Volume 5.39 | Oct 5

Neural Cell News 5.39, October 5, 2011
     In this issue: Publications | Industry News | Policy News | Events | Jobs
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TOP STORY

Scientists Identify New Stem Cell Activity in Human Brain
Researchers have identified a new pathway of stem cell activity in the brain that represents potential targets of brain injuries affecting newborns. [Press release from St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center discussing online prepublication in Nature] Press Release | Abstract

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PUBLICATIONS (Ranked by Impact Factor of the Journal)

Absence of CNTNAP2 Leads to Epilepsy, Neuronal Migration Abnormalities, and Core Autism-Related Deficits
Here, investigators characterize a mouse knockout of the Cntnap2 gene, which is strongly associated with autism spectrum disorders and allied neurodevelopmental disorders. [Cell] Abstract

Direct Lineage Conversion of Terminally Differentiated Hepatocytes to Functional Neurons
Here, researchers demonstrate that terminally differentiated hepatocytes can be directly converted into functional induced neuronal cells. [Cell Stem Cell] Abstract

Distinct Hypothalamic Neurons Mediate Estrogenic Effects on Energy Homeostasis and Reproduction
The results indicate that estrogens act on distinct hypothalamic estrogen receptor-α neurons to regulate different aspects of energy homeostasis and reproduction. [Cell Metab] Abstract

A Dual Shaping Mechanism for Postsynaptic Ephrin-B3 as a Receptor That Sculpts Dendrites and Synapses
Researchers find that ephrin-B3, a transmembrane ligand for Eph receptors, functions postsynaptically as a receptor to transduce reverse signals into developing dendrites of mouse hippocampal neurons. [Nat Neurosci] Abstract

Accelerating Axonal Growth Promotes Motor Recovery After Peripheral Nerve Injury in Mice
Heat shock protein 27 is a regeneration-associated protein that accelerates axonal growth in vitro. Here, researchers have shown that it can also do this in mice after peripheral nerve injury. [J Clin Invest] Abstract | Press Release

Grafted Human-Induced Pluripotent Stem-Cell–Derived Neurospheres Promote Motor Functional Recovery After Spinal Cord Injury in Mice
Here, researchers investigated the therapeutic potential of transplanting human-induced pluripotent stem-cell-derived neurospheres into nonobese diabetic-severe combined immunodeficient mice to treat spinal cord injury. [Proc Natl Acad Sci USA] Abstract

Nongenomic Glucocorticoid Receptor Action Regulates Gap Junction Intercellular Communication and Neural Progenitor Cell Proliferation
Investigators found that both continuous and transient exposure of embryonic day 14.5 mouse neurosphere cultures to dexamethasone limits proliferation of coupled neural progenitor cells, which is manifested by both a reduction in S-phase progression and enhanced cell-cycle exit. [Proc Natl Acad Sci USA] Abstract

Repressor Element 1 Silencing Transcription Factor (REST) Controls Radial Migration and Temporal Neuronal Specification During Neocortical Development
Here, researchers show that the transcriptional repressor, repressor element 1 silencing transcription factor (REST), regulates radial migration and the timing of neural progenitor differentiation during neocortical development, and that the regulation is contingent upon differential REST levels. [Proc Natl Acad Sci USA] Abstract

Astrocytes Carrying the Superoxide Dismutase 1 (SOD1G93A) Mutation Induce Wild-Type Motor Neuron Degeneration In Vivo
Here, researchers transplanted SOD1G93A glial-restricted precursor cells—glial progenitors capable of differentiating into astrocytes—into the cervical spinal cord of wild-type (WT) rats to reveal how mutant astrocytes influence WT motor neurons and other cells types (microglia and astrocytes) in an in vivo setting. [Proc Natl Acad Sci USA] Abstract

Synaptic and Extrasynaptic NMDA Receptors Differentially Modulate Neuronal Cyclooxygenase-2 Function, Lipid Peroxidation, and Neuroprotection
Scientists hypothesized that stimulation of extrasynaptic NMDA receptors converts cyclooxygenase-2 signaling from a physiological to a potentially pathological process. [J Neurosci] Abstract | Press Release

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INDUSTRY NEWS

Neuralstem Receives Patent Allowance For Compounds That Effect Neuronal Growth
Neuralstem, Inc. announced that it has received patent allowance for U.S. Patent 8,030,492, entitled: “Compositions to Effect Neuronal Growth.” The claims covered by the patent include both structure and method claims for inducing neurogenesis and the growth of new neurons, both in-vitro and in-vivo. [Neuralstem, Inc.] Press Release

Nationwide Children’s Hospital Researchers Receive Neurology Award for Contribution to Clinical Neuroscience
Jerry Mendell, MD, and his fellow researchers, are the latest recipients of the Annals of Neurology prize for an outstanding contribution to clinical neuroscience. [Nationwide Children’s Hospital] Press Release

ViroPharma Licenses Rights From Intellect Neurosciences for Product Candidate for Friedreich’s Ataxia
ViroPharma Incorporated announced the license of worldwide rights from Intellect Neurosciences, Inc. to its clinical stage drug candidate, OX1, being developed for the treatment of Friedreich’s Ataxia. [ViroPharma Incorporated] Press Release

Children’s Oncology Group and Apeiron to Jointly Conduct Phase II Study in Neuroblastoma with hu14.18-IL2 (APN301)
Children’s Oncology Group and APEIRON Biologics AG announced that they will jointly investigate Apeiron’s APN301 in a clinical phase II study in pediatric neuroblastoma patients. [APEIRON Biologics AG] Press Release

Cogane™ – European Commission Grants Orphan Drug Status for Treatment of ALS
Phytopharm plc announced that the European Commission has granted Orphan Drug status to Cogane™ (PYM50028) for the treatment of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). [Phytopharm plc] Press Release

Adamas Pharmaceuticals Initiates A Phase 2/3 Clinical Study of ADS-5102 for Parkinson’s Disease
Adamas Pharmaceuticals, Inc. announced that it has initiated a Phase 2/3 clinical trial of its proprietary investigational drug ADS-5102 (amantadine HCl extended release) for the treatment of levodopa induced dyskinesia in patients with Parkinson’s disease. [Adamas Pharmaceuticals, Inc.] Press Release

POLICY NEWS

International Society for Cellular Therapy (ISCT) Leads Roundtable with Major US Payors, Healthcare Providers and Industry to Initiate a Collaboration to Address Cell Therapy Product Reimbursement
In keeping with its mission to drive the commercialization of cell therapy products and advance global patient access, ISCT hosted its second event this year in its Commercial Development Series, this time focusing on the timely issue of reimbursement for cell therapy and regenerative medicine products in the US market. [International Society for Cellular Therapy] 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
NEW 5th Advances in Stem Cell Discovery and Development
October 19-21, 2011
San Diego, United States

Visit our events page to see a complete list of events in the neural cell community.
JOB OPPORTUNITIES

Lab Technologist – Tissue Culture (STEMCELL Technologies)               

Research and Development Technologist, hPSC Media (STEMCELL Technologies) 


Scientist (iPSC) (STEMCELL Technologies) 

Contract Assay Service Technologist (STEMCELL Technologies) 

Lab Technologist – Pluripotent Stem Cells (STEMCELL Technologies)

Postdoctoral Scholar (University of California, Irvine)

Postdoctoral Positions in Stem Cells and Immunology (University of Connecticut)

Postdoctoral Research Associate (Stowers Institute for Medical Research)

Lab Technologist Position (Michigan State University)

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