Volume 8.09 | Mar 12

Neural Cell News 8.09 March 12, 2014
Neural Cell News
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Study Discovers that Reelin Protein Rescues Cognitive Deficits in an Animal Model of Alzheimer’s Disease
Reelin, a crucial protein for adult brain plasticity, recovers cognitive functions in mice with Alzheimer’s disease. Researchers demonstrate for the first time that Reelin has a neuroprotective effect in neurodegenerative diseases, proved in vivo in animal models, and provide a hypothesis to explain its neuroprotective potential. [Press release from the University of Barcelona discussing online prepublication in Nature Communications] Press Release | Abstract
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PUBLICATIONS (Ranked by impact factor of the journal)
C9orf72 Nucleotide Repeat Structures Initiate Molecular Cascades of Disease
A hexanucleotide repeat expansion (HRE), (GGGGCC)n, in C9orf72 is the most common genetic cause of the neurodegenerative diseases amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal dementia (FTD). Here researchers identified a molecular mechanism by which structural polymorphism of the HRE leads to ALS/FTD pathology and defects. [Nature] Abstract | Press Release

Microglia Induce Motor Neuron Death via the Classical NF-κB Pathway in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
Researchers showed that selective nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB) inhibition in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) astrocytes is not sufficient to rescue motor neuron (MN) death. However, the localization of NF-κB activity and subsequent deletion of NF-κB signaling in microglia rescued MNs from microglial-mediated death in vitro and extended survival in ALS mice by impairing proinflammatory microglial activation. [Neuron] Abstract

Dendrite Self-Avoidance Requires Cell-Autonomous Slit/Robo Signaling in Cerebellar Purkinje Cells
Scientists report a role for the secreted molecule Slit2 and its receptor Robo2 in self-avoidance of cerebellar Purkinje cells (PCs). Both molecules are highly expressed by PCs, and their deletion leads to excessive dendrite self-crossing without affecting arbor size and shape. [Neuron] Abstract

Identification of a Cellular Node for Motor Control Pathways
The authors identified a population of molecularly defined motor synergy encoder neurons in the mouse spinal cord that may represent a central node in neural pathways for voluntary and reflexive movement. [Nat Neurosci] Abstract

A Role for Bicaudal-D2 in Radial Cerebellar Granule Cell Migration
Bicaudal-D2 (BICD2)-deficient mice develop disrupted laminar organization of cerebral cortex and the cerebellum, pointing to impaired radial neuronal migration. Using astrocyte and granule cell specific inactivation of BICD2, investigators showed that the cerebellar migration defect is entirely dependent upon BICD2 expression in Bergmann glia cells. [Nat Commun] Abstract

Molecular Adaptations of Striatal Spiny Projection Neurons during Levodopa-Induced Dyskinesia
Researchers identified distinct cell-type-specific gene-expression changes that occur in subclasses of spiny projection neurons upon induction of a parkinsonian lesion followed by chronic levodopa treatment. [Proc Natl Acad Sci USA] Abstract

Genome-Wide shRNA Screen Revealed Integrated Mitogenic Signaling between Dopamine Receptor D2 (DRD2) and Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor (EGFR) in Glioblastoma
Treatment with independent si-/shRNAs against DRD2 or with DRD2 antagonists suppressed the growth of patient-derived glioblastoma lines both in vitro and in vivo. [Oncotarget] Abstract | Press Release

BDNF Pre-Treatment of Human Embryonic-Derived Neural Stem Cells Improves Cell Survival and Functional Recovery after Transplantation in Hypoxic-Ischemic Stroke
Researchers evaluated if pre-treatment of neural stem cells with brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) prior to transplantation improves cell engraftment and functional recovery following hypoxic-ischemia. [Cell Transplant] Abstract

Increased Precursor Cell Proliferation after Deep Brain Stimulation for Parkinson’s Disease: A Human Study
Deep brain stimulation (DBS) has been used for more than a decade to treat Parkinson’s disease; however, its mechanism of action remains unknown. Given the close proximity of the electrode trajectory to areas of the brain known as the “germinal niches,” researchers sought to explore the possibility that DBS influences neural stem cell proliferation locally, as well as more distantly. [PLoS One] Full Article

Isolation of Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell-Derived Dopaminergic Progenitors by Cell Sorting for Successful Transplantation
Investigators showed that human induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-derived dopaminergic (DA) progenitor cells can be efficiently isolated by cell sorting using a floor plate marker, CORIN. They induced DA neurons using scalable culture conditions on human laminin fragment, and the sorted CORIN+ cells expressed the midbrain DA progenitor markers, FOXA2 and LMX1A. [Stem Cell Rep] Full Article | Graphical Abstract | Press Release

Efficiently Expand hPSC-Derived NPCs Without Loss of Multipotency: STEMdiff™ Neural Progenitor Medium
Electrical Synapses and Their Functional Interactions with Chemical Synapses
Rather than conceiving synaptic transmission as either chemical or electrical, this article emphasizes the notion that synaptic transmission is both chemical and electrical, and that interactions between these two forms of interneuronal communication might be required for normal brain development and function. [Nat Rev Neurosci] Abstract

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Singapore’s Largest Neuroscience Research Institute Launched to Advance Care for Disorders like Stroke and Dementia
The National Neuroscience Research Institute Singapore – a joint venture by the National Neuroscience Institute and Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School – has been launched to improve treatment and seek cures through research for brain and nervous system disorders such as stroke, Parkinson disease and dementia. [Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School] Press Release

ALS Association and Robert Packard Center for ALS Research Announce New Scientific Grant Award
The Robert Packard Center for ALS Research and The ALS Association proudly announce the first scientific grant award from the Winokur Family Research Initiative at the opening of the 14th Annual Robert Packard Center for ALS Research Symposium. [The ALS Association] Press Release

OHSU Announces Creation of New Embryonic Stem Cell and Gene Therapy Center
Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) announced the creation of the OHSU Center for Embryonic Cell and Gene Therapy, led by Shoukhrat Mitalipov, Ph.D. The center will allow Mitalipov and his team to accelerate their pioneering work, which over the last several years has opened up new routes that could lead to cures and treatments for Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis and a range of other conditions caused by diseased or injured cells in the human body. [Oregon Health & Science University] Press Release

Cellectar Announces Initiation of Phase II Imaging Trial with I-124-CLR1404 in Patients with Newly Diagnosed or Recurrent Glioblastoma
Cellectar Biosciences, Inc. announced enrollment of the first patient in its Phase II imaging trial of I-124-CLR1404 in patients with glioblastoma. [Cellectar Biosciences, Inc.] Press Release

International Stem Cell Corporation Announces Positive Interim Data from Primate Study Parkinson’s Disease Cell Therapy
International Stem Cell Corporation announced positive data from the first interim analysis of the ongoing IND-enabling pharmacology/toxicology primate study being conducted under the supervision of Professor D. Eugene Redmond Jr. MD, of Yale University Medical School. [International Stem Cell Corporation] Press Release

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NEW Society for Developmental Biology (SDB) 73rd Annual Meeting
July 17-21, 2014
Seattle, United States

NEW Fraunhofer Life Science Symposium: Medicinal Stem Cell Products
October 9-14, 2014
Leipzig, Germany

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NEW Postdoctoral Positions – Cellular Neuroscience and Autism (University of Edinburgh)

NEW PhD Student Position – Retinal Research (Universität Tübingen)

Research Associate – Neuroscience (King’s College London)

Director of GMP/GLP Quality Operations (University of Pennsylvania, Perelman School of Medicine)

Cell Culture Specialist – Manufacturing of Cell Therapy Products (Tisch MS Research Center of New York)

Postdoctoral Position – Neurobiology & Alzheimer’s Disease (Tel Aviv University)

Assistant/Associate Professors – Allergic Inflammation and Sensory Neurobiology (North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine)

Boris Family Fellowships – Neural Stem Cell Research (McMaster University)

Postdoctoral Position – Modeling Neurodevelopmental Disorders with Human Pluripotent Stem Cells (Università di Trento)

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

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

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

Research Technologist – Pluripotent Stem Cells (STEMCELL Technologies Inc.)

Research Technologist – Particle Chemistry (STEMCELL Technologies Inc.)

Research Technologist – PSC Biology and Bioengineering (STEMCELL Technologies Inc.)

Scientific Communications & Publishing Coordinator (STEMCELL Technologies, Inc.)

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