Volume 8.21 | Jun 4

Neural Cell News 8.21 June 4, 2014
Neural Cell News
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Neuron Tells Stem Cells to Grow New Neurons
Researchers found a previously unknown population of neurons within the subventricular zone neurogenic niche of the adult brain. These neurons expressed the choline acetyltransferase (ChAT) enzyme. With optogenetic tools that allowed the team to tune the firing frequency of these ChAT+ neurons up and down with laser light, they were able to see clear changes in neural stem cell proliferation in the brain. [Press release from Duke University discussing online prepublication in Nature Neuroscience] Press Release | Abstract
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PUBLICATIONS (Ranked by impact factor of the journal)
Structures of Netrin-1 Bound to Two Receptors Provide Insight into Its Axon Guidance Mechanism
Netrins are secreted proteins that regulate axon guidance and neuronal migration. DCC is a well-established Netrin-1 receptor mediating attractive responses. Scientists provided evidence that its close relative neogenin is also a functional Netrin-1 receptor that acts with DCC to mediate guidance in vivo. [Science]
Abstract | Press Release

Leptin Signaling in Astrocytes Regulates Hypothalamic Neuronal Circuits and Feeding
Investigators found that leptin receptors were expressed in hypothalamic astrocytes and that their conditional deletion led to altered glial morphology and synaptic inputs onto hypothalamic neurons involved in feeding control. [Nat Neurosci] Abstract | Press Release

The Glycolytic Enzyme, GPI, Is a Functionally Conserved Modifier of Dopaminergic Neurodegeneration in Parkinson’s Models
Using data sets of established DAF-2/IGF-1/insulin-like signaling components in Caenorhabditis elegans, researchers conducted systematic RNAi screens in worms to select for daf-2-associated genetic modifiers of α-synuclein misfolding and dopaminergic neurodegeneration, two clinical hallmarks of Parkinson’s disease. Subsequent mechanistic analyses using Drosophila and mouse primary neuron cultures further validated the conserved nature of GPI neuroprotection from α-synuclein proteotoxicity. [Cell Metab]
Abstract | Graphical Abstract

Microcephaly Disease Gene Wdr62 Regulates Mitotic Progression of Embryonic Neural Stem Cells and Brain Size
Scientists created a mouse model of Wdr62 deficiency and found that the mice exhibit reduced brain size due to decreased neural progenitor cells. [Nat Commun] Abstract

Protons Are a Neurotransmitter That Regulates Synaptic Plasticity in the Lateral Amygdala
Investigators found that presynaptic stimulation transiently reduced extracellular pH in the amygdala. The protons activated acid-sensing ion channels (ASICs) in lateral amygdala pyramidal neurons, generating excitatory postsynaptic currents. Moreover, both protons and ASICs were required for synaptic plasticity in lateral amygdala neurons. [Proc Natl Acad Sci USA] Abstract

From Confluent Human iPS Cells to Self-Forming Neural Retina and Retinal Pigmented Epithelium
Researchers developed a simple retinal differentiation method, based on confluent human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSC), bypassing embryoid body formation and the use of exogenous molecules, coating, or Matrigel. In two weeks, they generated both retinal pigmented epithelial cells and self-forming neural retina-like structures containing retinal progenitor cells. [Proc Natl Acad Sci USA] Abstract

The Cockayne Syndrome B Protein Is Essential for Neuronal Differentiation and Neuritogenesis
Investigators examined the role of Cockayne syndrome B in neurogenesis by using the human neural progenitor cells that have self-renewal and differentiation capabilities. [Cell Death Dis] Full Article

Transient Accumulation of 5-Carboxylcytosine Indicates Involvement of Active Demethylation in Lineage Specification of Neural Stem Cells
Researchers demonstrated that widespread oxidation of 5-hydroxymethylcytosine to 5-carboxylcytosine (5caC) occurs in postimplantation mouse embryos. They showed that 5-formylcytosine and 5caC are transiently accumulated during lineage specification of neural stem cells in culture and in vivo. [Cell Rep]
Abstract | Full Article | Graphical Abstract

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The Clinical Approach to Autonomic Failure in Neurological Disorders
Central or peripheral neurological disorders can manifest with autonomic failure or autonomic hyperactivity, which may affect the sympathetic, parasympathetic and/or enteric nervous systems. This review outlines the clinical approach to patients with generalized autonomic failure, focusing predominantly on classification and diagnosis, but also touching briefly on treatment and management. [Nat Rev Neurol] Abstract

Visit our reviews page to see a complete list of reviews in the neuroscience field.
Positive Interim Phase IIa ALS Data with BrainStorm’s NurOwn™ Presented
The positive safety and preliminary efficacy results observed in this study are consistent with results observed in the company’s previous Phase I/II trial. Between these two studies, a total of 26 patients have been treated with NurOwn™, BrainStorm’s stem cell therapy candidate for ALS. [Press release from BrainStorm Cell Therapeutics Inc. discussing research presented at the Joint Congress of European Neurology, Istanbul] Press Release

Asterias Biotherapeutics, Inc. Announces New Results from First-in-Man Clinical Trial of a Cell Therapy Derived from Embryonic Stem Cells
Asterias Biotherapeutics presented the results of its Phase I clinical trial assessing the safety of its product, AST-OPC1, in subjects with spinal cord injury. AST-OPC1 is a population of cells derived from human embryonic stem cells that contain oligodendrocyte progenitor cells. [Press release from Asterias Biotherapeutics, Inc. discussing research presented at the American Society for Gene and Cell Therapy (ASGCT) Annual Meeting, Washington] Press Release

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Protea Announces Alzheimer’s Research Collaboration with the University of Southampton, U.K.
Protea Biosciences Group, Inc. announced it has entered into a research collaboration with the University of Southampton. The collaboration will partner Protea’s proprietary direct molecular imaging technology and capabilities with a team of Alzheimer’s researchers at the University of Southampton to study the molecular mechanisms of the aged brain in order to identify markers that may indicate risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. [Protea Biosciences Group, Inc.] Press Release

REGENX Biosciences and Voyager Therapeutics Announce License Agreement
REGENX Biosciences, LLC and Voyager Therapeutics announced that they have entered into a license agreement for use of REGENX’s proprietary NAV® vectors for the development and commercialization of gene therapies to treat Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, Friedreich’s ataxia and Huntington’s disease. [Voyager Therapeutics] Press Release

Mount Sinai Researchers Lead International Advisory Committee to Define the Clinical Course of Multiple Sclerosis
Researchers at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, part of the International Committee on Clinical Trials of Multiple Sclerosis (MS), collaborated to re-examine the standardized MS clinical course descriptions originally published in 1996 and recommend refined phenotype descriptions that include improved clinical descriptive terminology, MRI and other imaging techniques, analysis of fluid biomarkers and neurophysiology. [Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai] Press Release

Stem Cell Agency Invests $32 Million toward Therapies for Spinal Cord Injury and HIV/AIDS
A promising treatment for patients with spinal cord injuries and a therapy aimed at helping HIV patients create an AIDS-resistant blood system were approved by the state’s stem cell agency, the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine. [California Institute for Regenerative Medicine] Press Release

Neurobiologist Thomas Jessell to Receive $500,000 Gruber Neuroscience Prize
Thomas Jessell, PhD is the recipient of the 2014 Neuroscience Prize from the Gruber Foundation. Jessell is being honored with this prestigious international award for his seminal work on the development and wiring of spinal cord neurons involved in the control of movement. [Columbia University Medical Center] 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)
August 30 – September 4, 2014
Paris, France

NEW 11th European Association of Neuro-Oncology (EANO) 2014 Meeting
October 9-12, 2014
Turin, Italy

Visit our events page to see a complete list of events in the neural cell community.
NEW Postdoctoral Scientist – Neural Stem Cells (Texas Biomedical Research Institute)

NEW Postdoctoral Fellow – Molecular/Cellular Neuroscience (CIMA/University of Navarra)

Postdoctoral Position – Neurotoxicity and Epigenetics (Thomas Jefferson University)

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

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

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

Scientist – Immunology/Cell Separation (STEMCELL Technologies Inc.)

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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