Volume 6.06 | Feb 15

Neural Cell News 6.06, February 15, 2012
     In this issue: Publications | Industry News | Policy News | Events | Jobs
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TOP STORY
Huntington Breakthrough
Medical researchers have discovered a promising new therapy for Huntington disease that restores lost motor skills and may delay or stop the progression of the disease. [Press release from the University of Alberta discussing online prepublication in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA]
Press Release | Abstract

Open Access JoVE Protocol: Discriminating NSCs from NPCs with the NeuroCult™ NCFC Assay
PUBLICATIONS (Ranked by Impact Factor of the Journal)

Disentangling the Functional Consequences of the Connectivity Between Optic-Flow Processing Neurons
Researchers quantified the functional effect of an interaction between two optic-flow processing neurons (Vi and H1) in the fly (Lucilia sericata). [Nat Neurosci] Abstract

Structural Correlates of Heterogeneous In Vivo Activity of Midbrain Dopaminergic Neurons
Investigators examined how the functional diversity of identified dopaminergic neurons in vivo correlates with differences in somato-dendritic architecture and afferent synaptic organization. [Nat Neurosci] Abstract

Direct Leptin Action on POMC Neurons Regulates Glucose Homeostasis and Hepatic Insulin Sensitivity in Mice
Researchers have dissected the physiological impact of direct leptin action on proopiomelanocortin (POMC) neurons using a mouse model in which endogenous leptin action on its receptor expression was prevented by a LoxP-flanked transcription blocker, but could be reactivated by Cre recombinase. [J Clin Invest] Abstract

HB-EGF Is Necessary and Sufficient for Müller Glia Dedifferentiation and Retina Regeneration
Here scientists report that heparin-binding epidermal-like growth factor (HB-EGF) is rapidly induced in Müller glia residing at the injury site and that pro-HB-EGF ectodomain shedding is necessary for retina regeneration. [Dev Cell] Abstract | Press Release

Excitability of Prefrontal Cortical Pyramidal Neurons Is Modulated by Activation of Intracellular Type-2 Cannabinoid Receptors
Scientists show that type-2 cannabinoid receptors are located intracellularly in layer II/III pyramidal cells of the rodent medial prefrontal cortex and that their activation results in IP3R-dependent opening of Ca2+-activated Cl- channels. [Proc Natl Acad Sci USA] Abstract

Protooncogene Ski Cooperates with the Chromatin-Remodeling Factor Satb2 in Specifying Callosal Neurons
Investigators report critical roles for Ski in the maintenance of the neural stem cell pool and the specification of callosal neurons. [Proc Natl Acad Sci USA] Abstract

Prolonged Maturation Culture Favors a Reduction in the Tumorigenicity and the Dopaminergic Function of Human ESC-Derived Neural Cells in a Primate Model of Parkinson’s Disease
Researchers compared the growth and function of human embryonic stem cells (ESC)-derived cells with different stages of neural differentiation implanted in the brains of primate models of Parkinson’s disease. [Stem Cells] Abstract

Exogenous Leukemia Inhibitory Factor Stimulates Oligodendrocyte Progenitor Cell Proliferation and Enhances Hippocampal Remyelination
Here researchers identify parenchymal glial progenitors as oligodendrocyte progenitor cells and show that leukemia inhibitory factor delivery stimulates their proliferation through the activation of gp130 receptor signaling within these cells. [J Neurosci] Abstract | Press Release

Striatal D2 Receptors Regulate Dendritic Morphology of Medium Spiny Neurons via Kir2 Channels
Scientists demonstrate that overexpression of dopamine D2 receptors in medium spiny neurons increases their membrane excitability and decreases the complexity and length of their dendritic arbors. [J Neurosci] Abstract

Ror-Family Receptor Tyrosine Kinases Regulate Maintenance of Neural Progenitor Cells in the Developing Neocortex
Investigators show that Ror1, Ror2, and their ligand Wnt5a are highly expressed in neocortical neural progenitor cells. [J Cell Sci] Abstract

Prolonged Seizure Activity Impairs Mitochondrial Bioenergetics and Induces Cell Death
The mechanisms underlying neuronal death following excessive activity such as occurs during prolonged seizures are unclear, but mitochondrial dysfunction has been hypothesized to play a role. Here, researchers tested this with fluorescence imaging techniques in rat glio-neuronal neocortical co-cultures using low magnesium to induce seizure-like activity. [J Cell Sci] Abstract

Long-Term Gene Therapy Causes Transgene-Specific Changes in the Morphology of Regenerating Retinal Ganglion Cells
Gene therapy holds much promise for the treatment of neurotrauma and neurodegenerative diseases; however, neurotrophic factors are known to alter dendritic architecture, and thus researchers set out to determine whether such transgenes also change the morphology of transduced neurons. [PLoS One] Abstract | Press Release

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INDUSTRY NEWS

The ALS Therapy Development Institute to Launch Phase II Clinical Trial of TDI 132 in ALS Patients
The ALS Therapy Development Institute will launch a Phase II clinical trial on TDI 132 as a potential treatment for ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease). [ALS Therapy Development Institute] Press Release

PHARNEXT Raises an Additional €8 Million for Its PleotherapyTM Platform Applied to the Treatment of Charcot-Marie Tooth Disease and Alzheimer’s Disease
Pharnext SAS, a biopharmaceutical company specializing in the development of innovative treatments based on Pleotherapy™ for severe neurological diseases, announced that it has raised €8 million in two tranches in October and December 2011. [BusinessWire] Press Release

Studying the Brain of a Fly to Understand Complex Nervous Functions
The Marie Curie Training Network FLiACT (Systems neuroscience of Drosophila: from genes to circuits to behaviors) was launched Thursday 9th of February in Barcelona. The principal investigators gathered in Hotel Casa Camper with the objective of interconnecting eight European research institutes and three industrial partners from different complementary fields of neuroscience. [The Marie Curie Training Network]
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 3rd International Congress on Responsible Stem Cell Research
April 25-28, 2012
Vatican City, Rome

NEW World Stem Cells & Regenerative Medicine Congress 2012
May 21-23, 2012
London, United Kingdom

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

Scientist – Pluripotent Stem Cells (STEMCELL Technologies)

Scientific Marketing Communications Specialist (STEMCELL Technologies)

Business Analyst – Product Management (STEMSOFT Software)


Research Technologist (STEMCELL Technologies)

Scientist – hPSC (STEMCELL Technologies)

Scientist – Antibody and Hybridoma Technology Platforms (STEMCELL Technologies)

Postdoctoral Research Associates – Neuroscience (The University of Sheffield)

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


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