Volume 9.11 | Mar 25

Neural Cell News 9.11 March 25, 2015
Neural Cell News
     In this issue: Publications | Reviews | Science News | Industry News | Policy News | Events | Jobs
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TOP STORY
Team Finds Key to Making Neurons From Stem Cells
Researchers discovered an RNA molecule called Pnky that can be manipulated to increase the production of neurons from neural stem cells. The research has possible applications in regenerative medicine, including treatments of such disorders as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and traumatic brain injury, and in cancer treatment. [Press release from UCSF discussing online prepublication in Cell Stem Cell]
Press Release | Abstract | Graphical Abstract
Webinar: Brent Reynolds on Identification and Characterization of Neural Stem Cells
 
PUBLICATIONS (Ranked by impact factor of the journal)
NRF2 Promotes Neuronal Survival in Neurodegeneration and Acute Nerve Damage
Scientists created several adeno-associated virus (AAV) vectors to deliver genes that combat oxidation. AAV-mediated delivery of NRF2 was more effective than SOD2 and catalase, while expression of PGC1a accelerated photoreceptor death. [J Clin Invest] Full Article | Press Release | Video

Analyzing Human Neural Stem Cell Ontogeny by Consecutive Isolation of Notch Active Neural Progenitors
Researchers prospectively isolated consecutively appearing pluripotent stem cell-derived primary progenitors based on their Notch activation state. They first isolated early neuroepithelial cells and showed their broad Notch-dependent developmental and proliferative potential. [Nat Commun] Full Article

Generation and Expansion of Highly Pure Motor Neuron Progenitors from Human Pluripotent Stem Cells
By using a combination of small molecules that regulate multiple signaling pathways, scientists developed a method to guide human embryonic stem cells to a near-pure population of motor neuron progenitors in 12 days, and an enriched population of functionally mature motorneurons in an additional 16 days. [Nat Commun] Abstract

Activated K-Ras, but not H-Ras or N-Ras, Regulates Brain Neural Stem Cell Proliferation in a Raf/Rb-Dependent Manner
Leveraging a novel series of conditional activated Ras molecule-expressing genetically-engineered mouse strains, researchers demonstrated that activated K-Ras, but not H-Ras or N-Ras, expression increases brain neural stem cell growth in a Raf-dependent, but Mek-independent, manner. [Stem Cells] Abstract

Adult DRG Stem/Progenitor Cells Generate Pericytes in the Presence of CNS Developmental Cues, and Schwann Cells in Response to CNS Demyelination
Scientists investigated adult dorsal root ganglia (DRG)-neural crest stem/progenitor cell stem cell (NPC) properties over time, and their fate when ectopically grafted in the central nervous system. They compared them in vitro and in vivo to the well-characterized adult spinal cord-NPCs derived from the same donors. [Stem Cells] Abstract

Polarized Macrophages Have Distinct Roles in the Differentiation and Migration of Embryonic Spinal-Cord-Derived Neural Stem Cells after Grafting to Injured Sites of Spinal Cord
Scientists used conditional medium (CM) from bone marrow-derived M1 or M2 polarized macrophages to culture murine neural stem/progenitor cells (NS/PCs). The NS/PCs showed enhanced astrocytic vs. neuronal/oligodendrocytic differentiation in the presence of M1- vs. M2-CM. [Mol Ther] Abstract | Full Article

Differentiation of Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells to Mature Functional Purkinje Neurons
Researchers 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

EphB2 Activation Is Required for Ependymoma Development as Well as Inhibits Differentiation and Promotes Proliferation of the Transformed Cell
In vitro assays of EphB2 overexpressing Ink4a/Arf(−/−) supratentorial embryonic neural stem cells showed no changes in their neural stem cell characteristics upon receptor activation, but EphB2 driven tumor cells were inhibited significantly in differentiation and exhibited increased tumorsphere formation and cellular proliferation in response to ephrin-B ligand mediated receptor activation. [Sci Rep] Full Article

Tissue-Engineered Regeneration of Completely Transected Spinal Cord Using Induced Neural Stem Cells and Gelatin-Electrospun Poly (Lactide-Co-Glycolide)/Polyethylene Glycol Scaffolds
Scientists investigated induced mouse embryonic fibroblasts directly reprogrammed into neural stem cells (iNSCs), as a cell source. Three-dimensional electrospun poly (lactide-co-glycolide)/polyethylene glycol nanofiber scaffolds were used for iNSCs adhesion and growth. [PLoS One] Full Article

Brain Food: NeuroCult SM1 for Long-Term Primary Neuronal Culture. View Data!
 
REVIEWS
Molecular Mechanisms in the Regulation of Adult Neurogenesis during Stress
Recent studies in neurogenic cells indicate that molecular pathways activated by glucocorticoids, the main stress hormones, are modulated by crosstalk with other stress-relevant mechanisms, including inflammatory mediators, neurotrophic factors and morphogen signaling pathways. The authors discuss the pathways that are involved in this crosstalk and thus regulate this complex relationship between adult neurogenesis and stress. [Nat Rev Neurosci] Abstract

Traumatic Brain Injury and the Neuronal Microenvironment: A Potential Role for Neuropathological Mechanotransduction
The authors suggest that cellular mechanotransduction may be an important mechanism underlying the initiation of cell and sub-cellular injuries ultimately responsible for the diffuse pathological damage and clinical symptoms observed in traumatic brain injury (TBI), thereby providing potential therapeutic opportunities not previously explored in TBI. [Neuron] Abstract

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

4th Annual Cell Line Development & Engineering Asia
 
SCIENCE NEWS
Biogen Idec Presents Positive Interim Results from Phase Ib Study
Neurimmune announced that Biogen Idec presented data from its pre-specified interim analysis of PRIME, the Phase Ib study of aducanumab (BIIB037), in which aducanumab demonstrated an acceptable safety profile and positive results on radiologic and clinical measurements in patients with prodromal and mild Alzheimer’s disease. [Press release from Neurimmune discussing research presented at the 12th International Conference on Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Diseases and Related Neurological Disorders, Nice] Press Release

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INDUSTRY NEWS
AbbVie And C2N Enter Into A Worldwide License Agreement For Alzheimer’s Disease Therapy
AbbVie announced that it has entered into an exclusive worldwide license agreement with C2N Diagnostics to develop and commercialize a portfolio of anti-tau antibodies for the treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease and other neurological disorders. [AbbVie Inc.] Press Release

ImmunoCellular Therapeutics Establishes Manufacturing Agreement with PharmaCell B.V. for European Production of ICT-107 for Phase III Registration Trial
ImmunoCellular Therapeutics, Ltd. announced the establishment of an agreement with PharmaCell B.V. to provide contract manufacturing services for the European production of ICT-107, a dendritic cell-based cancer immunotherapy in development as a potential treatment for glioblastoma. [ImmunoCellular Therapeutics, Ltd.] Press Release

GenVec and TheraBiologics form Collaboration to Develop Neural Stem Cell Mediated Cancer Therapies
GenVec, Inc. announced that it has formed a collaboration with TheraBiologics to develop cancer therapeutics leveraging both GenVec’s proprietary gene delivery platform and TheraBiologics’ proprietary neural stem cell technology. [GenVec, Inc.] Press Release
 
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 Precision Cancer Biology and Medicine
May 4-8, 2015
Suzhou, China

NEW Gordon Research Conference – Hormone-Dependent Cancers
August 16-21, 2015
Newry, United States

Visit our events page to see a complete list of events in the neural cell community.
 
JOB OPPORTUNITIES
NEW Postdoctoral Research Fellow – Neuroscience (University of Oslo)

Research Associate – Cell Separation (STEMCELL Technologies Inc.)

PhD Position – Early Human Brain Development Modeling with hiPSCs (University of Bonn)

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)

Assistant Professor – Neuroscience (Georgia State University)

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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