Volume 7.18 | May 8

Neural Cell News 7.18 May 8, 2013
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Sema3A Regulates Bone-Mass Accrual through Sensory Innervations
Scientists showed in mice that Sema3A is abundantly expressed in bone, and cell-based assays showed that Sema3A affected osteoblast differentiation in a cell-autonomous fashion. Accordingly, Sema3a−/− mice had a low bone mass due to decreased bone formation. However, osteoblast-specific Sema3A-deficient mice had normal bone mass, even though the expression of Sema3A in bone was substantially decreased. In contrast, mice lacking Sema3A in neurons had low bone mass, similar to Sema3a−/− mice, indicating that neuron-derived Sema3A is responsible for the observed bone abnormalities independent of the local effect of Sema3A in bone. [Nature] Abstract

Neurosphere or Adherent Monolayer Culture? NeuroCult Does Both
PUBLICATIONS (Ranked by impact factor of the journal)

Functional Maturation of hPSC-Derived Forebrain Interneurons Requires an Extended Timeline and Mimics Human Neural Development
Researchers report the directed differentiation of human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) into medial ganglionic eminence-like progenitors and their maturation into forebrain type interneurons. They found that early-stage progenitors progress via a radial glial-like stem cell enriched in the human fetal brain. [Cell Stem Cell] Abstract | Graphical Abstract | Press Release

Directed Differentiation and Functional Maturation of Cortical Interneurons from Human Embryonic Stem Cells
Investigators demonstrated the highly efficient derivation of human cortical interneurons in an NKX2.1::GFP human embryonic stem cell reporter line. Manipulating the timing of SHH activation yields three distinct GFP+ populations with specific transcriptional profiles, neurotransmitter phenotypes, and migratory behaviors. [Cell Stem Cell] Abstract | Graphical Abstract

Expansion of Oligodendrocyte Progenitor Cells following SIRT1 Inactivation in the Adult Brain
Scientists showed that genetic inactivation of SIRT1, a protein deacetylase implicated in energy metabolism, increases the production of new oligodendrocyte progenitor cells (OPCs) in the adult mouse brain, in part by acting in neural stem cells. New OPCs produced following SIRT1 inactivation differentiate normally, generating fully myelinating oligodendrocytes. [Nat Cell Biol] Abstract

GABA Progenitors Grafted into the Adult Epileptic Brain Control Seizures and Abnormal Behavior
Scientists report that in the recipient brain, GABA progenitors migrated up to 1,500 μm from the injection site, expressed genes and proteins characteristic for interneurons, differentiated into functional inhibitory neurons and received excitatory synaptic input. [Nat Neurosci]
Abstract | Press Release

The Ventral Hippocampus Is the Embryonic Origin for Adult Neural Stem Cells in the Dentate Gyrus
Investigators showed that the neural stem cells (NSCs) initially originate from the ventral hippocampus during late gestation and then relocate into the dorsal hippocampus. The descendants of these cells are the source for the long lived-NSCs in the subgranular zone. [Neuron] Abstract

Parkin Overexpression during Aging Reduces Proteotoxicity, Alters Mitochondrial Dynamics, and Extends Lifespan
Investigators showed that ubiquitous or neuron-specific up-regulation of Parkin, in adult Drosophila melanogaster, increases both mean and maximum lifespan without reducing reproductive output, physical activity, or food intake. Long-lived Parkin-overexpressing flies display an increase in K48-linked polyubiquitin and reduced levels of protein aggregation during aging. [Proc Natl Acad Sci USA]
Abstract | Press Release

Role for the Kinase SGK1 in Stress, Depression, and Glucocorticoid Effects on Hippocampal Neurogenesis
Scientists identified the glucocorticoid receptor target gene, serum- and glucocorticoid-inducible kinase 1 (SGK1), as one such mechanism. Using a human hippocampal progenitor cell line, they found that a small molecule inhibitor for SGK1, GSK650394, counteracted the cortisol-induced reduction in neurogenesis. [Proc Natl Acad Sci USA] Abstract | Full Article | Press Release

Proteolysis of MOB1 by the Ubiquitin Ligase praja2 Attenuates Hippo Signaling and Supports Glioblastoma Growth
Scientists report that the RING ligase praja2 ubiquitylates and degrades Mob, a core component of NDR/LATS kinase and a positive regulator of the tumor-suppressor Hippo cascade. Degradation of Mob through the ubiquitin-proteasome system attenuates the Hippo cascade and sustains glioblastoma growth in vivo. [Nat Commun] Full Article

SMRT Compounds Abrogate Cellular Phenotypes of Ataxia Telangiectasia in Neural Derivatives of Patient-Specific hiPSCs
The authors present a model of human ataxia telangiectasia using induced pluripotent stem cells, and show that small molecule read-through compounds, designed to induce read-through of mRNA around premature termination codons, restore ATM activity and improve the response to DNA damage. [Nat Commun] Abstract

Integrin α3 Is Overexpressed in Glioma Stem-Like Cells and Promotes Invasion
Researchers attempted to identify the molecules that promote invasion in glioma stem-like cells. Immunohistochemistry demonstrated the localization of integrin α3 in glioblastoma cells, including invading cells, and in the tumor cells around the vessels, which is believed to be a stem cell niche. [Brit J Cancer] Abstract

SNARE Proteins Synaptobrevin, SNAP-25, and Syntaxin Are Involved in Rapid and Slow Endocytosis at Synapses
Scientists report that cleavage of three SNARE proteins essential for exocytosis, including synaptobrevin, SNAP-25, and syntaxin, inhibited rapid endocytosis at the calyx of Held nerve terminal, suggesting the involvement of the three SNARE proteins in rapid endocytosis. These SNARE proteins were also involved in slow endocytosis. [Cell Rep]
Abstract | Graphical Abstract | Press Release

Happy Neurons lead to Happy Neuroscientists: NeuroCult SM Primary Neuronal Culture Kits


How Stem Cells Speak with Host Immune Cells in Inflammatory Brain Diseases
The authors focus on the main cellular signaling pathways that grafted mesenchymal stem cells and neural stem/precursor cells use to establish a therapeutically relevant cross talk with host immune cells, while examining the role of inflammation in regulating some of the bidirectionality of these communications. [Glia] Abstract

Visit our reviews page to see a complete list of reviews in the neuroscience field.


Researchers Encouraged by Results from First American Clinical Trial for Stem Cell-Based Treatment of ALS
Researchers who completed the first American clinical trial involving stem cell-based treatment of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) were encouraged by the trial study’s results, noting that this delivery approach could be a helpful therapeutic approach for other traumatic spine-related problems. [Press release from the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS) discussing research presented at the 81st AANS Annual Scientific Meeting, New Orleans] Press Release

Phase I Trial Results of Neural Stem Cell Transplantation Encouraging Those Suffering from Pelizaeus-Merzbacher Disease; Could Also Have Application for Wide Range of Neurological-related Conditions
Research findings showed human central nervous system stem cells (HuCNS-SC) foster myelin formation following HuCNS-SC transplantation. [Press release from the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS) discussing research presented at the 81st AANS Annual Scientific Meeting, New Orleans]
Press Release

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Clinical Trial for Newly Diagnosed Glioblastoma Opened in Korea
Novocure announced that the EF-14 pivotal clinical trial for patients with newly diagnosed glioblastoma brain tumors has enrolled its first patient in Korea. [Novocure] Press Release

Neurophage, Inc. Raises $6.4 Million In Additional Financing
NeuroPhage Pharmaceuticals, Inc. announced that it raised $6.4 million in a private equity financing round. The new funds will help support ongoing pre-IND studies for lead compound NPT002 and will advance the development of second-generation fusion proteins with the potential for treating several neurodegenerative conditions including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Huntington’s diseases. [NeuroPhage Pharmaceuticals, Inc.] Press Release

The ALS Association Launches Online and Social Media Campaign during May, ALS Awareness Month
According to its most recent website traffic statistics, The ALS Association finds that more and more people are visiting its website looking for information about the disease, its symptoms, diagnoses and treatments. This May, The ALS Association will mark ALS Awareness month by working to turn that interest into action through a vibrant online and social media campaign around the shared vision to create a world without ALS. [The ALS Association] 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 International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR): Stem Cells in Translation
September 15-18, 2013
Florence, Italy

NEW International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR): Stem Cells in Science & Medicine
October 14-17, 2013
Suzhou, China

January 28-29, 2014
San Diego, United States

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


NEW Postdoctoral Fellow (Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine)

NEW Assistant or Associate Professor of Neuroscience (University of Virginia)

Research Fellow – Neural Stem Cells/Neurogenesis (Ikerbasque, the Basque Foundation for Science)

Research Associate  – Neuroscience (University College London)

Postdoctoral Researcher – Neuroscience (Copenhagen University)

Postdoctoral Position – Neurobiology (Weizmann Institute of Science)

PhD Opportunity – Role of Fibroblast Growth Factors in the Generation of Neuronal Diversity in the Spinal Cord (University of East Anglia)

Doctoral Studentship – Neural Cell Physiology (CNR-ISMN)

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