Volume 8.16 | Apr 30

Neural Cell News 8.16 April 30, 2014
Neural Cell News
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Researchers Discover New Genetic Brain Disorder in Humans
By performing DNA sequencing of more than 4,000 families affected by neurological problems, two independent but collaborative research teams discovered that a disease marked by reduced brain size and sensory and motor defects is caused by a mutation in a gene called CLP1, which is known to regulate tRNA metabolism in cells. [Press release from the University of California, San Diego Health System discussing two online prepublications in Cell] Press Release | Abstract 1 | Full Article 1 | Abstract 2 | Full Article 2
Webinar: Modeling Human Neurological Disease with iPS Cells
PUBLICATIONS (Ranked by impact factor of the journal)
Presynaptic Inhibition of Spinal Sensory Feedback Ensures Smooth Movement
The authors used Gad2 as a genetic entry point to manipulate the interneurons that contact sensory terminals, and show that activation of these interneurons in mice elicits the defining physiological characteristics of presynaptic inhibition. [Nature] Abstract

Astrocyte-Encoded Positional Cues Maintain Sensorimotor Circuit Integrity
Researchers showed that postnatal spinal cord astrocytes express several region-specific genes, and that ventral astrocyte-encoded semaphorin 3a is required for proper motor neuron and sensory neuron circuit organization. [Nature] Abstract | Press Release

Structure-Guided Transformation of Channelrhodopsin into a Light-Activated Chloride Channel
Building on high-resolution crystal-structure analysis, pore vestibule modeling, and structure-guided protein engineering, researchers designed and characterized a class of channelrhodopsins (originally cation-conducting) converted into chloride-conducting anion channels. These tools enable fast optical inhibition of action potentials and can be engineered to display step-function kinetics for stable inhibition, outlasting light pulses and for orders-of-magnitude-greater light sensitivity of inhibited cells. [Science] Abstract | Press Release

Neuronal Targets for Reducing Mutant Huntingtin Expression to Ameliorate Disease in a Mouse Model of Huntington’s Disease
Using a conditional transgenic mouse model of Huntington’s disease, in which the mice express full-length human mutant huntingtin (mHTT) from a bacterial artificial chromosome transgene, researchers genetically reduced mHTT expression in neuronal populations in the striatum, cortex or both. [Nat Med]
Abstract | Press Release

Biodegradable Polymeric Nanoparticles Show High Efficacy and Specificity at DNA Delivery to Human Glioblastoma In Vitro and In Vivo
Researchers described a method to treat malignant glioma by nonviral DNA delivery using biodegradable poly(β-amino ester)s, with a focus on the brain tumor initiating cells, the tumor cell population believed to be responsible for the formation of new tumors and resistance to many conventional therapies. [ACS Nano] Abstract | Press Release

Microinjection of Membrane-Impermeable Molecules into Single Neural Stem Cells in Brain Tissue
Scientists demonstrated how to apply microinjection to organotypic brain slices obtained from mice and ferrets; however, their technique is not limited to mouse and ferret embryos, but provides a means of introducing a wide variety of membrane-impermeable molecules (e.g., nucleic acids, proteins, hydrophilic compounds) into neural stem and progenitor cells of any developing mammalian brain. [Nat Protoc] Abstract

Oxidative Stress Increases Neurogenesis and Oligodendrogenesis in Adult Neural Progenitor Cells
Researchers investigated if and how pathophysiological levels of H2O2 influenced the differentiation of neural progenitor cells (NPCs). Exposed differentiated NPCs showed significantly increased numbers of neurons and oligodendrocytes compared to unexposed controls. [Stem Cells Dev] Abstract

Alcohol Exposure Inhibits Adult Neural Stem Cell Proliferation
Alcohol exposure can reduce adult proliferation and/or neurogenesis, but its impact on the ultimate neurogenic precursors, neural stem cells (NSCs), has been poorly addressed. Accordingly, the impact of voluntary consumption of alcohol on NSCs in the subventricular zone of the lateral ventricle was examined. [Exp Brain Res] Abstract

NeuroCult™ for Brain Tumor Research - View Publication
Prospects for Engineering Neurons from Local Neocortical Cell Populations as Cell-Mediated Therapy for Neurological Disorders
This review assesses the evidence for engineering subtype-specific neuronal fate of endogenous neural cells in the cerebral cortex as a function of initial cell lineage, reactive response to injury, conversion factors, and environmental context. [J Comp Neurol] Abstract

Visit our reviews page to see a complete list of reviews in the neuroscience field.
International Stem Cell Corporation Announces Positive Parkinson’s Disease Data
International Stem Cell Corporation (ISCO) announced that some behavioral improvements have been observed after six months in the pre-clinical non-human primate study of Parkinson’s disease. The study consists of 18 primates, all exposed to the neurotoxin, MPTP, divided into three cohorts, a sham treated group and two treatment groups receiving different doses of human neural stem cells derived from ISCO’s proprietary parthenogenetic stem cell line. [Press release from International Stem Cell Corporation discussing research presented at the 66th American Academy of Neurology Annual Meeting, Philadelphia] Press Release

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FDA Approves Commencement of BrainStorm’s Phase II ALS Clinical Trial in U.S.
BrainStorm Cell Therapeutics announced that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved commencement of its Phase II clinical trial with NurOwn™ in patients with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). [BrainStorm Cell Therapeutics] Press Release

Cellular Dynamics Announces Launch of iCell® DopaNeurons, Neural Floor Plate-Derived Midbrain Dopaminergic Neurons
Cellular Dynamics International, Inc. announced the launch of iCell® DopaNeurons, the company’s neural floor plate-derived midbrain dopaminergic neurons generated from human induced pluripotent stem cells. [Cellular Dynamics International, Inc.] Press Release

Bristol-Myers Squibb Acquires iPierian, Inc.
Bristol-Myers Squibb Company and iPierian, Inc. announced that Bristol-Myers Squibb has acquired iPierian, a privately held biotechnology company focused on the discovery and development of new treatments for Tauopathies, a class of neurodegenerative diseases associated with the pathological aggregation of Tau protein in the human brain. [Bristol-Myers Squibb Company] Press Release
National Institutes of Health (United States)

Food and Drug Administration (United States)

Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research (United States)

European Medicines Agency (European Union)

Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (United Kingdom)

Therapeutic Goods Administration (Australia)
NEW International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR) 12th Annual Meeting
June 18-21, 2014
Vancouver, Canada

Visit our events page to see a complete list of events in the neural cell community.
NEW Postdoctoral Position – Functional Characterization of Neurons Derived from Human Pluripotent Stem Cells (Radboud University Nijmegen)

NEW Postdoctoral Position – Spinal Cord Adult Neural Stem Cells (INSERM Institute for Neuroscience)

NEW Research Technologist – hPSC (STEMCELL Technologies Inc.)

Postdoctoral Fellow – Stem Cell Biology, Neuroscience, Parkinson’s Research (Tulane University)

Postdoctoral Fellow / Senior Research Associate – Neural Stem Cells (The University of Hong Kong)

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)

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

Research Associate – Cell Separation (STEMCELL Technologies Inc.)

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

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

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