Volume 7.19 | May 15

Neural Cell News 7.19 May 15, 2013
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In Vivo RNAi Screen for BMI1 Targets Identifies TGF-β/BMP-ER Stress Pathways as Key Regulators of Neural- and Malignant Glioma-Stem Cell Homeostasis
In mouse and human neural progenitor and glioblastoma “stem-like” cells, scientists identified key targets of the Polycomb-group protein BMI1 by combining ChIP-seq with in vivo RNAi screening. [Cancer Cell]
Abstract | Graphical Abstract

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

Mutant Presenilin 1 Expression in Excitatory Neurons Impairs Enrichment-Mediated Phenotypes of Adult Hippocampal Progenitor Cells
Investigators report that nontransgenic mouse adult hippocampal neural progenitor cells transduced with retroviruses harboring cDNAs that encode either human presenilin 1 (PS1) wild-type or familial Alzheimer’s disease-linked PS1 variants show no differences in environmental enrichment (EE)-mediated proliferation and neuronal differentiation. Moreover, conditional inactivation of a mutant PS1 transgene in type-1 primary progenitor cells failed to rescue impairments of EE-induced proliferation, survival, or neurogenesis. [Proc Natl Acad Sci USA] Abstract

Tissue Plasminogen Activator Regulates Purkinje Neuron Development and Survival
Scientists found that the homozygous nervous mutant mouse’s 10-fold-increased cerebellar tissue plasminogen activator (tPA), a part of the tPA/plasmin proteolytic system, influences several different molecular mechanisms, each regulating a key aspect of postnatal Purkinje neuron (PN) development, followed by selective PN necrosis. [Proc Natl Acad Sci USA]
Abstract | Full Article

Upregulation of mGlu2 Receptors via NF-κB p65 Acetylation Is Involved in the Proneurogenic and Antidepressant Effects of Acetyl-L-Carnitine
Investigators report that acetyl-L-carnitine (ALC) is a proneurogenic molecule, whose effect on neuronal differentiation of adult hippocampal neural progenitors is independent of its neuroprotective activity. The in vitro proneurogenic effects of ALC appear to be mediated by activation of the NF-κB pathway, and in particular by p65 acetylation, and subsequent NF-κB-mediated upregulation of metabotropic glutamate receptor 2 (mGlu2) expression. [Neuropsychopharmacol] Abstract

Serotonin Is Required for Exercise-Induced Adult Hippocampal Neurogenesis
Using tryptophan hydroxylase (TPH) 2 deficient (Tph2-deficient) mice that lack brain serotonin, scientists explored the relationship between serotonin signaling and exercise-induced neurogenesis. Surprisingly, Tph2-deficient mice exhibit normal baseline hippocampal neurogenesis but impaired activity-induced proliferation. [J Neurosci] Abstract

Bithorax-Complex Genes Sculpt the Pattern of Leucokinergic Neurons in the Drosophila Central Nervous System
Researchers aimed to understand the mechanisms by which Hox genes of the Bithorax complex of Drosophila act to define segmental differences in the ventral nerve cord of the central nervous system. To achieve this, they focused on the specification of the leucokinin-expressing neurons. They found that these neurons are specified from the same progenitor neuroblast at two different developmental stages: embryonic and larval neurogenesis. [Development] Abstract

Role of Cystatin C in Amyloid Precursor Protein-Induced Proliferation of Neural Stem/Progenitor Cells
Researchers examined the role of amyloid precursor protein (APP) in neural stem/progenitor cell (NSPC) proliferation. NSPCs derived from APP-overexpressing Tg2576 transgenic mice proliferated more rapidly than NSPCs from the corresponding background strain wild-type mice. [J Biol Chem] Abstract

Stem Cells from Umbilical Cord Wharton’s Jelly from Preterm Birth Have Neuroglial Differentiation Potential
Researchers aimed to determine the neuroglial differentiation potential of human Wharton’s jelly-derived mesenchymal stem cells (WJ-MSCs) from preterm birth when compared to term delivery. Independent of gestational age, a subset of WJ-MSC displayed the neural progenitor cell markers Nestin and Musashi-1 and the mature neural markers microtubule-associated protein 2, glial fibrillary acidic protein, and myelin basic protein. [Reprod Sci] Abstract

Inhibitory Effects of Neural Stem Cells Derived from Human Embryonic Stem Cells on Differentiation and Function of Monocyte-Derived Dendritic Cells
Researchers used an in vitro approach to evaluate the effects of human neural stem cells (NSCs) on differentiation of human blood CD14+ monocytes into dendritic cells. NSCs derived from H1 human embryonic stem cells and human ReNcell NSC line, as well as human bone marrow derived mesenchymal stem cells, were tested. [J Neuro Sci] Abstract

The Phr1 Ubiquitin Ligase Promotes Injury-Induced Axon Self-Destruction
Axon degeneration is an evolutionarily conserved process that drives the loss of damaged axons and is an early event in many neurological disorders, so it is important to identify the molecular constituents of this poorly understood mechanism. Scientists demonstrated that the Phr1 E3 ubiquitin ligase is a central component of this axon degeneration program. Loss of Phr1 results in prolonged survival of severed axons in both the peripheral and central nervous systems, as well as preservation of motor and sensory nerve terminals. [Cell Rep]
Abstract | Graphical Abstract | Full Article | Press Release

Pan-Neuronal Maturation but Not Neuronal Subtype Differentiation of Adult Neural Stem Cells Is Mechanosensitive
Researchers cultured adult neural stem cells on variable stiffness ECMs under conditions that promote neuronal fate commitment for extended time periods to allow neuronal subtype differentiation. They found that ECM stiffness does not modulate the expression of NeuroD1 and TrkA/B/C or the percentages of pan-neuronal, GABAergic, or glutamatergic neuronal subtypes. [Sci Rep] Full Article

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BDNF-Based Synaptic Repair as a Disease-Modifying Strategy for Neurodegenerative Diseases
This article reviews the key issues in translating brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) biology into synaptic repair therapies. [Nat Rev Neurosci] Abstract

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


BioTime’s Subsidiary Cell Cure Neurosciences Ltd. Awarded $1.5 Million Grant from Israel’s Office of the Chief Scientist
BioTime, Inc. and its subsidiary Cell Cure Neurosciences Ltd. announced that Cell Cure Neurosciences has been awarded a grant of 5.34 million Shekels, approximately $1.5 million, for 2013 from Israel’s Office of the Chief Scientist to help finance the development of OpRegen®, a cell-based therapeutic product in development by Cell Cure Neurosciences for the treatment of age-related macular degeneration. [BioTime, Inc.] Press Release

New Clinical Trial Investigates APOKYN for Treating Debilitating Morning Akinesia in Parkinson’s Disease Patients
US WorldMeds announced the launch of a new clinical trial investigating APOKYN® (apomorphine hydrochloride injection) as a rapid and reliable treatment for “morning akinesia” in Parkinson’s disease. [BusinessWire] Press Release

Stem Cell Research for New MS Treatment
Modified adult stem cells may hold the key to a new treatment for multiple sclerosis (MS), according to researchers, speaking during ‘Kiss Goodbye to MS’ month. They have started a three-year research project using adult stem cells from fat tissue to send cells with special anti-inflammatory properties directly to the damaged site in the central nervous system. [University of Adelaide] Press Release

Grant to Fund Nanotech Therapies for Traumatic Brain Injuries
The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has awarded $6 million to a team of researchers, including Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Sangeeta Bhatia, to develop nanotechnology therapies for the treatment of traumatic brain injury and associated infections. [Massachusetts Institute of Technology] Press Release

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NEW Alzheimer’s Association International Conference (AAIC)
July 13-18, 2013
Boston, United States

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NEW Researcher – Neurobiology/Evolutionary Neural Development (Georg-August University Göttingen)

Postdoctoral Fellow (Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine)

Assistant or Associate Professor of Neuroscience (University of Virginia)

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

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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