Volume 6.04 | Feb 1

Neural Cell News 6.04, February 1, 2012
     In this issue: Publications | Industry News | Policy News | Events | Jobs
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Scientists Turn Skin Cells into Neural Precursors, Bypassing Stem-Cell Stage
Mouse skin cells can be converted directly into cells that become the three main parts of the nervous system, according to researchers. The finding is an extension of a previous study by the same group showing that mouse and human skin cells can be directly converted into functional neurons. [Press release from Stanford University discussing online prepublication in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA] Press Release | Abstract

Increase reproducibility between experiments using frozen primary cells. Learn more.
PUBLICATIONS (Ranked by Impact Factor of the Journal)

Recurrent Genomic Instability of Chromosome 1q in Neural Derivatives of Human Embryonic Stem Cells
Here, scientists report that neural differentiation of human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) systematically produced a neural stem cell population that could be propagated for more than 50 passages without entering senescence; this was true for all six hESC lines tested. [J Clin Invest] Abstract

Regulator of G Protein Signaling 4 Is Required for Dopaminergic Control of Striatal Long-Term Depression and Susceptibility to Parkinsonian Motor Deficits
Scientists have characterized two distinct signaling pathways mediating endocannabinoid-dependent production in striatal indirect-pathway striatal projection neurons and found that both pathways were modulated by dopamine D2 and adenosine A2A receptors, acting through cyclic adenosine monophosphate or protein kinase A. [Neuron] Abstract

The Synaptic Vesicle Soluble NSF Attachment Protein Receptor (SNARE) Neuronal Synaptobrevin Promotes Endolysosomal Degradation and Prevents Neurodegeneration
In this paper, researchers report that loss of neuronal Synaptobrevin (n-syb) caused slow neurodegeneration independent of its role in neurotransmitter release in adult Drosophila melanogaster photoreceptor neurons. [J Cell Biol] Abstract

Optically Monitoring Voltage in Neurons by Photo-Induced Electron Transfer through Molecular Wires
Scientists present fluorescent sensors that detect voltage changes in neurons by modulation of photo-induced electron transfer from an electron donor through a synthetic molecular wire to a fluorophore. [Proc Natl Acad Sci USA] Abstract | Press Release

SFRP1 and 2 Dose-Dependently Regulate Midbrain Dopamine Neuron Development In Vivo and in Embryonic Stem Cells
Secreted Frizzled related proteins (sFRPs) are a family of proteins that modulate Wnt signaling, which in its turn regulates multiple aspects of ventral midbrain and dopaminergic (DA) neuron development. Here, researchers show that sFRP1 and sFRP2 activate the Wnt/PCP/Rac1 pathway in DA cells. [Stem Cells] Abstract

Concentration-Dependent Requirement for Local Protein Synthesis in Motor Neuron Subtype-Specific Response to Axon Guidance Cues
Using a growth cone collapse assay, researchers demonstrate that mouse embryonic stem cell-derived spinal motor neurons respond to ephrin-A5, Sema3f, and Sema3a in a concentration-dependent manner. [J Neurosci] Abstract

NP1 Regulates Neuronal Activity-Dependent Accumulation of BAX in Mitochondria and Mitochondrial Dynamics
Here investigators report that neuronal pentraxin 1 (NP1) facilitates the accumulation of BAX in mitochondria and regulates mitochondrial dynamics during apoptosis in rat and mouse cerebellar granule neurons in culture. [J Neurosci] Abstract

Small GTPase Rab17 Regulates the Dendritic Morphogenesis and Postsynaptic Development of Hippocampal Neurons
Here researchers show that Rab17 regulates dendritic morphogenesis and postsynaptic development in mouse hippocampal neurons. [J Biol Chem] Abstract

Insulin Promotes Neuronal Survival via the Alternatively Spliced Protein Kinase C Delta II Isoform
This is the first report of insulin regulating the alternative isoform expression of a key signaling kinase in neuronal cells such that it results in increased neuronal survival. [J Biol Chem] Abstract

Transplantation of Human Central Nervous System Stem Cells-Neuroprotection in Retinal Degeneration

In the present study, scientists explored the efficacy of stem cells derived from the human brain and grown as neurospheres in a rodent model of retinal degeneration, the Royal College of Surgeons rat, and extended our previous cell transplantation studies to include an in-depth examination of donor cell behavior and phenotype post-transplantation. [Eur J Neurosci] Abstract

Open Access JoVE Protocol: Discriminating NSCs from NPCs with the NeuroCult™ NCFC Assay


BioRestorative Therapies Signs License Agreement for Stem Cell Disc/Spine Procedure
BioRestorative Therapies announced that it has entered into a License Agreement with Regenerative Sciences, LLC (RS) with respect to certain stem cell-related technology and clinical treatment procedures developed by RS. [BioRestorative Therapies, Inc.] Press Release

Maryland Stem Cell Research Commission Announces New Program for Pre-Clinical and Clinical Research Grants
The Maryland Stem Cell Research Commission has announced a new program for pre-clinical and clinical research grants. This program will support for-profit companies in advancing medical therapies using human stem cells. [Maryland Stem Cell Research Fund] 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)

NEW American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting 2012
March 31-April 4, 2012
Chicago, United States

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

Research and Development Technologist, hPSC Media (STEMCELL Technologies) 

Scientist – Pluripotent Stem Cells (STEMCELL Technologies)

Scientific Marketing Communications Specialist (STEMCELL Technologies)

Research Technologist, Manufacturing Sciences (STEMCELL Technologies)

Business Analyst – Product Management (STEMSOFT Software)

Postdoctoral Fellow – Adult Neurogenesis and Neural Signaling (University of Kentucky)

Postdoctoral Fellow – Program in Children’s Regenerative Medicine (The University of Texas Medical School at Houston)

Research Fellow or Senior Research Fellow Position (National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke)

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