Volume 8.13 | Apr 9

Neural Cell News 8.13 April 9, 2014
Neural Cell News
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Light-Activated Neurons Restore Function to Paralyzed Muscles
A new way to artificially control muscles using light, with the potential to restore function to muscles paralyzed by conditions such as motor neuron disease and spinal cord injury, has been developed. The technique involves transplanting specially-designed motor neurons created from stem cells into injured nerve branches. [Press release from King’s College London discussing online prepublication in Science]
Press Release | Abstract | Video
Webinar: Modeling Human Neurological Disease with iPS Cells
PUBLICATIONS (Ranked by impact factor of the journal)
Synapse Elimination and Learning Rules Co-Regulated by MHC Class I H2-Db
The formation of precise connections between retina and lateral geniculate nucleus involves the activity-dependent elimination of some synapses, with strengthening and retention of others. Researchers showed that the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I molecule H2-Db is necessary and sufficient for synapse elimination in the retinogeniculate system. [Nature] Abstract | Press Release

Neuronal Control of Drosophila Walking Direction
Researchers identified descending neurons for backward walking in Drosophila – the MDN neurons. They also identified ascending neurons, MAN, that promote persistent backward walking, possibly by inhibiting forward walking. [Science] Abstract | Press Release

Modeling ALS with iPSCs Reveals that Mutant SOD1 Misregulates Neurofilament Balance in Motor Neurons
Using induced pluripotent cells (iPSCs) from patients with mutation in the Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase (SOD1) gene, investigators showed that spinal motoneurons (MNs), but rarely non-MNs, exhibited neurofilament (NF) aggregation followed by neurite degeneration when glia were not present. They conclude that NF misregulation underlies mutant SOD1-mediated NF aggregation and axonal degeneration in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) MNs. [Cell Stem Cell] Abstract | Graphical Abstract | Press Release

Pathways Disrupted in Human ALS Motor Neurons Identified through Genetic Correction of Mutant SOD1
Researchers combined reprogramming and stem cell differentiation approaches with genome engineering and RNA sequencing to define the transcriptional and functional changes that are induced in human motor neurons by mutant SOD1. [Cell Stem Cell] Abstract | Graphical Abstract | Press Release

Large-Scale Chondroitin Sulfate Proteoglycan Digestion with Chondroitinase Gene Therapy Leads to Reduced Pathology and Modulates Macrophage Phenotype following Spinal Cord Contusion Injury
Researchers demonstrated significantly reduced secondary injury pathology in adult rats following spinal contusion injury and chondroitinase ABC delivered via lentiviral vector (LV-ChABC) treatment, with reduced cavitation and enhanced preservation of spinal neurons and axons at 12 weeks postinjury, compared with control (LV-GFP)-treated animals. [J Neurosci] Abstract | Press Release

Leptin Reverses Corticosterone-Induced Inhibition of Neural Stem Cell Proliferation through Activating the NR2B Subunits of NMDA Receptors
Scientists reported that leptin significantly promoted the proliferation of hippocampal neural stem cells in a concentration-dependent pattern. [Biochem Biophys Res Commun] Abstract

Intrinsic Membrane Hyperexcitability of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Patient-Derived Motor Neurons
Investigators showed using multielectrode array and patch-clamp recordings that hyperexcitability detected by clinical neurophysiological studies of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) patients is recapitulated in induced pluripotent stem cell-derived motor neurons from ALS patients harboring superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1), C9orf72, and fused-in-sarcoma mutations. [Cell Rep]
Abstract | Full Article | Graphical Abstract | Press Release

Short Laminin Peptide for Improved Neural Stem Cell Growth
The authors developed a novel peptide sequence with only 12 amino acids based on the Ile-Lys-Val-Ala-Val, or IKVAV, sequence: Ac-Cys-Cys-Arg-Arg-Ile-Lys-Val-Ala-Val-Trp-Leu-Cys. This short peptide sequence, similar to tissue-derived full laminin molecules, supported human neural stem/progenitor cells to attach and proliferate to confluence for continuous passage and subculture. [Stem Cells Transl Med] Abstract

Culture Human Glioma-Derived Tumorspheres with NeuroCult™ - View Publications
Axonal Growth and Connectivity from Neural Stem Cell Grafts in Models of Spinal Cord Injury
This review focuses on cell replacement strategies, and the ability of multipotent neural stem cells to form new functional synaptic relays across sites of even severe spinal cord injury. [Curr Opin Neurobiol] Abstract

Visit our reviews page to see a complete list of reviews in the neuroscience field.
Bioengineer Studying How the Brain Controls Movement
A University of California, San Diego research team led by bioengineer Gert Cauwenberghs is working to understand how the brain circuitry controls how we move. The goal is to develop new technologies to help patients with Parkinson’s disease and other debilitating medical conditions navigate the world on their own. [University of California, San Diego] Press Release

Daiichi Sankyo and UCSF Announce Collaboration in Drug Discovery Research for Neurodegenerative Diseases
Daiichi Sankyo Co., Ltd. and University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) have established a drug-discovery collaboration focused on developing novel therapeutics and molecular diagnostics for multiple neurodegenerative diseases. [University of California, San Francisco] Press Release

UCSF Launches Groundbreaking Online Registry to Drive Brain Disease Research
With easy online registration, the Brain Health Registry is designed to create a ready pool of research subjects for studies on neurological diseases, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, as well as depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and many other brain ailments. [University of California, San Francisco]
Press Release

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NEW Future Investigators of Regenerative Medicine (FIRM) Symposium 2014
September 8-11, 2014
Girona, Spain

Visit our events page to see a complete list of events in the neural cell community.
NEW MSc & PhD Positions – Cell Biology, Neurobiology, Neuroimmunology, Cancer Biology, Computational Biology (Hanyang University)

Postdoctoral Position – Developmental Neurobiology (The Vision Institute)

Postdoctoral Research Fellow / Research Officer – Stem Cell Research (Bioprocessing Technology Institute)

Postdoctoral Fellow – Neural Stem Cells and Regeneration (UT Southwestern Medical Center)

Postdoctoral Fellow – Neuroscience & Cell Biology (Harvard Medical School)

Postdoctoral Fellow – Neurobiology (Italian Institute of Technology – IIT)

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

PhD Student Position – Retinal Research (Universität Tübingen)

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)

Research Associate – Cell Separation (STEMCELL Technologies Inc.)

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

Research Technologist – Particle Chemistry (STEMCELL Technologies Inc.)

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

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