into neurons as an alternative for cell based therapy for neurological diseases including Alzheimer’s patients. [Reuters]

Lilly Presents Follow-Up Data on Semagacestat to Assist Future Alzheimer’s Disease Research
Data were presented from the first of two Phase III trials of semagacestat, including data from a 32 week follow-up period after dosing was halted in August 2010. [Eli Lilly and Company Press Release]

Impax Pharmaceuticals Awarded Michael J. Fox Foundation Grant for Ongoing Research of IPX066 for Parkinson’s Disease
Impax Pharmaceuticals has been awarded funding of up to $400,000 by The Michael J. Fox Foundation for ongoing clinical research of the Company’s investigational carbidopa-levodopa extended release product IPX066, which is intended to treat the motor symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. [Impax Laboratories, Inc. Press Release]


National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke; Notice of Closed Meetings (FR Doc No: 2011-18286) [National Institutes of Health, United States]

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)

NEW World Orphan Drug Congress Asia 2011
September 14-16, 2011
Seoul, Korea

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