Volume 7.02 | Jan 16

Neural Cell News 7.02 January 16, 2013
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Direct Conversion of Fibroblasts to Neurons by Reprogramming PTB-Regulated MicroRNA Circuits
Investigators report that repression of a single RNA binding polypyrimidine-tract-binding protein (PTB), which occurs during normal brain development via the action of microRNA-124, is sufficient to induce trans-differentiation of fibroblasts into functional neurons. [Cell] Abstract | Graphical Abstract | Press Release

Your Free Copy of the Nature Neuroscience Poster "Neural Stem Cells" Awaits
PUBLICATIONS (Ranked by impact factor of the journal)

Ezh2 Orchestrates Topographic Migration and Connectivity of Mouse Precerebellar Neurons
Investigators report that Ezh2-dependent epigenetic regulation of intrinsic and extrinsic transcriptional programs controls topographic neuronal guidance and connectivity in the cortico-ponto-cerebellar pathway. [Science] Abstract | Press Release

The Organization of Two New Cortical Interneuronal Circuits
Using simultaneous quadruple-octuple in vitro and dual in vivo whole-cell recordings, the authors found two previously unknown interneuronal circuits that link cortical layer 1-3 interneurons and L5 pyramidal neurons in the rat neocortex. [Nat Neurosci] Abstract

Timothy Syndrome Is Associated with Activity-Dependent Dendritic Retraction in Rodent and Human Neurons
Scientists report that channels with the Timothy syndrome alteration cause activity-dependent dendrite retraction in rat and mouse neurons and in induced pluripotent stem cell-derived neurons from individuals with Timothy syndrome. [Nat Neurosci] Abstract

Directed Migration of Cortical Interneurons Depends on the Cell-Autonomous Action of Sip1
Researchers found that Sip1, a transcription factor enriched in migrating cortical interneurons, is required for their proper differentiation and correct guidance. They revealed that Sip1, through tuning of Unc5b levels, is essential for cortical interneuron guidance. [Neuron]
Abstract | Press Release

Efficient Retrograde Transport of Pseudorabies Virus within Neurons Requires Local Protein Synthesis in Axons
Using compartmented neuron cultures to physically separate axon infection from cell bodies, investigators found that pseudorabies virus infection induces local protein synthesis in axons, including proteins involved in cytoskeletal remodeling, intracellular trafficking, signaling, and metabolism. [Cell Host Microbe]
Abstract | Graphical Abstract

Borna Disease Virus-Induced Neuronal Degeneration Dependent on Host Genetic Background and Prevented by Soluble Factors
Infection of newborn rats with Borna disease virus (BDV) results in selective degeneration of granule cell neurons of the dentate gyrus (DG). To study cellular countermechanisms that might prevent this pathology, they screened for rat strains resistant to this BDV-induced neuronal degeneration. The authors infected hippocampal slice cultures of different rat strains with BDV and analyzed for the preservation of the DG. [Proc Natl Acad Sci USA] Abstract

Nerve Growth Factor Scales Endocannabinoid Signaling by Regulating Monoacylglycerol Lipase Turnover in Developing Cholinergic Neurons
Scientists demonstrated that genetic and pharmacological manipulation of CB1 cannabinoid receptors permanently alters cholinergic projection neuron identity and hippocampal innervation. [Proc Natl Acad Sci USA] Abstract

Developmentally Coordinated Extrinsic Signals Drive Human Pluripotent Stem Cell Differentiation toward Authentic DARPP-32+ Medium-Sized Spiny Neurons
Scientists demonstrated that when transplanted into the striatum of quinolinic acid-lesioned rats, human pluripotent stem-derived neurons survive and differentiate into DARPP-32+ neurons, leading to a restoration of apomorphine-induced rotation behavior. [Development] Abstract

NG2-Cells Are Not the Cell of Origin for Murine Neurofibromatosis-1 (Nf1) Optic Glioma
Scientists demonstrated that NG2+ cells are not the cell of origin for mouse optic glioma, and support a model in which gliomagenesis requires Nf1 loss in specific neuroglial progenitors during embryogenesis. [Oncogene] Abstract

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


Microglia: Scapegoat, Saboteur, or Something Else?
Microglia are resident immune cells in the brain and spinal cord. These cells provide immune surveillance and are mobilized in response to disparate diseases and injuries. Although microglial activation is often considered neurotoxic, microglia are essential defenders against many neurodegenerative diseases. [Science] Abstract

Shaping Our Minds: Stem and Progenitor Cell Diversity in the Mammalian Neocortex
Researchers review recent studies that have begun to clarify the mechanisms of cell-type specification in the neocortex, focusing on the lineage relationships between neocortical progenitors and subclasses of excitatory projection neurons. [Neuron] Abstract

The Therapeutic Potential of Endogenous Hippocampal Stem Cells for the Treatment of Neurological Disorders
Investigators review evidence for the presence of endogenous stem cell populations in the adult hippocampus, especially large pools of latent stem and precursor cells, and the ways in which these populations can be stimulated to produce new neurons. [Front Cell Neurosci] Abstract

Stem Cells May Hold Promise for Lou Gehrig’s Disease (ALS)
Apparent stem cell transplant success in mice may hold promise for people with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or Lou Gehrig’s disease. [Press release from the American Academy of Neurology discussing research to be presented at the American Academy of Neurology’s 65th Annual Meeting, San Diego] Press Release

BrainStorm Establishes Safety of Repeat Doses of NurOwn in Mice: Pre-Clinical Study Conducted at Good Laboratory Practice-Compliant Harlan Laboratories
BrainStorm Cell Therapeutics, announced that it has successfully completed a 12-week repeat dose toxicity study with its NurOwn cells in mice. The company believes that the positive data from the study will support its efforts to obtain approval for a future repeat dose clinical study in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patients. [BrainStorm Cell Therapeutics, Inc.] Press Release

Neuralstem Receives FDA Approval to Commence Spinal Cord Injury Trial
Neuralstem, Inc. announced that it received approval from the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to commence a Phase I safety trial of its lead cell therapy candidate, NSI-566, in chronic spinal cord injury patients. [Neuralstem, Inc.] Press Release


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