Volume 8.34 | Sep 3

Neural Cell News 8.34 September 3, 2014
Neural Cell News
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Biologists ID Process Producing Neural Diversity in Fruit Flies’ Visual System
Biologists have identified a mechanism that helps explain how the diversity of neurons that make up the visual system is generated. They demonstrate that in addition to specifying the production of distinct neural cell type over time, temporal factors also determine the survival or death of these cells as well as the mode of division of progenitors. [Press release from New York University discussing online publication in Cell]
Press Release | Abstract | Graphical Abstract
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PUBLICATIONS (Ranked by impact factor of the journal)
The Stimulus Selectivity and Connectivity of Layer Six Principal Cells Reveals Cortical Microcircuits Underlying Visual Processing
By combining whole-cell recording from identified layer six principal cells in the mouse primary visual cortex with modified rabies virus-based input mapping, researchers have determined the sensory response properties and upstream monosynaptic connectivity of cells mediating the cortico-cortical or cortico-thalamic pathway. [Neuron] Full Article | Press Release

Edge-Orientation Processing in First-Order Tactile Neurons
A fundamental feature of first-order neurons in the tactile system is that their distal axon branches in the skin and forms many transduction sites, yielding complex receptive fields with many highly sensitive zones. Investigators found that this arrangement constitutes a peripheral neural mechanism that allows individual neurons to signal geometric features of touched objects. [Nat Neurosci] Abstract | Press Release

Joint CP-AMPA and Group I mGlu Receptor Activation Is Required for Synaptic Plasticity in Dentate Gyrus Fast-Spiking Interneurons
Researchers examined the role of group I metabotropic glutamate (mGlu) receptors 1 and 5 in inducing plastic changes at mossy fiber-perisomatic inhibitory interneuron synapses. [Proc Natl Acad Sci USA]
Abstract | Full Article

C-Terminal Domain Small Phosphatase 1 and MAP Kinase Reciprocally Control REST Stability and Neuronal Differentiation
Scientists found that C-terminal domain small phosphatase 1, which is recruited by repressor element 1 silencing transcription factor (REST) to neuronal genes, is present in REST immunocomplexes, dephosphorylates S861/864, and stabilizes REST. Expression of a REST peptide containing S861/864 in neural progenitors inhibits terminal neuronal differentiation. [Proc Natl Acad Sci USA] Abstract

Activation of Neuronal Gene Expression by the JMJD3 Demethylase Is Required for Postnatal and Adult Brain Neurogenesis
Researchers show that JMJD3, a histone H3 lysine 27 demethylase, acts as a critical activator of neurogenesis from adult subventricular zone (SVZ) neural stem cells (NSCs). JMJD3 was upregulated in neuroblasts, and Jmjd3 deletion targeted to SVZ NSCs in both developing and adult mice impaired neuronal differentiation. [Cell Rep] Full Article | Graphical Abstract

Dock3 Protects Myelin in the Cuprizone Model for Demyelination
Scientists examined if dedicator of cytokinesis 3 (Dock3) is expressed in oligodendrocytes and if increasing Dock3 signals can suppress demyelination in a cuprizone-induced demyelination model, an animal model of multiple sclerosis. [Cell Death Dis] Full Article

Stiff Substrates Enhance Cultured Neuronal Network Activity
The authors show that substrate stiffness is an important microenvironmental cue to which mouse hippocampal neurons respond and integrate into synapse formation and transmission in cultured neuronal network. [Sci Rep] Full Article

Differences among Brain Tumor Stem Cell Types and Fetal Neural Stem Cells in Focal Regions of Histone Modifications and DNA Methylation, Broad Regions of Modifications, and Bivalent Promoters
Using ChIP-chip and MeDIP-chip approaches, the authors localized well-established and prevalent epigenetic marks on a genome scale in several lines of putative glioma stem cells and, for comparison, normal human fetal neural stem cells. [BMC Genomics] Full Article

In Vitro Generation of Neuromesodermal Progenitors Reveals Distinct Roles for Wnt Signaling in the Specification of Spinal Cord and Paraxial Mesoderm Identity
Scientists show that neuromesodermal progenitors (NMPs) can readily be generated in vitro from mouse and human pluripotent stem cells by activating Wnt and Fgf signaling, timed to emulate in vivo development. The neural cells produced by NMPs have spinal cord but not anterior neural identity and can differentiate into spinal cord motor neurons. [PLoS Biol] Full Article | Press Release

Neural Stem Cell Differentiation Is Dictated by Distinct Actions of Nuclear Receptor Corepressors and Histone Deacetylases
Scientists show by genome-wide analysis that histone deacetylase (HDAC)2 and HDAC3 show overlapping and distinct promoter occupancy at neuronal and oligodendrocyte-related genes in neural stem cells. [Stem Cell Reports] Full Article | Graphical Abstract

Happy Neurons lead to Happy Neuroscientists: NeuroCult SM Primary Neuronal Culture Kits
Endogenous Neurogenesis following Ischemic Brain Injury: Insights for Therapeutic Strategies
The authors highlight recent advances over the last 5 years that help unravel the cellular and molecular mechanisms that potentiate endogenous neurogenesis following cerebral ischemia and are dissecting the functional importance of this regenerative mechanism following brain injury. [Int J Biochem Cell Biol] Abstract

The Role of MicroRNAs in Human Neural Stem Cells, Neuronal Differentiation and Subtype Specification
The authors review recent evidence indicating that microRNAs are critically involved in conferring neural cell identities during neural induction, neuronal differentiation and subtype specification. [Cell Tissue Res]
Abstract | Full Article

Visit our reviews page to see a complete list of reviews in the neural cell research field.

Cell Culture World Congress Asia 2014
American Brain Tumor Association Supports $2 Million Glioblastoma Research Project
The American Brain Tumor Association, in conjunction with the Brain Tumor Funders’ Collaborative, is awarding a $2 million research grant to explore commonalities among long-term glioblastoma survivors around the world. [American Brain Tumor Association] Press Release

Alzheimer’s Research Gets New North West Network
The University of Liverpool is to become part of a major new network dedicated to the research of Alzheimer’s in the North West. As part of the Manchester and North West Network Centre, nearly 80 researchers at the Universities of Manchester, Lancaster and Liverpool will receive £80,000 investment from Alzheimer’s Research UK over two years. [University of Liverpool] Press Release

Asterias Biotherapeutics Receives U.S. FDA Clearance to Initiate Phase I/IIa Clinical Trial of Ast-Opc1 in Patients with Cervical Complete Spinal Cord Injury
Asterias Biotherapeutics Inc. has received clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to initiate a Phase I/IIa clinical trial of its product, AST-OPC1, in patients with complete cervical spinal cord injury. [Asterias Biotherapeutics Inc.] Press Release

TGen Receives Approval for Patient Enrollment in Brain Cancer Clinical Trial
In the $5 million project, “Genomics Enabled Medicine in Glioblastoma Trial,” Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) and its clinical partners will lead first-in-patient clinical trial studies that will test promising new drugs that might extend the survival of glioblastoma patients. [The Translational Genomics Research Institute] Press Release

A One-Two Punch for Brain Tumors? New Clinical Trial Opens at U-M
University of Michigan Health System (U-M) doctors have started testing a unique new approach to fighting brain tumors. The experimental approach, based on U-M research, delivers two different genes directly into the brains of patients following the operation to remove the bulk of their tumors. [University of Michigan Health System] Press Release

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NEW Clinical Applications of Stem Cells (CASC) 2015
February 26-27, 2015
Singapore, Singapore

NEW BIT’s 8th Annual World Cancer Congress (WCC-2015)
May 15-17, 2015
Beijing, China

Visit our events page to see a complete list of events in the neural cell community.
NEW Postdoctoral Candidate – Dynamic Organization of Synapses (INSERM)

NEW Postdoctoral Fellow – Molecular/Cellular Neuroscience (Center for Applied Medical Research, University of Navarra)

NEW Postdoctoral Fellow – Role of RNA-Binding Proteins in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (Pfizer)

Postdoctoral Fellow – Stem Cell Biology (The University of Texas Medical School At Houston)

Postdoctoral Positions – The Development of Human Cortical Neurons and Synapses (Free University of Brussels)

Postdoctoral Fellowship (Medical University of South Carolina)

Research Associate – Neuroscience (University of Cambridge)

Scientist – Human Pluripotent Stem Cell Neural Differentiation (STEMCELL Technologies Inc.)

Scientist – Pluripotent Stem Cell Media Development, High Throughput Screening (STEMCELL Technologies Inc.)

Scientist – Cell Culture Support Products (STEMCELL Technologies Inc.)

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

Research Associate – Cell Separation (STEMCELL Technologies Inc.)

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