Volume 8.05 | Feb 12

Neural Cell News 8.05 February 12, 2014
Neural Cell News
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Toxin from Brain Cells Triggers Neuron Loss in Human ALS Model
In most cases of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or Lou Gehrig’s disease, a toxin released by cells that normally nurture neurons in the brain and spinal cord can trigger loss of the nerve cells affected in the disease, researchers reported. [Press release from Columbia University Medical Center discussing online prepublication in Neuron] Press Release | Abstract
Happy Neurons lead to Happy Neuroscientists: NeuroCult SM Primary Neuronal Culture Kits
PUBLICATIONS (Ranked by impact factor of the journal)
Astrocyte-Derived Endothelin-1 Inhibits Remyelination through Notch Activation
Investigators identified an endogenous inhibitor of remyelination, Endothelin-1 (ET-1), which is highly expressed in reactive astrocytes of demyelinated lesions. Using both gain- and loss-of-function approaches, they demonstrated that ET-1 drastically reduces the rate of remyelination. [Neuron] Abstract | Press Release

Axonal Transport of TDP-43 mRNA Granules Is Impaired by ALS-Causing Mutations
The authors showed that TDP-43 forms cytoplasmic mRNP granules that undergo bidirectional, microtubule-dependent transport in neurons in vitro and in vivo and facilitate delivery of target mRNA to distal neuronal compartments. [Neuron] Abstract | Full Article | Press Release

Stress and Glucocorticoids Promote Oligodendrogenesis in the Adult Hippocampus
Investigators found that immobilization stress decreased neurogenesis and increased oligodendrogenesis in the dentate gyrus of the adult rat hippocampus and that injections of the rat glucocorticoid stress hormone corticosterone were sufficient to replicate this effect. [Mol Psychiatry] Abstract

Positive Feedback Loop between Sox2 and Sox6 Inhibits Neuronal Differentiation in the Developing Central Nervous System
Gain- and loss-of-function assays indicate that Sox6 in turn is required for the maintenance of Sox2 expression, suggesting that a positive feedback loop, which functions to inhibit premature neuronal differentiation, exists between the two transcription factors. [Proc Natl Acad Sci USA] Abstract

IRF4 Is a Novel Mediator for Neuronal Survival in Ischemic Stroke
Researchers have shown that the interferon regulatory factor 4 (IRF4)-serum response factor axis is a novel signaling pathway critical for neuronal survival in the setting of ischemic stroke. [Cell Death Differ] Full Article

Nrf2 Regulates Neurogenesis and Protects Neural Progenitor Cells against Aβ Toxicity
Results suggest that nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor (Nrf2) is essential for neuronal differentiation of neural stem/progenitor cells (NPCs), regulates injury-induced neurogenesis and provides protection against amyloid beta (Aβ)-induced NPC toxicity. [Stem Cells] Abstract

Bax Interacting Factor-1 Promotes Survival and Mitochondrial Elongation in Neurons
Previous studies in non-neuronal cells have shown that Bax-interacting factor 1 (Bif-1) is proapoptotic and promotes mitochondrial fragmentation. However, the role of Bif-1 in postmitotic neurons has not been investigated. In contrast to non-neuronal cells, researchers report that in neurons Bif-1 promotes viability and mitochondrial elongation. [J Neurosci] Abstract

Neu3 Sialidase-Mediated Ganglioside Conversion Is Necessary for Axon Regeneration and Is Blocked in CNS Axons
Researchers showed that activation of Neu3 sialidase, also known as Neuraminidase-3, causing conversion of GD1a and GT1b to GM1 ganglioside, is an essential step in regeneration occurring in PNS (sensory) but not CNS (retinal) axons in adult rat. [J Neurosci] Abstract

Kappe Neurons, a Novel Population of Olfactory Sensory Neurons
Kappe neurons constitute the fourth type of olfactory sensory neurons reported in teleost fishes and their existence suggests that encoding of olfactory stimuli may require a higher complexity than hitherto assumed already in the peripheral olfactory system. [Sci Rep] Full Article

Transplantation of Photoreceptors Derived from Human Müller Glia Restore Rod Function in the P23H Rat
Researchers aimed to differentiate human Müller glia with stem cell characteristics (hMSCs) into photoreceptor cells by stimulation with growth and differentiation factors in vitro to upregulate gene and protein expression of CRX, NR2E3, and rhodopsin and various phototransduction markers associated with rod photoreceptor development and function and to examine the effect of subretinal transplantation of these cells into the P23H rat, a model of primary photoreceptor degeneration. [Stem Cells Transl Med] Abstract | Press Release

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Efficiently Expand hPSC-Derived NPCs Without Loss of Multipotency: STEMdiff™ Neural Progenitor Medium
Cell-to-Cell Transmission of Pathogenic Proteins in Neurodegenerative Diseases
Recent studies have strongly implicated cell-to-cell transmission of misfolded proteins as a common mechanism for the onset and progression of various neurodegenerative disorders. Although there are many more questions to be answered, these studies have opened up new avenues for therapeutic interventions in neurodegenerative disorders. [Nat Med] Abstract

Forkhead Pathway in the Control of Adult Neurogenesis
This review aims at discussing recent advances in the molecular control of adult neurogenesis, focusing more particularly on the role of Fox proteins. [Stem Cells] Full Article

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

Translational CNS Summit 2014
Grants Support Immunotherapy-Based Treatment for Childhood Cancer
Dr. William Decker and Dr. Cliona Rooney are two of a dozen researchers nationwide to earn Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation’s new Reach Awards. Decker’s research focuses on the development of a novel immunotherapeutic treatment approach for a type of brain cancer called Atypical Teratoid/Rhabdoid Tumor. Rooney’s research also involves an immunotherapy-based approach. The goal is to develop potent immune-based therapies for high-risk neuroblastoma. [Baylor College of Medicine] Press Release

City of Hope Researcher Receives Five Grants Totaling $450,000 to Fight Pediatric Brain Tumors
Despite continual advances in the treatment of brain tumors, infants and children diagnosed with medulloblastoma – a fast-growing tumor in the cerebellum portion of the brain – still face significant challenges overcoming this disease. One particularly tricky obstacle is the blood-brain barrier, which prevents cancer drugs from passing into the brain and attacking the tumor. Margarita Gutova, M.D. may have found a way to bypass that hurdle – using neural stem cells. [Newswise, Inc] Press Release | Video

StemCells, Inc. Announces Completion of the First of Two Cohorts in Its Dry Age-Related Macular Degeneration Trial
StemCells, Inc. announced that it has completed enrollment of the first of two planned patient cohorts in the company’s clinical trial of its proprietary HuCNS-SC® product candidate (purified human neural stem cells) for dry age-related macular degeneration. This cohort consisted of eight subjects, four of whom each received 200,000 cells and four of whom each received 1,000,000 cells. [StemCells, Inc.] Press Release

Alliance for Cancer Gene Therapy Targets Brain, Pediatric Cancers with $1 Million in New Grants
Alliance for Cancer Gene Therapy is redoubling its efforts to treat and combat cancers in the New Year, and announces $1 million in recent grants. [Vocus PRW Holdings, LLC] Press Release

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Judges Side with FDA on Stem Cells
The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that culturing a patient’s stem cells for therapeutic use falls under the aegis of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). FDA has said therapeutic stem cells should be regulated as drugs. [TheScientist] Editorial | Court Ruling

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Therapeutic Goods Administration (Australia)
NEW Fourth Annual Advanced Therapies Summit 2014
March 12-13, 2014
Turin, Italy

Visit our events page to see a complete list of events in the neural cell community.
NEW Postdoctoral Position – Modeling Neurodevelopmental Disorders with Human Pluripotent Stem Cells (Università di Trento)

NEW Postdoctoral Researcher – Pathogenesis of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (VIB Vesalius Research Center Belgium)

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

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

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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