Volume 6.10 | Mar 14

Neural Cell News 6.10, March 14, 2012
     In this issue: Publications | Industry News | Policy News | Events | Jobs
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MEGF10 and MEGF11 Mediate Homotypic Interactions Required for Mosaic Spacing of Retinal Neurons
Here researchers demonstrate in mouse that two related transmembrane proteins, MEGF10 and MEGF11, have critical roles in the formation of mosaics by two retinal interneuron subtypes, starburst amacrine cells and horizontal cells. [Nature] Abstract

Neurospheres or Adherent Cultures? NeuroCult™ does both. (Click to view technical data.)
PUBLICATIONS (Ranked by Impact Factor of the Journal)

VAMP4 Directs Synaptic Vesicles to a Pool that Selectively Maintains Asynchronous Neurotransmission
Here researchers show that in mice synaptobrevin2 drives rapid Ca2+-dependent synchronous neurotransmission, whereas the structurally homologous soluble N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive-factor attachment protein receptor protein VAMP4 selectively maintains bulk Ca2+-dependent asynchronous release. [Nat Neurosci] Abstract

NgR1 and NgR3 Are Receptors for Chondroitin Sulfate Proteoglycans
Investigators found that the Nogo receptor family members NgR1 and NgR3 bind with high affinity to the glycosaminoglycan moiety of proteoglycans and participate in chondroitin sulfate proteoglycan inhibition in cultured neurons. [Nat Neurosci] Abstract

Decorrelation and Efficient Coding by Retinal Ganglion Cells
Researchers tested the central prediction of an influential theory of visual processing and found that the spike trains of retinal ganglion cells were indeed decorrelated compared with the visual input. [Nat Neurosci] Abstract

Disruption of SoxB1-Dependent Sonic Hedgehog Expression in the Hypothalamus Causes Septo-Optic Dysplasia
Researchers demonstrate here that mouse embryos lacking Sonic hedgehog (Shh) in the prospective hypothalamus exhibit key features of septo-optic dysplasia, including pituitary hypoplasia and absence of the optic disc. [Dev Cell] Abstract

Rescue of Neuronal Migration Deficits in a Mouse Model of Fetal Minamata Disease by Increasing Neuronal Ca2+ Spike Frequency
In this study, using a mouse model of fetal Minamata disease, scientists examined how methylmercury affects the migration of cerebellar granule cells during early postnatal development. [Proc Natl Acad Sci USA] Abstract

Regulation of Neuroblastoma Differentiation by Forkhead Transcription Factors FOXO1/3/4 through the Receptor Tyrosine Kinase PDGFRA
Here, scientists report that inhibition of endogenous FOXO proteins attenuated TPA/PDGF-BB mediated differentiation of neuroblastoma cells. [Proc Natl Acad Sci USA] Abstract

Autism-Like Socio-Communicative Deficits and Stereotypies in Mice Lacking Heparan Sulfate
The role of heparan sulfate in the physiological function of the adult brain has been poorly characterized, despite several pieces of evidence suggesting its role in the regulation of synaptic function. To address this issue, researchers eliminated heparan sulfate from postnatal neurons by conditionally inactivating Ext1, the gene encoding an enzyme essential for heparan sulfate synthesis. [Proc Natl Acad Sci USA] Abstract

Treatment of a Mouse Model of Spinal Cord Injury by Transplantation of Human iPS Cell-Derived Long-Term Self-Renewing Neuroepithelial-Like Stem Cells
Here, investigators show that transplanted neuroepithelial-like stem cells from human induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells differentiate into neural lineages in the mouse model of spinal cord injury and promote functional recovery of hind limb motor function. [Stem Cells] Abstract

Lysine Methylation of FOXO3 Regulates Oxidative Stress-Induced Neuronal Cell Death
Researchers’ findings define a novel modification of FOXO3 and show that lysine methylation negatively regulates FOXO3-mediated transcription and neuronal apoptosis. [EMBO Rep] Abstract

Human Müller Glia with Stem Cell Characteristics Differentiate into Retinal Ganglion Cell (RGC) Precursors In Vitro and Partially Restore RGC Function In Vivo following Transplantation
Researchers’ results suggest that transplanted RGC precursors may be capable of establishing local interneuron synapses and possibly release neurotrophic factors that facilitate recovery of RGC function. [Stem Cells Transl Med] Abstract | Press Release

Increase reproducibility between experiments using frozen primary cells. Learn more.


BrainStorm Cell Therapeutics Expands Pipeline with the Initiation of a Study for Multiple Sclerosis
BrainStorm Cell Therapeutics Inc. announced plans to initiate a preclinical study assessing the efficacy of its NurOwn™ stem cell technology in patients with Multiple Sclerosis. [BrainStorm Cell Therapeutics Inc.]
Press Release

Opexa Therapeutics Executes Strategic Service Agreement with Pharmaceutical Research Associates to Manage Clinical Trial
Opexa Therapeutics, Inc. announced that the Company has executed an agreement with Pharmaceutical Research Associates, Inc. to provide contract research organization services to support Opexa’s upcoming Phase IIb clinical trial for Tovaxin, a novel T-cell therapy for multiple sclerosis (MS), in patients with secondary progressive MS. [Opexa Therapeutics, Inc.] 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 Stem Cell Society Singapore (SCSS) Symposium 2012 – Stem Cell Based Therapy
September 6-7, 2012
Singapore, Singapore

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


Scientist – Pluripotent Stem Cells (STEMCELL Technologies, Inc.)

Business Analyst – Product Management (STEMSOFT Software, Inc.)

Scientist – hPSC Bioengineering (STEMCELL Technologies, Inc.)

Scientist – Antibody and Hybridoma Technology Platforms (STEMCELL Technologies, Inc.)

Postdoctoral Fellow – Visual Neuroscience (RIKEN Brain Science Institute)

Postdoctoral Position in Stem Cells – Department of Neuroscience (Karolinska Institutet)

Postdoctoral Position in Stem Cell Biology/Neuroscience/Cancer (The Jackson Laboratory)

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