Volume 9.10 | Mar 18

Neural Cell News 9.10 March 18, 2015
Neural Cell News
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TOP STORY
Regeneration in a Hostile Environment
Damage to the spinal cord rarely heals because the injured nerve cells fail to regenerate. The regrowth of their long nerve fibers is hindered by scar tissue and molecular processes inside the nerves. Researchers report that help might be on the way from an unexpected quarter: in animal studies, the cancer drug epothilone reduced the formation of scar tissue in injuries to the spinal cord and stimulated growth in damaged nerve cells. [Press release from the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases discussing online prepublication in Science] Press Release | Abstract
Brain Food: NeuroCult SM1 for Long-Term Primary Neuronal Culture. View Data!
 
PUBLICATIONS (Ranked by impact factor of the journal)
Elucidating Molecular Phenotypes Caused by the SORL1 Alzheimer’s Disease Genetic Risk Factor Using Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells
Scientists used hIPSCs to examine genetic variation in the SORL1 gene and possible contributions to sporadic Alzheimer’s disease (SAD)-related phenotypes in human neurons. They found that human neurons carrying SORL1 variants associated with an increased SAD risk show a reduced response to treatment with BDNF, at the level of both SORL1 expression and APP processing. [Cell Stem Cell]
Abstract | Graphical Abstract | Press Release

Photosensitivity of Neurons Enabled by Cell-Targeted Gold Nanoparticles
Researchers showed that gold nanoparticles can be conjugated to high-avidity ligands for a variety of cellular targets. Once bound to a neuron, these particles transduce millisecond pulses of light into heat, which changes membrane capacitance, depolarizing the cell and eliciting action potentials. [Neuron] Abstract

Adult Hippocampal Neural Stem and Progenitor Cells Regulate the Neurogenic Niche by Secreting VEGF
Scientists showed that adult hippocampal neural stem and progenitor cells (NSPCs) secrete surprisingly large quantities of the essential growth factor VEGF in vitro and in vivo. This self-derived VEGF is functionally relevant for maintaining the neurogenic niche as inducible, NSPC-specific loss of VEGF results in impaired stem cell maintenance despite the presence of VEGF produced from other niche cell types. [Proc Natl Acad Sci USA] Abstract

PKCη/Rdx-Driven Phosphorylation of PDK1: A Novel Mechanism Promoting Cancer Cell Survival and Permissiveness for Parvovirus-Induced Lysis
Scientists revealed a new protoparvovirus-induced intracellular loop-back mechanism whereby PKCη/Rdx phosphorylates mouse PDK1:S138 and activates it independently of PI3-kinase signaling. The corresponding human PDK1phosphoS135 appears as a hallmark of highly aggressive brain tumors and may contribute to the very effective targeting of human gliomas by H-1PV. [PLoS Genet] Full Article | Press Release

Mouse Low-Grade Gliomas Contain Cancer Stem Cells with Unique Molecular and Functional Properties
Researchers reported the isolation of CD133+ multi-potent low-grade glioma stem cells, which generate glioma-like lesions histologically similar to the parent tumor following injection into immunocompetent hosts. [Cell Rep] Full Article | Graphical Abstract | Press Release

Differentiation of Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells to Mature Functional Purkinje Neurons
Scientists derived induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) from human fibroblasts and directed the specification of iPSCs first to Purkinje progenitors, by adding Fgf2 and insulin to the embryoid bodies (EBs) in a time-sensitive manner, which activates the endogenous production of Wnt1 and Fgf8 from EBs that further patterned the cells towards a midbrain-hindbrain-boundary tissue identity. [Sci Rep] Full Article

Suppression of Adenosine 2a Receptor (A2aR)-Mediated Adenosine Signaling Improves Disease Phenotypes in a Mouse Model of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
Researchers showed that A2aR, but not adenosine 1 receptor, is highly enriched in spinal (motor) neurons. A2aR expression is also selectively increased at the symptomatic onset in the spinal cords of SOD1G93A mice and end-stage human amyotrophic lateral sclerosis spinal cords. [Exp Neurol] Abstract

V-Myc Immortalizes Human Neural Stem Cells in the Absence of Pluripotency-Associated Traits
Scientists investigated the expression of surface, biochemical and genetic markers of stemness and pluripotency in v-myc immortalized and control human neural stem cells and compared these two cell types to human embryonic stem cells and fibroblasts. [PLoS One] Full Article

Paraoxon and Pyridostigmine Interfere with Neural Stem Cell Differentiation
Researchers hypothesized that rat neural progenitor cells extracted on embryonic day 14.5 would be affected by constant inhibition of acetylcholinesterase from chronic exposure to organophosphate or pyridostigmine during differentiation. [Neurochem Res] Abstract

Isolation of a Pluripotent Neural Stem Cell from the Embryonic Bovine Brain
Scientists obtained neural stem cells using an optimized culture medium system. The cells were expanded, established in continuous cell culture and used for immunofluorescence cytochemistry. RT-PCR showed that embryonic neural stem cells not only expresses the protein Sox2, Nestin but also Pax6, Musashi proteins and were differentiated into the three classical neuronal phenotypes. [Int J Mol Sci]
Abstract | Download Full Article

Efficiently Expand hPSC-Derived NPCs Without Loss of Multipotency: STEMdiff™ Neural Progenitor Medium
 
REVIEWS
Stem Cell Therapy for Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders: Current Status and Future Perspectives
The authors discuss current research advances in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) pathogenesis and stem cell technologies; additionally, the potential challenges and strategies for using cell-based therapies for AD and related disorders is also discussed. [Exp Mol Med] Full Article

Glial Cell Progenitors in the Drosophila Embryo
The author summarizes the most important steps in neurogenesis in the Drosophila embryo with a special emphasis on glial cell progenitors and the specification of glial cells. [Glia] Abstract

The Neural Stem Cell Microenvironment: Focusing on Axon Guidance Molecules and Myelin-Associated Factors
The authors summarize the current literature on the effects of different extrinsic factors on neural stem cells and discuss possible mechanisms, as well as future possible clinical applications. [J Mol Neurosci] Abstract

Visit our reviews page to see a complete list of reviews in the neural cell research field.
 
INDUSTRY NEWS
GliaCure Receives $1 Million Grant for Alzheimer’s Clinical Trial
The Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation announced that it has awarded $1 million to GliaCure, a biotechnology company developing innovative therapies based on glial targets, to co-fund a Phase Ib clinical trial in patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease. [Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation] Press Release

Neuralstem Announces Topline Results of Phase II ALS Trial
Neuralstem, Inc. announced top line data from the Phase II trial of NSI-566 spinal cord-derived neural stem cells under development for the treatment of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). [Neuralstem, Inc.] Press Release

Neurotrope Announces Positive Final Results from Its Phase IIa Safety Study for the Treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease
Neurotrope, Inc. announced secondary and exploratory endpoint results from its randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, single dose Phase IIa clinical trial evaluating bryostatin-1 for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. [Neurotrope, Inc.] Press Release

PsychoGenics Obtains a License to α-Synuclein Transgenic Mouse Models of Parkinson´s Disease
PsychoGenics announced that it has obtained a license from the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine to two of their α-synuclein transgenic mouse models, over-expressing human wild type α-synuclein under control of the PDGF-promoter and the murine Thy-1 promoter. [PsychoGenics (Business Wire)] Press Release

From our sponsor: Free wallchart from Nature Neuroscience – Neural Stem Cells. Request your copy.
 
POLICY NEWS
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)
 
EVENTS
NEW EMBO Workshop – Cellular and Molecular Mechanism of Tumor-Microenvironment Crosstalk
July 9-12, 2015
Tomsk, Russia

Visit our events page to see a complete list of events in the neural cell community.
 
JOB OPPORTUNITIES
NEW PhD Position – Early Human Brain Development Modeling with hiPSCs (University of Bonn)

Research Associate – Cell Separation (STEMCELL Technologies Inc.)

Manufacturing Manager – Cell Therapy (Opexa Therapeutics)

Postdoctoral Research Associate – Neural Progenitor Cell Differentiation (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)

Postdoctoral Position – Neural Circuitry in Drosophila (HHMI Janelia Research Campus)

Research Fellow/Research Associate – Neural Circuits (Nanyang Technological University)

Assistant Professor – Neuroscience (Georgia State University)

Director – Vector Production (Sangamo BioSciences, Inc.)

Senior Process Development Engineer (Sangamo BioSciences, Inc.)

Assistant/Associate Professor – Gastroenterology (North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine)

Postdoctoral Researcher – Epigenetic Mechanisms and Behavioral Outcomes of Developmental Neurotoxicity (Thomas Jefferson University)


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