Volume 8.49 | Dec 17

Neural Cell News 8.49 December 17, 2014
Neural Cell News
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A Region-Specific Neurogenesis Mode Requires Migratory Progenitors in the Drosophila Visual System
In Drosophila, neurons in four optic lobe ganglia originate from two neuroepithelia, the outer and inner (IPC) proliferation centers. Using genetic manipulations, scientists found that one IPC neuroepithelial domain progressively transformed into migratory progenitors that matured into neural stem cells and neuroblasts in a second domain. [Nat Neurosci] Abstract | Press Release
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PUBLICATIONS (Ranked by impact factor of the journal)
Constitutive and Ligand-Induced EGFR Signaling Triggers Distinct and Mutually Exclusive Downstream Signaling Networks
Researchers report that the overexpressed epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) oscillates between two distinct and mutually exclusive modes of signaling. They provide evidence for non-canonical ​EGFR signaling in glioblastoma. [Nat Commun] Abstract | Press Release

Activated Astrocytes Enhance the Dopaminergic Differentiation of Stem Cells and Promote Brain Repair through ​bFGF
Scientists show that light illumination of astrocytes expressing engineered channelrhodopsin variant can remarkably enhance the release of ​basic fibroblast growth factor (​bFGF) and significantly promote the dopaminergic differentiation of human embryonic stem cells in vitro. [Nat Commun] Full Article

Rgs6 Is Required for Adult Maintenance of Dopaminergic Neurons in the Ventral Substantia Nigra
Parkinson disease is characterized by the preferential, but poorly understood, vulnerability to degeneration of midbrain dopaminergic (mDA) neurons in the ventral substantia nigra compacta. These sensitive mDA neurons express Pitx3, a transcription factor that is critical for their survival during development. Scientists used this dependence to identify, by flow cytometry and expression profiling, the negative regulator of G-protein signaling Rgs6 for its restricted expression in these neurons. [PLoS Genet] Full Article | Press Release

Functional and Developmental Identification of a Molecular Subtype of Brain Serotonergic Neuron Specialized to Regulate Breathing Dynamics
Disorders involving serotonin (5HT) dysregulation are commensurately heterogeneous and numerous. Scientists hypothesized that this breadth in functionality derives in part from a developmentally determined substructure of distinct subtypes of 5HT neurons each specialized to modulate specific behaviors. By manipulating developmentally defined subgroups one by one chemogenetically, they found that the Egr2-Pet1 subgroup is specialized to drive increased ventilation in response to carbon dioxide elevation and acidosis. [Cell Rep]
Full Article | Graphical Abstract

p38α (MAPK14) Critically Regulates the Immunological Response and the Production of Specific Cytokines and Chemokines in Astrocytes
Researchers studied the role of p38α signaling in astrocyte immune activation both in vitro and in vivo, and simultaneously examined the effects of astrocyte activation in CNS inflammation. [Sci Rep] Full Article

Overexpression of SCLIP Promotes Growth and Motility in Glioblastoma Cells
Researchers investigated the expression of SCLIP and its roles in the development of gliomas. Notably, they found that SCLIP was highly expressed in various grades of glioma samples, as compared with normal brain tissues. [Cancer Biol Ther] Abstract

Transcriptional Profiling of Adult Neural Stem-Like Cells from the Human Brain
Researchers found that adult human neural stem-like cells express stem cell markers and have reduced levels of markers that are typical of the mature cells in the nervous system. They report that the genes being highly expressed in adult human neural stem-like cells are associated with developmental processes and the extracellular region of the cell. [PLoS One] Full Article

TAM Receptors Support Neural Stem Cell Survival, Proliferation and Neuronal Differentiation
Scientists further demonstrated that all three TAM (Tyro3, Axl and Mertk) receptors were expressed by cultured primary neural stem cells (NSCs) and played a direct growth trophic role in NSC proliferation, neuronal differentiation and survival. [PLoS One] Full Article

Effects of ROCK Inhibitor Y27632 and EGFR Inhibitor PD168393 on Human Neural Precursors Co-Cultured with Rat Auditory Brainstem Explant
A rat auditory brainstem explant culture system was used as a screening platform for donor cells. The explants were co-cultured with human neural precursor cells (HNPCs) to determine HNPCs developmental potential in the presence of environmental cues characteristic for auditory brainstem region in vitro. [Neuroscience] Abstract

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SOD1 Function and Its Implications for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Pathology
The authors consider some of the new findings for superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1) in health and disease, which may shed light on how single amino acid changes at sites throughout this protein can cause devastating neurodegeneration in the mammalian motor system. [Neuroscientist] Full Article

An Alkaline Phosphatase Transport Mechanism in the Pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s Disease and Neurodegeneration
The authors have previously proposed an immunosurveillance mechanism for epithelial barriers involving negative feedback-regulated alkaline phosphatase transcytosis as an acute phase anti-inflammatory response that hangs in the balance between the resolution and the progression of inflammation. They now extend this model to endothelial barriers, particularly the blood–brain barrier, and present a literature-supported mechanistic explanation for Alzheimer’s disease pathology with this system at its foundation. [Chem Biol Interact] Abstract

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Acorda Announces Initiation of Phase III Trial of CVT-301 in Parkinson’s Disease
Acorda Therapeutics, Inc. announced that the first patient has been enrolled in a Phase III study of CVT-301 for the treatment of OFF episodes in Parkinson’s disease. [Acorda Therapeutics, Inc.] Press Release

LCT Completes Patient Implants in Parkinson’s Trial
Living Cell Technologies Limited announced that the final patient has been successfully implanted in its Phase I/IIa clinical trial of regenerative cell therapy NTCELL® for Parkinson’s disease. [Living Cell Technologies Limited] Press Release

BrainStorm Receives $1,100,000 for Its 8th Annual Non-Dilutive Grant from Israel’s Chief Scientist Office
BrainStorm Cell Therapeutics Inc. announced that wholly-owned subsidiary Brainstorm Cell Therapeutics Ltd. was awarded a grant of approximately $1.1 million from Israel’s Office of the Chief Scientist. [BrainStorm Cell Therapeutics Inc.] Press Release

New Award Will Lay Groundwork for C9orf72 Clinical Trials
The ALS Association announced the award of $326,662 in research funds to expand ongoing natural history studies in order to further understand the most common genetic cause of ALS, in preparation for clinical trials in those whose disease is affected by this gene. [The ALS Association] Press Release

ImmunoCellular Therapeutics Announces Issuance of Key Patent for ICT-107 Cancer Vaccine
ImmunoCellular Therapeutics, Ltd. announced that the US Patent and Trademark Office has issued a key patent covering ImmunoCellular’s product candidate ICT-107, a dendritic cell-based immunotherapeutic vaccine targeting six tumor antigens that are commonly expressed on glioblastoma. [ImmunoCellular Therapeutics, Ltd.] Press Release

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NEW Tenure-Track Position – Cellular/Molecular Neuroscience (Carnegie Mellon University)

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

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