Volume 8.04 | Feb 5

Neural Cell News 8.04 February 5, 2014
Neural Cell News
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Cc to the Brain: How Neurons Control Fine Motor Behavior of the Arm
Motor commands issued by the brain to activate arm muscles take two different routes. As researchers discovered, many neurons in the spinal cord send their instructions not only towards the musculature, but at the same time also back to the brain via an exquisitely organized network. This dual information stream provides the neural basis for accurate control of arm and hand movements. [Press release from the University of Basel discussing online prepublication in Cell] Press Release | Abstract | Graphical Abstract
Take the "if" out of "diff": Reduce variability when differentiating to neural progenitors
PUBLICATIONS (Ranked by impact factor of the journal)
Bidirectional Thermotaxis in Caenorhabditis elegans Is Mediated by Distinct Sensorimotor Strategies Driven by the AFD Thermosensory Neurons
The authors analyzed positive and negative thermotaxis toward a preferred temperature setpoint to study the role of specific neurons that have been proposed to be involved in thermotaxis using genetic ablation, behavioral tracking, and calcium imaging. [Proc Natl Acad Sci USA] Abstract

Long-Distance Mechanism of Neurotransmitter Recycling Mediated by Glial Network Facilitates Visual Function in Drosophila
Using the Drosophila visual system as a genetic model, researchers showed that a multicellular glial network transports neurotransmitter metabolites between perisynaptic glia and neuronal cell bodies to mediate long-distance recycling of neurotransmitter. [Proc Natl Acad Sci USA] Abstract

Functional Cross-Talk between the Cellular Prion Protein and the Neural Cell Adhesion Molecule NCAM Is Critical for Neuronal Differentiation of Neural Stem/Precursor Cells
Investigators generated neural stem/precursor cells (NPCs) from the subventricular zone of postnatal day 5 wild type and PrP null mice and observed that PrP is essential for proper NPC proliferation and neuronal differentiation. [Stem Cells] Abstract

Combination of Engineered Schwann Cell Grafts to Secrete Neurotrophin and Chondroitinase Promotes Axonal Regeneration and Locomotion after Spinal Cord Injury
Investigators transplanted Schwann cells genetically modified to secrete a bifunctional neurotrophin and chondroitinase ABC into a subacute contusion injury in rats. [J Neurosci] Abstract

Integrin αvβ3 and Thyroid Hormones Promote Expansion of Progenitors in Embryonic Neocortex
Convergence of extracellular matrix and thyroid hormones on integrin αvβ3 appears to be crucial for cortical progenitor proliferation and self-renewal, and hence for normal brain development and the evolutionary expansion of the neocortex. [Development] Abstract | Press Release

CDK5-Induced p-PPARγ(Ser 112) Downregulates GFAP via PPREs in Developing Rat Brain: Effect of Metal Mixture and Troglitazone in Astrocytes
Researchers investigated the role of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARγ) in regulating glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) using a mixture of As, Cd and Pb that induces apoptosis and aberrant morphology in rat brain astrocytes. [Cell Death Dis] Full Article

Neural Stem Cell Transplants Improve Cognitive Function without Altering Amyloid Pathology in an APP/PS1 Double Transgenic Model of Alzheimer’s Disease
The authors investigated the effect of neural stem cell transplantation on cognitive function in the amyloid precursor protein/presenilin-1 (APP/PS1) transgenic mouse, an Alzheimer disease mouse model with age-dependent cognitive deficits. [Mol Neurobiol] Abstract

MiR-21 Is an Ngf-Modulated MicroRNA That Supports Ngf Signaling and Regulates Neuronal Degeneration in PC12 Cells
Investigators showed that microRNA (miR)-21 enhances neurotrophin signaling and controls neuronal differentiation induced by Ngf. Notably, in a situation mimicking neurodegeneration – differentiated neurons deprived of Ngf – this microRNA is able to preserve the neurite network and to support viability of the neurons. [Neuromolecular Med] Full Article

Central Canal Ependymal Cells Proliferate Extensively in Response to Traumatic Spinal Cord Injury but Not Demyelinating Lesions
To determine whether reactive ependymal cells are a realistic endogenous cell population to target in order to promote spinal cord repair, researchers assessed the spatiotemporal dynamics of ependymal cell proliferation for up to 35 days in three models of spinal pathologies: contusion spinal cord injury using the Infinite Horizon impactor, focal demyelination by intraspinal injection of lysophosphatidylcholine, and autoimmune-mediated multi-focal demyelination using the active experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis model of multiple sclerosis. [PLoS One] Full Article

A30P α-Synuclein Interferes with the Stable Integration of Adult-Born Neurons into the Olfactory Network
Scientists investigated the link between Parkinson disease-related mutant α-Synuclein (α-SYN) pathology and olfactory deficit, by examining the integration of adult-born neurons in the olfactory bulb of A30P α-SYN overexpressing mice. [Sci Rep] Full Article

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Webinar: Brent Reynolds on Identification and Characterization of Neural Stem Cells
Development-Inspired Reprogramming of the Mammalian Central Nervous System
Direct lineage reprogramming is a nascent but promising field. Although both unspecialized and specialized neuronal cells have already been generated by these methods, scientists still need a more refined understanding of how reprogramming works, how the cellular context constrains reprogramming routes, and what synergistic effects arise with various reprogramming factors. [Science] Abstract

Cross Talk between Cellular Redox Status, Metabolism, and p53 in Neural Stem Cell Biology
The authors explore the known and putative functions of p53 in antioxidant response and metabolic control and examine how reactive oxygen species, p53, and related cellular signaling may regulate neural stem cell homeostasis, quiescence, and differentiation. [Neuroscientist] Abstract

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Stem Cell Agency Funds More Than $66 Million in Research Including New Genomics Initiative
A team bringing together experts and investigators from seven different major California institutions has been awarded $40 million to create a new Center of Excellence in Stem Cell Genomics, by California’s stem cell agency, the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine. [California Institute for Regenerative Medicine]
Press Release

UC Irvine Stem Cell Researchers Awarded $1.54 Million in State Funding
Two UC Irvine research teams will receive $1.54 million to further studies on the fundamental structure and function of stem cells. Their work will aid efforts to treat and cure a range of ailments, from cancer to neurological diseases and injuries. [UC Irvine] Press Release

BrainStorm Receives US Notice of Allowance for Its Key Stem Cell Technology Patent
BrainStorm Cell Therapeutics announced that it has received a Notice of Allowance from the U.S. Patent Office for its “Mesenchymal Stem Cells for the Treatment of CNS Diseases” (serial number 12/994,761) patent application. [BrainStorm Cell Therapeutics] Press Release

BrainStorm Signs Definitive Agreement with Mayo Clinic for ALS Clinical Trial and NurOwn Manufacturing
BrainStorm Cell Therapeutics announced that it has signed a definitive agreement with the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota to conduct its Phase II clinical trial of NurOwn™ in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), pending FDA approval. [BrainStorm Cell Therapeutics] Press Release

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NEW PhD Studentship – Huntington’s Disease Research (Cardiff University)

NEW Postdoctoral Position – Developmental Neurobiology (Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center)

NEW Lab Technologist – Human Pluripotent Stem Cells (STEMCELL Technologies Inc.)

Postdoctoral Fellow – Neuroscience (Harvard Medical School)

Postdoctoral Position – RNA Metabolism in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (Institut du Cerveau et de la Moelle épinière)

Postdoctoral Research Position – Electrophysiological Properties of Human Stem-Cell Derived Neurons (University of Szeged)

Postdoctoral Position – Neuroscience/Ischemic Stroke Research (Tulane University)

Postdoctoral Position – Neuroimaging (BarcelonaBeta Brain Research Center)

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