Volume 8.22 | Jun 11

Neural Cell News 8.22 June 11, 2014
Neural Cell News
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Sleep after Learning Strengthens Connections between Brain Cells and Enhances Memory
Researchers showed for the first time that sleep after learning encourages the growth of dendritic spines, the tiny protrusions from brain cells that connect to other brain cells and facilitate the passage of information across synapses. Moreover, the activity of brain cells during deep sleep, or slow-wave sleep, after learning is critical for such growth. [Press release from NYU Langone Medical Center discussing online prepublication in Science] Press Release | Abstract
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PUBLICATIONS (Ranked by impact factor of the journal)
The Mitochondrial Deubiquitinase USP30 Opposes Parkin-Mediated Mitophagy
Researchers report that USP30, a deubiquitinase localized to mitochondria, antagonizes mitophagy driven by the ubiquitin ligase parkin (also known as PARK2) and protein kinase PINK1, which are encoded by two genes associated with Parkinson’s disease. Knockdown of USP30 in dopaminergic neurons protects flies against paraquat toxicity in vivo, ameliorating defects in dopamine levels, motor function and organismal survival. [Nature] Abstract

iPSC-Derived Neurons from GBA1-Associated Parkinson’s Disease Patients Show Autophagic Defects and Impaired Calcium Homeostasis
The authors generated induced pluripotent stem cells from subjects with Gaucher’s disease and Parkinson’s disease harboring acid β-glucocerebrosidase (GBA1) mutations, and differentiated them into midbrain dopaminergic neurons followed by enrichment using fluorescence-activated cell sorting. [Nat Commun] Abstract

Nuclear Receptor TLX Stimulates Hippocampal Neurogenesis and Enhances Learning and Memory in a Transgenic Mouse Model
Researchers generated a transgenic mouse model that expresses TLX under the control of the promoter of nestin, a neural precursor marker. Transgenic TLX expression led to mice with enlarged brains with an elongated hippocampal dentate gyrus and increased numbers of newborn neurons. [Proc Natl Acad Sci USA]
Abstract | Press Release

Abrogation of α-Synuclein-Mediated Dopaminergic Neurodegeneration in LRRK2-Deficient Rats
Investigators report leucine-rich repeat kinase 2 (LRRK2) knockout rats as resistant to dopaminergic neurodegeneration elicited by intracranial administration of LPS. LRRK2 knockout animals had no significant loss of neurons and had reduced numbers of activated myeloid cells in the substantia nigra. [Proc Natl Acad Sci USA] Abstract | Press Release

Engineered N-Cadherin and L1 Biomimetic Substrates Concertedly Promote Neuronal Differentiation, Neurite Extension, and Neuroprotection of Human Neural Stem Cells
Researchers investigated the design of neurotrophic biomaterial constructs for human neural stem cells, guided by neural developmental cues of N-cadherin and L1 adhesion molecule. [Acta Biomater] Abstract

Long-Term Health of Dopaminergic Neuron Transplants in Parkinson’s Disease Patients
To determine the long-term health and function of transplanted dopamine neurons in Parkinson’s disease patients, the expression of dopamine transporters and mitochondrial morphology were examined in human fetal midbrain cellular transplants. [Cell Rep] Full Article | Graphical Abstract | Press Release

MUL1 Acts in Parallel to the PINK1/parkin Pathway in Regulating Mitofusin and Compensates for Loss of PINK1/parkin
Investigators showed that MUL1 suppresses PINK1 or parkin mutant phenotypes in Drosophila. They further showed that removing MUL1 in PINK1 or parkin loss-of-function mutant aggravates phenotypes caused by loss of either gene alone, leading to lethality in flies and degeneration in mouse cortical neurons. [eLife]
Full Article | Press Release

Cell Autonomous Regulation of Hippocampal Circuitry via Aph1b-γ-Secretase/Neuregulin 1 Signaling
Researchers showed that the Aph1b-γ-secretase is selectively involved in Neuregulin 1 (Nrg1) intracellular signaling. Gain and loss of function and genetic rescue experiments indicate that Nrg1 intracellular signaling promotes dendritic spine formation downstream of Aph1b-γ-secretase in vitro and in vivo. [eLife]
Abstract | Full Article

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Müller Glial Cell Reprogramming and Retina Regeneration
In teleost fish (such as zebrafish), the response of Müller glia to retinal injury involves a reprogramming event that imparts retinal stem cell characteristics and enables them to produce a proliferating population of progenitors that can regenerate all major retinal cell types and restore vision. Recent studies have revealed several important mechanisms underlying Müller glial cell reprogramming and retina regeneration in fish that may lead to new strategies for stimulating retina regeneration in mammals. [Nat Rev Neurosci] Abstract

CXCR4/CXCR7 Molecular Involvement in Neuronal and Neural Progenitor Migration: Focus in CNS Repair
In function of its concentration, CXCL12 can induce different responses, promoting neural progenitor cell (NPC) migration at low concentrations while favoring cell adhesion via EGF and the alpha 6 integrin at high CXCL12 concentrations. However, the preclinical effectiveness of chemokines and their relationship with NPC mobilization requires further study, particularly with respect to CNS repair. [J Cell Physiol] Abstract

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Conrad T. Prebys Gives $25 Million to Salk Institute to Support Scientific Research
The Salk Institute for Biological Studies has received a $25 million gift from San Diego philanthropist and former Salk trustee Conrad T. Prebys to support cutting-edge biological research on a wide range of diseases. [The Salk Institute for Biological Studies] Press Release

BrainStorm Expands Pipeline with Initiation of Pre-Clinical Study in Autism
BrainStorm Cell Therapeutics announced that it has initiated a study in a mouse model of autism at the Felsenstein Medical Research Center, Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel Aviv University, under the direction of Professor Daniel Offen. The study will explore the effects of the company’s “MSC-NTF” cells on mouse behavior. [BrainStorm Cell Therapeutics Inc.] Press Release

First Patient Enrolled in BrainStorm’s Phase II ALS Trial at Massachusetts General Hospital
BrainStorm Cell Therapeutics announced that the first patient was enrolled in its Phase II ALS trial at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. BrainStorm’s Phase II trial is a randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled multi-center study designed to evaluate the safety and efficacy of transplantation of autologous mesenchymal stem cells secreting neurotrophic factors in 48 ALS patients. [BrainStorm Cell Therapeutics Inc.] Press Release

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A $4.5 Billion Price Tag for the BRAIN Initiative?
After more than a year of meetings and deliberations, a National Institutes of Health-convened working group has fleshed out some the goals and aspirations of Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) and tried to offer a more realistic appraisal of the funding needed: $4.5 billion over the course of a decade, or roughly quadruple the project’s currently planned budget. [ScienceInsider] Editorial

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NEW World Alliance Forum in San Francisco – The Impact of Regenerative Medicine 2014
November 6-7, 2014
San Francisco, United States

NEW The World Stem Cell Summit 2014
December 3-5, 2014
San Antonio, United States

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NEW Postdoctoral Position – Cellular Neuroscience (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique – CNRS)

Postdoctoral Scientist – Neural Stem Cells (Texas Biomedical Research Institute)

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 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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