Volume 9.33 | Sep 2

Neural Cell News 9.33 September 2, 2015
Neural Cell News
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Alzheimer’s Disease Thought to Be Accelerated by an Abnormal Build-Up of Fat in the Brain
People with Alzheimer’s disease have fat deposits in the brain. For the first time since the disease was described 109 years ago, researchers have discovered accumulations of fat droplets in the brain of patients who died from the disease and have identified the nature of the fat. [Press release from the University of Montreal discussing online prepublication in Cell Stem Cell] Press Release | Abstract | Graphical Abstract
Free Wallchart from Nature Reviews Neuroscience on Modeling Neurological Disease with iPS Cells
PUBLICATIONS (Ranked by impact factor of the journal)
CNS Myelin Sheath Lengths Are an Intrinsic Property of Oligodendrocytes
The authors showed that oligodendrocytes respond to fiber diameters and that spinal cord oligodendrocytes generate longer sheaths than cortical oligodendrocytes on fibers, co-cultures, and explants, revealing that oligodendrocytes have regional identity and generate different sheath lengths that mirror internodes in vivo. [Curr Biol] Full Article | Graphical Abstract

VPS35 Deficiency or Mutation Causes Dopaminergic Neuronal Loss by Impairing Mitochondrial Fusion and Function
Investigators showed that specific deletion of the vacuolar protein sorting-35 (VPS35) gene in dopamine (DA) neurons resulted in Parkinson’s disease-like deficits, including loss of DA neurons and accumulation of α-synuclein. [Cell Rep] Full Article | Graphical Abstract

Efficacy of Systemic Adoptive Transfer Immunotherapy Targeting NY-ESO-1 for Glioblastoma
The authors utilized human glioblastoma cell cultures to induce expression of New York–esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (NY-ESO-1) following in vitro treatment with the demethylating agent decitabine. They then investigated the phenotype of lymphocytes specific for NY-ESO-1 using flow cytometry analysis and cytotoxicity against cells treated with decitabine using the xCelligence real-time cytotoxicity assay.
[Neuro Oncol]
Abstract | Press Release

TIMP3 Attenuates the Loss of Neural Stem Cells, Mature Neurons and Neurocognitive Dysfunction in Traumatic Brain Injury
Scientists demonstrated that tissue inhibitor of matrix metalloproteinase-3 (TIMP3), a soluble protein released by mesenchymal stem cells, is neuroprotective and enhances neuronal survival and neurite outgrowth in vitro. [Stem Cells] Abstract

Retinal Synaptic Regeneration via Microfluidic Guiding Channels
Retinal precursor cells were cultured in a microfluidic chip with multiple arrays of microchannels in order to reconstruct the retinal neuronal synapse. [Sci Rep] Full Article

CEND1 and NEUROGENIN2 Reprogram Mouse Astrocytes and Embryonic Fibroblasts to Induced Neural Precursors and Differentiated Neurons
Researchers explored the effect of CEND1 and NEUROG2 on reprogramming of mouse cortical astrocytes and embryonic fibroblasts. Forced expression of CEND1, NEUROG2, or both resulted in acquisition of induced neuronal cells expressing subtype-specific markers, while long-term live-cell imaging highlighted the existence of two different modes of neuronal trans-differentiation. [Stem Cell Rep] Full Article

Intracellular Magnesium Level Determines Cell Viability in the MPP+ Model of Parkinson’s Disease
The authors investigated intracellular Mg2+ concentration and its effect on neurodegeneration in the 1-methyl-4-phenylpyridinium (MPP+) model of Parkinson’s disease in differentiated PC12 cells. [Biochim Biophys Acta] Abstract

Downregulated AEG-1 Together with Inhibited PI3K/Akt Pathway Is Associated with Reduced Viability of Motor Neurons in an ALS Model
Scientists investigated how astrocyte elevated gene-1 (AEG-1) participates in the survival pathway of motor neurons in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). They found reduced levels of AEG-1 in ALS motor neurons, both in vivo and in vitro, compared to wild type controls. [Mol Cell Neurosci] Abstract

Silk 3D Matrices Incorporating Human Neural Progenitor Cells for Neural Tissue Engineering Applications
Silk fibroin three-dimensional (3D) scaffolds from mulberry and non-mulberry silks were designed to provide structural support to maintain the native function of normal tissues. The 3D scaffolds were examined by culturing human neural progenitor cells, which demonstrated good cell viability and proliferation over 14 days. [Polymer J] Abstract

Selected SNARE Proteins Are Essential for the Polarized Membrane Insertion of IGF-1 Receptor and the Regulation of Initial Axonal Outgrowth in Neurons
Researchers showed that five SNARE proteins were expressed by hippocampal pyramidal neurons before polarization. Expression silencing of three of these proteins repressed axonal outgrowth and the establishment of neuronal polarity, by inhibiting IGF-1 receptor exocytotic polarized insertion, necessary for neuronal polarization. [Cell Discov] Full Article | Video

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Transcriptional Mutagenesis by 8-oxodG in α-Synuclein Aggregation and the Pathogenesis of Parkinson’s Disease
The authors comprehensively summarize the role of oxidative stress-mediated damage incurred during neurodegeneration, and highlights the scope of transcriptional mutagenesis event in leading to α-synuclein aggregation as seen in Parkinson’s disease. [Exp Mol Med] Full Article

The Keystone of Alzheimer Pathogenesis Might Be Sought in Aβ Physiology
The authors propose a model interpreting Alzheimer’s disease pathogenesis as an alteration of the negative feedback loop between Amyloid-beta peptide and its physiological receptors, focusing on α7-nAchRs. [Neuroscience] Abstract

Visit our reviews page to see a complete list of reviews in the neural cell research field.
American Brain Tumor Association Seeks Innovative Concepts For Discovery Research Grants
The American Brain Tumor Association is accepting letters of intent for its Discovery Research Grant program. Discovery Grants are one-year, $50,000 grants that fund high risk/high impact projects with the potential to change current diagnostic or treatment paradigms for adults and children with brain tumors. [American Brain Tumor Association] Press Release

Amgen Enters into Neuroscience Collaboration with Novartis for Alzheimer’s Disease and Migraine Programs
Amgen announced a neuroscience collaboration with Novartis in the areas of Alzheimer’s disease and migraine. The collaboration accelerates Amgen’s potential entry into Alzheimer’s disease by teaming up with Novartis on a differentiated and genetically validated Alzheimer’s disease program directed at genetically predisposed individuals at risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. [Amgen] Press Release

BioTime Subsidiary Asterias Therapeutics Concludes Recruitment of Initial Safety Cohort of the SCiStar Phase I/IIa Dose-Escalation Clinical Trial of AST-OPC1 for Complete Cervical Spinal Cord Injury
BioTime, Inc. announced that subsidiary Asterias Biotherapeutics, Inc. reported that the third patient was successfully dosed at Chicago-based Rush University Medical Center in a Phase I/IIa clinical trial evaluating activity of escalating doses of AST-OPC1 (oligodendrocyte progenitor cells) in newly injured patients with sensory and motor complete cervical spinal cord injury. [BioTime, Inc.] Press Release

Stem Cell Scientist Recreates Cells Lost in Spinal Cord Injuries
Advances in medical research have turned scientists into modern day alchemists. Using unique drug cocktails, stem cell scientist Sheng Ding, PhD, a senior investigator at the Gladstone Institutes, can transform fibroblasts into fully functional brain, heart, liver, and insulin-producing pancreas cells. [Gladstone Institutes] Press Release

UC San Diego Cancer Researchers Receive NCI Outstanding Investigator Award
Four University of California, San Diego School of Medicine researchers have been selected to receive the newly established National Cancer Institute (NCI) Outstanding Investigator Award. The multi-million dollar awards fund new projects that have an unusual potential in cancer research over seven years. [UC San Diego] Press Release

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NEW Targeting Cell Death Mechanisms for the Treatment of Human Diseases
November 9-13, 2015
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Visit our events page to see a complete list of events in the neural cell community.
NEW Postdoctoral Position – Spinal Cord Injury Research (Indiana University-Purdue University)

Postdoctoral Position – Neuroimmunology (Brain and Spine Institute)

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)

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

Postdoctoral Positions – Cancer Research (Rutgers 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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