Volume 8.19 | May 21

Neural Cell News 8.19 May 21, 2014
Neural Cell News
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Herpes-Loaded Stem Cells Used to Kill Brain Tumors
Scientists have a potential solution for how to more effectively kill tumor cells using cancer-killing viruses. The investigators report that trapping virus-loaded stem cells in a gel and applying them to tumors significantly improved survival in mice with glioblastoma multiforme, the most common brain tumor in human adults and also the most difficult to treat. [Press release from Harvard Stem Cell Institute discussing online prepublication in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute] Press Release | Abstract
Webinar: Brent Reynolds on Identification and Characterization of Neural Stem Cells
PUBLICATIONS (Ranked by impact factor of the journal)
Retrograde Semaphorin Signaling Regulates Synapse Elimination in the Developing Mouse Brain
Scientists identified semaphorins, a family of versatile cell recognition molecules, as retrograde signals for elimination of redundant climbing fiber to Purkinje cell synapses in developing mouse cerebellum. [Science] Abstract

Cell-Intrinsic Requirement of Dscam1 Isoform Diversity for Axon Collateral Formation
A canonical model suggests that homophilic binding of identical Dscam1 receptor isoforms on sister dendrites ensures self-avoidance even when just a single isoform is expressed. Investigators report on a cell-intrinsic function requiring the co-expression of multiple isoforms. Manipulation of the Dscam1 isoform pool in single neurons causes severe disruption of collateral formation of mechanosensory axons. [Science] Abstract

A Role for Melanopsin in Alpha Retinal Ganglion Cells and Contrast Detection
Researchers showed that the ON alpha retinal ganglion cell (RGC), a conventional RGC type, is intrinsically photosensitive in mammals. In addition to their classical response to fast changes in contrast through rod/cone signaling, melanopsin expression allows ON alpha RGCs to signal prior light exposure and environmental luminance over long periods of time. [Neuron] Abstract | Press Release | Video

Inhibition of Mitochondrial Protein Import by Mutant Huntingtin
Investigators identified an interaction between mutant huntingtin (Htt) and the TIM23 mitochondrial protein import complex. Mitochondria from brain synaptosomes of presymptomatic Huntington’s disease (HD) model mice and from mutant Htt-expressing primary neurons exhibited a protein import defect, suggesting that deficient protein import is an early event in HD. [Nat Neurosci] Abstract | Press Release

Two-Photon Imaging of Remyelination of Spinal Cord Axons by Engrafted Neural Precursor Cells in a Viral Model of Multiple Sclerosis
Using two-photon imaging of a newly developed ventral spinal cord preparation and a viral model of demyelination, researchers described the motility and intercellular interactions of transplanted mouse neural precursor cells expressing green fluorescent protein with damaged axons expressing yellow fluorescent protein. [Proc Natl Acad Sci USA] Abstract

The Zinc Finger Transcription Factor ZFX Is Required for Maintaining the Tumorigenic Potential of Glioblastoma Stem Cells
Scientists demonstrated that the zinc finger and X-linked transcription factor (ZFX) maintains glioma stem cell self-renewal and tumorigenic potential by up-regulating c-Myc expression. [Stem Cells] Abstract

ROCK2 Is a Major Regulator of Axonal Degeneration, Neuronal Death and Axonal Regeneration in the CNS
Researchers showed that specific knockdown of Rho-associated protein kinase 2 (ROCK2) and LIM domain kinase-1 equally enhanced neurite outgrowth of retinal ganglion cells on inhibitory substrates and both induced substantial neuronal regeneration over distances of more than 5 mm after rat optic nerve crush in vivo. [Cell Death Dis] Full Article

Tcf3 Represses Wnt-β-Catenin Signaling and Maintains Neural Stem Cell Population during Neocortical Development
Results suggest that Tcf3 antagonizes Wnt signaling in neural precursor cells, thereby maintaining their undifferentiated state in the neocortex and that Wnt signaling promotes the transition from Tcf3-mediated repression to Tcf1/Lef1-mediated enhancement of Wnt signaling, constituting a positive feedback loop that facilitates neuronal differentiation. [PLoS One] Full Article

Human Neural Precursor Cells Promote Neurologic Recovery in a Viral Model of Multiple Sclerosis
Using a viral model of the demyelinating disease multiple sclerosis, researchers showed that intraspinal transplantation of human embryonic stem cell-derived neural precursor cells (hNPCs) results in sustained clinical recovery, although hNPCs were not detectable beyond day eight posttransplantation. [Stem Cell Rep]
Abstract | Full Article | Press Release

Happy Neurons lead to Happy Neuroscientists: NeuroCult SM Primary Neuronal Culture Kits
Alcohol and Adult Hippocampal Neurogenesis: Promiscuous Drug, Wanton Effects
The authors discuss the primary mechanisms underlying alcohol-induced changes in adult hippocampal neurogenesis including alcohol’s effects on neurotransmitters, CREB and its downstream effectors, and the neurogenic niche. [Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry] Abstract

Visit our reviews page to see a complete list of reviews in the neuroscience field.
StemCells, Inc. Provides Update on Its Phase I/II Study in Spinal Cord Injury
StemCells, Inc. presented an interim update on the Phase I/II trial in spinal cord injury. Interim analysis of clinical data to date has shown that the significant post-transplant gains in sensory function first reported in two patients have now been observed in two additional patients. The presentation included the first data on AIS B subjects to be transplanted in the Phase I/II chronic spinal cord injury trial with the HuCNS-SC® cells. [Press release from StemCells, Inc. discussing research presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Spinal Injury Association, San Antonio] Press Release

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$1.8 Million NIH Grant Will Support Study of Nervous System’s Underlying Communications
Mohammad Reza Abidian, professor of biomedical engineering, has received a $1.8 million single-PI grant from the National Institutes of Health’s Institute for Neurological Disorders. The five-year grant is titled, “Neural Tissue Engineering Based on Combinatorial Effects of Multiple Guidance Cues.” [The Pennsylvania State University] Press Release

Gene Therapy Section Formed within the Alliance for Regenerative Medicine
The Alliance for Regenerative Medicine (ARM) and the American Society of Gene & Cell Therapy (ASGCT) announced their partnership. ARM’s new Gene and Gene-Modified Cell Therapy Section brings together the leading gene therapy companies and organizations in the U.S. and Europe to advocate for policies and programs to accelerate the development of new therapeutics to treat and cure a range of diseases for which no effective treatment options are available. [Alliance for Regenerative Medicine] Press Release

Landmark Gift of $100 Million from the Marie-Josée and Henry R. Kravis Foundation Will Support Groundbreaking Approach to Precision Oncology
The Marie-Josée and Henry R. Kravis Center for Molecular Oncology is named in honor of Marie-Josée and Henry R. Kravis, whose transformative gift of $100 million will make it possible to realize the promise of precision oncology and support the development of new, individualized cancer therapies and diagnostic tools. [Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center] Press Release | Video
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 Cancer Stem Cell Conference
August 17-20, 2014
Cleveland, United States

Visit our events page to see a complete list of events in the neural cell community.
NEW Max Planck Research Group Leader – Neuroscience (Center of Advanced European Studies and Research – Caesar)

Postdoctoral Fellow – Morphogenetic Signaling Pathways in Development and Disease (University of Rochester Medical Center)

Postdoctoral Position – Stem Cell Biology (University of Wisconsin – Madison)

Postdoctoral Fellow – Neurophysiology of Addiction (Medical University of South Carolina)

Postdoctoral Research Associate – Molecular Neuroscience (Wellcome Trust-MRC Institute of Metabolic Science)

Postdoctoral Position – Functional Characterization of Neurons Derived from Human Pluripotent Stem Cells (Radboud University Nijmegen)

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

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

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

Research Technologist – hPSC (STEMCELL Technologies Inc.)

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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