Volume 6.28 | Jul 18

Neural Cell News 6.28 July 18, 2012
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Potassium Channel KIR4.1 as an Immune Target in Multiple Sclerosis
Researchers screened serum IgG from persons with multiple sclerosis to identify antibodies that are capable of binding to brain tissue and observed specific binding of IgG to glial cells in a subgroup of patients. [N Engl J Med] Abstract | Press Release

Happy Neurons lead to Happy Neuroscientists: NeuroCult SM Primary Neuronal Culture Kits
PUBLICATIONS (Ranked by impact factor of the journal)

Mutations in the Profilin 1 Gene Cause Familial Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
Researchers showed that mutations within the profilin 1 (PFN1) gene can cause familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. PFN1 mutants displayed decreased bound actin levels and inhibited axon outgrowth. Furthermore, primary motor neurons expressing mutant PFN1 displayed smaller growth cones with a reduced F/G-actin ratio. [Nature] Abstract | Press Release

A Culture System to Study Oligodendrocyte Myelination Processes Using Engineered Nanofibers
The authors have developed a neuron-free culture system in which electron-spun nanofibers of varying sizes substitute for axons as a substrate for oligodendrocyte myelination, thereby allowing manipulation of the biophysical elements of axonal-oligodendroglial interactions. To investigate axonal regulation of myelination, this system effectively uncouples the role of molecular cues from that of biophysical properties of the axon. [Nat Methods] Abstract

Control of Viral Latency in Neurons by Axonal mTOR Signaling and the eIF4E-Binding Protein Translation Repressor
Latent herpes simplex virus-1 genomes in peripheral nerve ganglia periodically reactivate, initiating a gene expression program required for productive replication. Using a neuron culture model, the authors found that inhibiting mTOR, depleting its regulatory subunit raptor, or inducing hypoxia all trigger reactivation. [Genes Dev] Abstract

Dynamic Remodeling of Scaffold Interactions in Dendritic Spines Controls Synaptic Excitability
Using a unique combination of single-cell bioluminescence resonance energy transfer imaging in living neurons and electrophysiological recordings, the authors depicted the role of glutamate receptor scaffold complex remodeling in space and time to control synaptic transmission. [J Cell Biol] Abstract

ARF6-Mediated Endosomal Transport of Telencephalin Affects Dendritic Filopodia-to-Spine Maturation
Using HeLa cells and primary hippocampal neurons, scientists demonstrated that surface removal of telencephalin (TLN) involves internalization events mediated by the small GTPase ADP-ribosylation factor 6 (ARF6), and its activator EFA6A. This endocytosis of TLN affects filopodia-to-spine transition, and requires Rac1-mediated dephosphorylation/release of actin-binding ERM proteins from TLN. [EMBO J] Full Article

Cord Blood-Derived Neuronal Cells by Ectopic Expression of Sox2 and c-Myc
Researchers showed that human cord blood (CB) CD133+ cells lose their hematopoietic signature and are converted into CB-induced neuronal-like cells by the ectopic expression of the transcription factor Sox2, a process that is further augmented by the combination of Sox2 and c-Myc. [Proc Natl Acad Sci USA]
Abstract | Press Release

Methylglyoxal Alters Glucose Metabolism and Increases AGEs Content in C6 Glioma Cells
Researchers evaluated the effect of methylglyoxal exposure, over short and long term periods, on glucose, glycine and lactate metabolism in C6 glioma cells, as well as investigate the glyoxalase system and advanced glycation end products (AGEs) formation. [Metab Brain Dis] Abstract

Snapin Recruits Dynein to BDNF-TrkB Signaling Endosomes for Retrograde Axonal Transport and Is Essential for Dendrite Growth of Cortical Neurons
Using snapin deficient mice and gene rescue experiments combined with compartmentalized cultures of live cortical neurons, researchers revealed that Snapin, as a dynein adaptor, mediates retrograde axonal transport of TrkB signaling endosomes. [Cell Rep] Abstract

Selective Activation of Cholinergic Interneurons Enhances Accumbal Phasic Dopamine Release: Setting the Tone for Reward Processing
Researchers report that selective endogenous cholinergic activation achieved via in vitro optogenetic stimulation of nucleus accumbens, a terminal field of dopaminergic neurons, elicits real-time dopamine release. This mechanism occurs via direct actions on dopamine terminals, does not require changes in neuron firing within the midbrain, and is dependent on glutamatergic receptor activity. [Cell Rep] Abstract

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New Model of Alzheimer’s Derived from Skin Cells of People with the Disease
Researchers reported the creation of a new model of Alzheimer’s derived from the skin cells of people with the disease that were reprogramed into Alzheimer’s brain cells. [Press release from the Alzheimer’s Association discussing research presented at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference® 2012 (AAIC® 2012), Vancouver] Press Release

Scripps Research Institute Appoints Innovative Neuroscientist
The Scripps Research Institute has appointed Brock Grill as an assistant professor in the Department of Neuroscience. [The Scripps Research Institute] Press Release

AxoGen, Inc. Makes First Commercial Shipment of Avance® Nerve Graft to Distributor in Italy
AxoGen, Inc. announced approval by the Rizzoli Orthopaedic Institute of its first commercial shipment of Avance® Nerve Graft to MD for Life, its new distribution partner in Italy. Avance® Nerve Graft is a processed nerve allograft for bridging nerve discontinuities. [AxoGen, Inc.] Press Release

Afraxis and PsychoGenics Form Alliance to Offer Afraxis’ ESP Technology for Drug Discovery
Afraxis and PsychoGenics announced an alliance to offer Afraxis’ Enhanced Spine Platform (ESP) technology as part of PsychoGenics’ comprehensive testing capabilities and drug discovery services. ESP rapidly assesses the quantity, morphology and maturity of dendritic spines, structures that mediate signaling in neural synapses. [Afraxis] Press Release


EU Commission Backs Open-Access Science Publishing
The European Commission has backed calls for free access to publicly funded research in a move that could force a major change in the business model for publishers such as Reed Elsevier. [European Commission, Europe] Press Release

Drastic Cuts at Italian Institutes Infuriate Researchers
Italian scientists are up in arms over proposed budget cuts at over a dozen national research institutes as part of a spending review that will strike €26 billion from the national government’s budget. [Italian Government, Italy] Press Release

Italian Scientists Fight Tightened Rules on Animal Testing
Italy may soon become the European country with the most restrictive legislation on animal experimentation, if a draft law due for discussion in the Senate is approved in its current form. The Italian government says that it considers the draft “a good balance point”, but scientists fear that the restrictions would hamper biomedical research and damage the country’s pharmaceutical industry. [Italian Government, Italy]
Press Release

Egypt’s President ‘to Link Science to Society’
Egypt’s newly elected president, Mohamed Morsi, has ambitious plans for science and is committed to linking research to local needs and boosting private sector science funding, officials say. [Egyptian President, Egypt] Press Release

UK Funders Seek Integrity Upgrade
The major science funders in the United Kingdom are to introduce a set of principles on research integrity as a condition for receiving their grants. [Universities UK, United Kingdom] Press Release

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