Volume 7.07 | Feb 20

Neural Cell News 7.07 February 20, 2013
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EGF Transactivation of Trk Receptors Regulates the Migration of Newborn Cortical Neurons
Scientists found that TrkB and TrkC, the receptors for brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and neurotrophin-3 (NT-3), are activated by epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) signaling rather than by BDNF or NT-3 in embryonic mouse cortical precursor cells. [Nat Neurosci] Abstract

Open Access JoVE Protocol: Discriminating NSCs from NPCs with the NeuroCult™ NCFC Assay
PUBLICATIONS (Ranked by impact factor of the journal)

Rbfox3-Regulated Alternative Splicing of Numb Promotes Neuronal Differentiation during Development
Researchers focused on a neuron-specific RNA-binding protein, Rbfox3, recently identified as the antigen of the widely used anti-NeuN antibody. Small interfering RNA-mediated loss-of-function studies using the developing chicken spinal cord revealed that Rbfox3 is required to promote neuronal differentiation of postmitotic neurons. [J Cell Biol] Abstract

Metabotropic NMDA Receptor Function Is Required for β-Amyloid-Induced Synaptic Depression
Investigators found that elevated oligomeric β-amyloid (Aβ) requires ion flux-independent function of NMDA receptors (NMDARs) to produce synaptic depression. Aβ activates this metabotropic NMDAR function on GluN2B-containing NMDARs but not on those containing GluN2A. [Proc Natl Acad Sci USA]
Abstract | Press Release

Metabotropic NMDA Receptor Function Is Required for NMDA Receptor-Dependent Long-Term Depression
Researchers showed that ligand binding to NMDA receptors (NMDARs) is sufficient to induce long-term depression (LTD); neither ion flow through NMDARs nor Ca2+ rise is required. However, basal levels of Ca2+ are permissively required. Lowering, but not maintaining, basal Ca2+ levels with Ca2+ chelators blocks LTD and drives strong synaptic potentiation, indicating that basal Ca2+ levels control NMDAR-dependent LTD and basal synaptic transmission. [Proc Natl Acad Sci USA] Abstract | Press Release

A Kinome-Wide RNAi Screen in Drosophila Glia Reveals that the RIO Kinases Mediate Cell Proliferation and Survival through TORC2-Akt Signaling in Glioblastoma

In Drosophila melanogaster, activation of receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) and Pi-3 kinase (PI3K) pathways in glial progenitor cells creates malignant neoplastic glial tumors that display many features of human glioblastoma. In both human and Drosophila, activation of the RTK and PI3K pathways stimulates Akt signaling along with other as-yet-unknown changes that drive oncogenesis. The authors used this Drosophila glioblastoma model to perform a kinome-wide genetic screen for new genes required for RTK- and PI3K-dependent neoplastic transformation. [PLoS Genet] Full Article

Genome-Wide Comparison of DNA Hydroxymethylation in Mouse Embryonic Stem Cells and Neural Progenitor Cells by a New Comparative hMeDIP-seq Method
Using their improved method, the authors profiled and compared the DNA hydroxymethylomes of mouse ES cells (ESCs) and mouse ESC-derived neural progenitor cells (NPCs). They identified differentially hydroxymethylated regions between ESCs and NPCs and uncovered an intricate relationship between the alteration of DNA hydroxymethylation and changes in gene expression during neural lineage commitment of ESCs. [Nucleic Acids Res] Full Article

A Subpopulation of Individual Neural Progenitors in the Mammalian Dorsal Pallium Generates Both Projection Neurons and Interneurons In Vitro
Researchers present evidence that single mouse neocortical progenitors generated both projection neurons and GABAergic interneurons based on studies using fluorescence-activated cell sorting (to obtain individual progenitors) and in vitro clonal analysis using time-lapse video microscopy and immunostaining. [Stem Cells] Full Article

Physiological Release of Endogenous Tau Is Stimulated by Neuronal Activity
Propagation of tau pathology is linked with progressive neurodegeneration, but the mechanism underlying trans-synaptic spread of tau is unknown. Researchers showed that stimulation of neuronal activity, or AMPA receptor activation, induces tau release from healthy, mature cortical neurons. [EMBO Rep] Full Article

Nanofibrous Scaffold-Mediated REST Knockdown to Enhance Neuronal Differentiation of Stem Cells
Researchers explored the feasibility of directing neuronal differentiation through synergistic integration of three-dimensional nanofibrous topographical cues and scaffold-mediated knockdown of RE-1 silencing transcription factor (REST) in mouse neural stem/progenitor cells. Taking advantage of the strong adhesive property and latent reactivity of mussel-inspired polydopamine coating, electrospun polycaprolactone nanofibers were successfully functionalized with REST siRNAs. [Biomaterials] Abstract

The Role of TLR4 in the Paclitaxel Effects on Neuronal Growth In Vitro
Scientists demonstrated that low concentrations of paclitaxel (Pac) do not influence the neuronal growth in cultures in both wild type and TLR4 knockout mice. Higher concentrations of Pac had a significant effect on DRG neurons from wild type mice, affecting the number of neurons which developed neurites, number of neurites per cell, and the length of neurites. [PLoS One] Full Article

Neural Stem/Progenitor Cells (NSPCs) Display a Low Requirement for Oxidative Metabolism Independent of Hypoxia Inducible Factor-1 Alpha (HIF-1α) Expression
Scientists investigated the metabolic state of undifferentiated neural stem/progenitor cells in culture, and tested their relative reliance on oxidative vs. glycolytic metabolism for survival, as well as their dependence upon HIF-1α expression for maintenance of metabolic phenotype. Unlike primary neurons, NSPCs from embryonic and adult mice survived prolonged hypoxia in culture. [J Neurochem] Abstract

Quantitative Microplate Assay for Studying Mesenchymal Stromal Cell-Induced Neuropoiesis
Scientists characterized a microplate-format coculture system in which primary embryonic rat cortex cells are directly cocultured with human mesenchymal stromal cells on cell-derived extracellular matrix in the absence of exogenous growth factors. [Stem Cells Transl Med] Abstract

Webinar: Brent Reynolds on Identification and Characterization of Neural Stem Cells

The Endogenous Regenerative Capacity of the Damaged Newborn Brain: Boosting Neurogenesis with Mesenchymal Stem Cell Treatment
The authors present an overview of the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying endogenous regenerative processes during development as well as after a cerebral ischemic insult. [J Cerebr Blood F Met] Abstract

Pioneer in Neural Development Carla Shatz, PhD, Wins Prestigious Prize
Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and Weill Cornell Medical College announced that the Mortimer D. Sackler, M.D. Prize for Distinguished Achievement in Developmental Psychobiology has been awarded to Carla Shatz, PhD, the Sapp Family Provostial Professor in Neurobiology at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California. Dr. Shatz’s work has advanced understanding of fundamental principles of early brain development with the discovery that neuronal activity prior to birth is essential for later formation and refinement of connections in the visual system. [Columbia University Medical Center] Press Release

Alzheimer’s Association® Receives Second Major Pledge From The TJX Companies, Inc.
The Alzheimer’s Association announced a multi-year pledge of $1 million from The TJX Companies, Inc., in recognition of the massive impact of Alzheimer’s disease worldwide. [PR Newswire Association LLC.]
Press Release

NeurOp and Emory Scientists Target Cognitive and Mental Health Disorders
NeurOp, Inc. has formed a research collaboration with Emory University to study modulation of certain brain cell receptors and its possible impact on several serious cognitive and mental health disorders: schizophrenia, post-traumatic stress disorder, and Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases. [NeurOp, Inc.] Press Release


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NEW The 7th World Congress on Controversies in Neurology (CONy)
April 11-14, 2013
Istanbul, Turkey

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

Postdoctoral Position – Neurobiology (Weizmann Institute of Science)

Postdoctoral Position(s) – Cell Biology, Biophysics and Neurobiology (University of Missouri, Kansas City)

Postdoctoral Position – Systems Biology, Neurodegenerative Diseases (The Microsoft Research-University of Trento [COSBI])

Postdoctoral Position – Neural Stem Cells and Neurodevelopment (University of Wisconsin – Madison)

Postdoctoral Position – Neuroscience (Children’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School)

Postdoctoral Position – Molecular Pharmacology (Albert Einstein College of Medicine)

Postdoctoral Fellow – Stem Cell Biology (Johns Hopkins School of Medicine)

Postdoctoral Fellow – Neural Stem Cells and Neurogenesis (UT Southwestern Medical Center)

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