Volume 9.31 | Aug 19

Neural Cell News 9.31 August 19, 2015
Neural Cell News
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Circuit-Specific Signaling in Astrocyte-Neuron Networks in Basal Ganglia Pathways
In the dorsal striatum, which mainly comprises two intermingled subtypes of medium spiny neurons (MSNs) and synapses belonging to two neural circuits, subpopulations of astrocytes selectively responded to specific MSN subtype activity. [Science] Abstract | Press Release
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PUBLICATIONS (Ranked by impact factor of the journal)
Human Neuropsychiatric Disease Modeling Using Conditional Deletion Reveals Synaptic Transmission Defects Caused by Heterozygous Mutations in NRXN1
The authors generated human ESCs with different heterozygous conditional NRXN1 mutations and analyzed two different types of isogenic control and NRXN1 mutant neurons derived from these ESCs. Both heterozygous NRXN1 mutations selectively impaired neurotransmitter release in human neurons without changing neuronal differentiation or synapse formation. [Cell Stem Cell] Abstract | Graphical Abstract

Upregulation of miR-181s Reverses Mesenchymal Transition by Targeting KPNA4 in Glioblastoma
Researchers explored the most effective miRNAs affecting glioblastoma multiforme phenotype transition and malignant progression. They identified the antitumorigenic activity of miR-181b in vitro and in vivo. [Sci Rep] Full Article

Effects of ECM Protein Micropatterns on the Migration and Differentiation of Adult Neural Stem Cells
Investigators applied soft-lithographic technique to design simple and reproducible laminin-polylysine cell culture substrates and investigated how adult neural stem cells (aNSCs) respond to the various spatial distribution of laminin, one of extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins enriched in the aNSC niche. [Sci Rep] Full Article

Effect of the JAK2/STAT3 Inhibitor SAR317461 on Human Glioblastoma Tumorspheres
Researchers report that the JAK2 inhibitor SAR317461 clearly inhibited STAT3 phosphorylation and had substantial activity against cells from six of seven different patient GSC derived glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) tumorsphere lines and three immortalized GBM lines. [J Transl Med] Full Article

Comparative Analysis of Human and Rodent Brain Primary Neuronal Culture Spontaneous Activity Using Micro-Electrode Array Technology
A direct comparison of spontaneous spiking activity between rodent and human primary neurons grown under the same in vitro conditions using micro electrode array technology has never been carried out before and is described. [J Cell Biochem] Abstract

Dexamethasone-Mediated Activation of Fibronectin Matrix Assembly Reduces Dispersal of Primary Human Glioblastoma Cells
Scientists utilized a broad range of qualitative and quantitative assays and, a human Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) tissue microarray, and freshly-isolated primary human GBM cells grown both as conventional 2D cultures and as 3D spheroids to explore the role of Dex and fibronectin matrix assembly in modulating various parameters that can significantly influence tumor cell dispersal. [PLoS One] Full Article

A Perturbed MicroRNA Expression Pattern Characterizes Embryonic Neural Stem Cells Derived from a Severe Mouse Model of Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA)
Scientists characterized for the first time neural stem cells (NSCs) derived from embryonic spinal cords of a severe survival motor neuron (SMN)Δ7M SMA mouse model. SMNΔ7 NSCs behave as their wild type counterparts, when neurosphere formation ability and the expression levels of specific regional and self-renewal markers is considered. [Int J Mol Sci] Abstract | Download Full Article | Press Release

The Expression of CUGBP1 after Spinal Cord Injury in Rats
The authors performed acute spinal cord injury (SCI) modelling in adult rats in order to research the expression changes of CUG-binding protein 1 (CUGBP1) in spinal cord. They also examined the expression profiles of p27, which was up-regulated after SCI. To further understand whether CUGBP1 plays a role in astrocyte proliferation, they applied LPS to induce astrocyte proliferation in vitro. [Neurochem Res] Abstract

Involvement of Inhibitory PAS Domain Protein in Neuronal Cell Death in Parkinson’s Disease
Scientists showed that inhibitory PAS domain protein (IPAS) is a key molecule involved in neuronal cell death in Parkinson’s disease. IPAS was ubiquitinated by Parkin for proteasomal degradation following carbonyl cyanide m-chlorophenyl hydrazone treatment. [Cell Death Discov] Full Article

Open Access JoVE Protocol: Discriminating NSCs from NPCs with the NeuroCult™ NCFC Assay
The Preclinical Phase of the Pathological Process Underlying Sporadic Alzheimer’s Disease
Abnormal tau lesions in select types of neurons are crucial for the pathogenesis of sporadic Alzheimer’s disease. Ongoing formation of these tau lesions persists into end-stage Alzheimer’s disease and is not subject to remission. [Brain] Abstract

Mitochondria and Endoplasmic Reticulum Crosstalk in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
The authors discuss normal and pathological endoplasmic reticulum-mitochondria interactions and the evidence that links them to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. [Neurobiol Dis] Abstract

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Merck and MD Anderson Announce Immuno-Oncology Research Collaboration in Solid Tumors
Merck and The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center announced a strategic clinical research collaboration to evaluate Merck’s anti-PD-1 therapy, KEYTRUDA®, in combination with other treatments, such as chemotherapy, radiation therapy and/or novel anti-tumor medicines. [The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center] Press Release

Regenerating Nerve Tissue in Spinal Cord Injuries
Researchers at Rush University Medical Center are exploring a new therapy using stem cells to treat spinal cord injuries within the first 14 to 30 days of injury. The therapy uses a population of cells derived from human embryonic stem cells containing progenitor cells that support nerve cells and can potentially make poorly functioning nerves function better. [Rush University Medical Center] Press Release

ImmunoCellular Therapeutics Reaches Agreement with FDA on Special Protocol Assessment (SPA) for ICT-107 Phase III Registrational Trial in Glioblastoma
ImmunoCellular Therapeutics, Ltd. announced that it has reached agreement with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on a Special Protocol Assessment (SPA) for the Phase III registrational trial of its cancer immunotherapy ICT-107 to treat patients with newly diagnosed glioblastoma. [ImmunoCellular Therapeutics, Ltd.] Press Release

European Commission Grants Marketing Authorisation for Unituxin™ (Dinutuximab) for the Treatment of Pediatric High-Risk Neuroblastoma
United Therapeutics Corporation announced that the European Commission has granted Marketing Authorisation for Unituxin™ for the treatment of high-risk neuroblastoma in patients aged 12 months to 17 years, who have previously received induction chemotherapy and achieved at least a partial response, followed by myeloablative therapy and autologous stem cell transplantation. [United Therapeutics Corporation] Press Release

UCI-Led Team Begins First Clinical Trial of Stem Cell-Based Retinitis Pigmentosa Treatment
Participants are being enrolled in the first clinical trial that tests the use of retinal progenitor cells to treat retinitis pigmentosa (RP). The open-label Phase I/IIa trial is designed to evaluate the safety of retinal progenitor cells injected into the vitreous cavity at two different dosage levels in patients with late-stage RP. [UC Irvine] Press Release

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NEW Stem Cells: from Basic Biology to Disease Therapy
October 19-22, 2015
Suzhou, China

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NEW Director (Vollum Institute)

NEW Director – Duke Institute for Brain Sciences (Duke University)

Postdoctoral Research Fellow – Glioblastoma Stem-Like Cells and Non-Neoplastic Neural Stem Cells (Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center)

Faculty Position – Neuroscience/Brain Repair/Stroke Recovery (University of Ottawa)

Harry Eagle Scholar Awards for Postdoctoral Candidates (Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University)

Postdoctoral Positions – Cancer Research (Rutgers University)

Chemist/Biochemist/Nanotechnologist (Fondazione IRCCS Istituto Neurologico “Carlo Besta”)

Postdoctoral Fellowship – Neural Development and Cancer (Columbia University)

Postdoctoral Research Fellow/Research Assistant Professor – Neurodegenerative Diseases (The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology)

PhD Student – Biology of Brain Metastasis (Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Oncológicas)

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