Volume 6.29 | Jul 25

Neural Cell News 6.29 July 25, 2012
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Neural Precursor Cells Induce Cell Death in Certain Brain Tumors
Neural precursor cells in the young brain suppress certain brain tumors such as high-grade gliomas, which are among the most common and most aggressive tumors. Now researchers have deciphered the underlying mechanism of action with which neural precursor cells protect the young brain against these tumors. [Press Release from Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine Berlin-Buch discussing online prepublication in Nature Medicine] Press Release | Abstract

Culture primary neurons independent of substrate with NeuroCult™ SM2
PUBLICATIONS (Ranked by impact factor of the journal)

Distinct Roles of Muscle and Motoneuron LRP4 in Neuromuscular Junction Formation
Studies of muscle-specific mutants suggested that LRP4 is involved in deciding where to form AChR clusters in muscle fibers, postsynaptic differentiation, and axon terminal development. LRP4 in HEK293 cells increased synapsin or SV2 puncta in contacting axons of cocultured neurons, suggesting a synaptogenic function. [Neuron] Abstract

Chromatin-Remodeling Factor Brg1 Is Required for Schwann Cell Differentiation and Myelination
Researchers showed that the glial transcription factor Sox10 functions in Schwann cells by recruiting Brg1-containing chromatin-remodeling complexes via Baf60a to regulatory regions of Oct6 and Krox20 genes. [Dev Cell] Abstract

let-7-Complex MicroRNAs Regulate the Temporal Identity of Drosophila Mushroom Body Neurons via chinmo
Many neural lineages display a temporal pattern, but the mechanisms controlling the ordered production of neuronal subtypes remain unclear. Researchers showed that Drosophila let-7 and miR-125, cotranscribed from the let-7-Complex locus, regulate the transcription factor chinmo to control temporal cell fate in the mushroom body lineage. [Dev Cell] Abstract

Astrocyte Dysfunction Triggers Neurodegeneration in a Lysosomal Storage Disorder
Researchers found that lysosomal storage in astrocytes was sufficient to induce degeneration of cortical neurons in vivo. Furthermore, in an ex vivo coculture assay, they observed that sulfatase modifying factor 1−/− astrocytes failed to support the survival and function of wild-type cortical neurons, suggesting a non-cell autonomous mechanism for neurodegeneration. [Proc Natl Acad Sci USA] Abstract

Liver X Receptor β Protects Dopaminergic Neurons in a Mouse Model of Parkinson Disease
The authors used the 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) model of Parkinson disease (PD) to investigate the possible use of Liver X receptor β (LXRβ) as a target for prevention or treatment of PD. The dopaminergic neurons of the substantia nigra of LXRβ−/− mice were much more severely affected by MPTP than were those of their WT littermates. [Proc Natl Acad Sci USA] Abstract

Functional Profiles of SCN9A Variants in Dorsal Root Ganglion Neurons and Superior Cervical Ganglion Neurons Correlate with Autonomic Symptoms in Small Fiber Neuropathy
Researchers showed by voltage-clamp that R185H variant channels enhance resurgent currents within dorsal root ganglion neurons and showed by current-clamp that R185H renders dorsal root ganglion neurons hyperexcitable. In contrast, R185H variant channels do not produce detectable changes when studied by voltage-clamp within sympathetic neurons of the superior cervical ganglion, and have no effect on the excitability of these cells. [Brain] Abstract

Geometric Effect of Cell Adhesive Polygonal Micropatterns on Neuritogenesis and Axon Guidance
Researchers observed that the geometry of cell adhesive regions influences the development of a cultured neuron, and the structure of neural circuits can be designed by controlling axonal outgrowth with individual micropolygons. [J Neural Eng] Abstract | Press Release

The Persistent Release of HMGB1 Contributes to Tactile Hyperalgesia in a Rodent Model of Neuropathic Pain
Researchers identified that a persistent endogenous release of high-mobility group box-1 protein (HMGB1) by sensory neurons may be a potent, physiologically relevant modulator of neuronal excitability. [J Neuroinflammation] Abstract | Full Article

Phosphorylation of CRMP2 Is Involved in Proper Bifurcation of the Apical Dendrite of Hippocampal CA1 Pyramidal Neurons
Researchers found that CRMP2 and CRMP4 synergistically regulate dendritic development and CRMP2 phosphorylation is critical for proper bifurcation of apical dendrite of CA1 pyramidal neurons. [Dev Neurobiol] Abstract

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

Anti-Tau Drug Improves Cognition, Decreases Tau Tangles in Alzheimer’s Disease Models
Research showed that an anti-tau treatment called epithilone D was effective in preventing and intervening the progress of Alzheimer’s disease in animal models, improving neuron function and cognition, as well as decreasing tau pathology. [Press release from Penn Medicine discussing research presented at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference 2012 (AAIC 2012), Vancouver] Press Release

BrainStorm Reports Outstanding ALS Interim Clinical Trial Results
BrainStorm Cell Therapeutics announced that it has completed the planned interim safety review of its Phase I/II ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis) clinical trial, indicating that autologous transplantation of the Company’s cell therapy was well-tolerated, appears to be safe for use, and did not present any undue risks to the study participants. [BrainStorm Cell Therapeutics, Inc.] Press Release

Seventeenth Patient Dosed in Neuralstem ALS Stem Cell Trial
Neuralstem, Inc. announced that the seventeenth patient was treated in the ongoing Phase I trial of its spinal cord neural stem cells for the treatment of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). This patient is also the second to return to the trial for additional injections. [Neuralstem, Inc.] Press Release

Biogen Idec Announces Collaboration with Leading Research Institutions to Sequence Genomes of Patients with ALS
Biogen Idec announced that it has entered into a research collaboration with premier academic and research institutions to sequence the genomes of up to 1,000 patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) in an effort to gain a deeper understanding about the fundamental genetic causes of ALS. [Biogen Idec]
Press Release

Cuts Loom for US Science
A House bill that was passed would give the Obama administration 30 days to work out how to apply a massive cut to federal programs including research. [Obama Administration, United States] 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 Cell Symposia: Neuromodulatory Mechanisms
October 10-12, 2012
New Orleans, United States

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Quality Control Operations Coordinator (STEMCELL Technologies, Inc.)

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

Scientist – Epithelial Cell Research (STEMCELL Technologies, Inc.)

Scientist – Mesenchymal Cell Research (STEMCELL Technologies, Inc.)

Research Associate – Chemistry (STEMCELL Technologies, Inc.)

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Scientific Communications & Publishing Coordinator (STEMCELL Technologies, Inc.)

Professorship – Neurobiology (University of Zurich)

Postdoctoral Research Associate – Neuroscience (Princeton Neurosciences Institute)

Postdoctoral Fellowship – Neuroscience (Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center)

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