Volume 5.48 | Dec 7

Neural Cell News 5.48, December 7, 2011
     In this issue: Publications | Science News | Industry News | Policy News | Events | Jobs
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The Hedgehog Pathway Promotes Blood-Brain Barrier Integrity and CNS Immune Quiescence
Here, researchers show that astrocytes secrete Sonic hedgehog (Shh) and that blood-brain barrier (BBB)-endothelial cells express Hh receptors, which together promote BBB formation and integrity during embryonic development and adulthood. [Science] Abstract

NEW! Play the Cell Invaders iPad Game at ASI (Booth #12, Adelaide, Dec 11-15 2011)
PUBLICATIONS (Ranked by Impact Factor of the Journal)

Mosaic Amplification of Multiple Receptor Tyrosine Kinase Genes in Glioblastoma
Researchers present an example of genetic heterogeneity in human malignant brain tumors in which multiple closely related driver genes are amplified and activated simultaneously in adjacent intermingled cells. [Cancer Cell] Abstract | Press Release

Key Contribution of CPEB4-Mediated Translational Control to Cancer Progression
Here researchers show that cytoplasmic polyadenylation element binding protein 4 (CPEB4), is overexpressed in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinomas and glioblastomas, where it supports tumor growth, vascularization and invasion. [Nat Med] Abstract | Press Release

α2-Chimaerin Controls Neuronal Migration and Functioning of the Cerebral Cortex through CRMP-2
Here investigators report α2-chimaerin as a key regulator of cortical neuronal migration and function. [Nat Neurosci] Abstract

Cytosolic RIG-I–Like Helicases Act as Negative Regulators of Sterile Inflammation in the CNS
Using a mouse model of multiple sclerosis, researchers found that mice lacking the RIG-I–like helicase adaptor IPS-1 developed exacerbated disease that was accompanied by markedly higher inflammation, increased axonal damage and elevated demyelination with increased encephalitogenic immune responses. [Nat Neurosci] Abstract

The Transmembrane LRR Protein DMA-1 Promotes Dendrite Branching and Growth in C. elegans
Investigators found that, in Caenorhabditis elegans, a previously uncharacterized transmembrane protein containing extracellular leucine-rich repeat (LRR) domains, which they named DMA-1 (dendrite-morphogenesis-abnormal), promotes dendrite branching and growth. [Nat Neurosci] Abstract

Differential Control of Presynaptic Efficacy by Postsynaptic N-Cadherin and β-Catenin
Researchers investigated the trans-synaptic activity of N-cadherin in regulating synapse function in rodent cultured hippocampal neurons using optical methods and electrophysiology. [Nat Neurosci] Abstract

Glial-Derived Prodegenerative Signaling in the Drosophila Neuromuscular System
Researchers provide evidence for a prodegenerative, glial-derived signaling framework in the Drosophila neuromuscular system that includes caspase and mitochondria-dependent signaling. [Neuron] Abstract

Secreted Semaphorins from Degenerating Larval Olfactory Receptor Neuron Axons Direct Adult Projection Neuron Dendrite Targeting
Here scientists show that two secreted semaphorins, Sema-2a and Sema-2b, provide spatial cues for projection neuron dendrite targeting. [Neuron] Abstract

Pten Coordinates Retinal Neurogenesis by Regulating Notch Signaling
Here, researchers demonstrate that negative regulation of phosphoinosite 3-kinase-Akt signaling by phosphatase tensin homologue (Pten) is essential for maintaining neural progenitor cell population in mouse retina. [EMBO J] Abstract

Ets Transcription Factor Pointed Promotes the Generation of Intermediate Neural Progenitors in Drosophila Larval Brains
Here investigators show that one isoform of the Ets transcription factor Pointed (Pnt), PntP1, is specifically expressed in type II neuroblasts (NBs), immature intermediate neural progenitors (INPs), and newly mature INPs in type II NB lineages. [Proc Natl Acad Sci, USA] Abstract

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Researchers Use Stem Cells to Gain New Insight into Severe Childhood Form of Epilepsy
A team of researchers investigating the fundamental cause of Dravet syndrome have reprogrammed fibroblasts from Dravet patients and generated patient-specific neurons – which could help determine new therapies or better medications for the syndrome. [Press release from the University of Michigan Health System discussing research presented at the American Epilepsy Society’s 65th Annual Meeting, Baltimore] Press Release

Newly Established Neuroscience Clinical Trials Center Could Bring Treatments to Patients Faster
Physician-scientists at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University and Montefiore Medical Center, the University Hospital for Einstein, have secured a grant to establish a clinical site for the Network for Excellence in Neuroscience Clinical Trials. [Albert Einstein College of Medicine] Press Release

Ceregene Completes Enrollment of Second Phase II Study of CERE-120 for the Treatment of Parkinson’s Disease
Ceregene, Inc. reported that it has completed enrollment in its Phase IIb trial of CERE-120, a gene therapy product expressing the neurturin gene for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease. [Ceregene, Inc.] Press Release

Celldex Initiates ACT IV, a Pivotal International Phase III Trial of Rindopepimut in Patients with Glioblastoma
Celldex Therapeutics, Inc. announced that it has launched a pivotal, randomized, double-blind, controlled Phase III trial of rindopepimut in patients with surgically resected epidermal growth factor variant III-positive glioblastoma, the “ACT IV Study.” [Celldex Therapeutics, Inc.] Press Release

Patient Receives First Prescription for FDA-Approved Brain Tumor Treatment
The University of Illinois Hospital is the first center in North America to prescribe a new U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved treatment for patients with the most common and aggressive type of brain tumor, glioblastoma multiforme. [University of Illinois at Chicago] Press Release


Limited Competition: Alzheimer’s Disease Cooperative Study (U19) (RFA-AG-13-001) [National Institutes of Health, United States]

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NEW 2012 Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Meeting on Axon Guidance, Synapse Formation and Regeneration
September 18 – 22, 2012
Cold Spring Harbor, United States

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