APOE2 Mitigates Disease-Related Phenotypes in an Isogenic hiPSC-Based Model of Alzheimer’s Disease

Investigators utilized an isogenic human induced pluripotent stem cell (hiPSC)-based system to demonstrate that conversion of APOE3 to APOE2 greatly reduced the production of amyloid-beta peptides in hiPSC-derived neural cultures.
[Molecular Psychiatry]
Brookhouser, N., Raman, S., Frisch, C., Srinivasan, G., & Brafman, D. A. (2021). APOE2 mitigates disease-related phenotypes in an isogenic hiPSC-based model of Alzheimer’s disease. Molecular Psychiatry, 1–18. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41380-021-01076-3 Cite
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Astrocytes in Cocaine Addiction and Beyond

Scientists provide a brief overview of the role of astrocytes in regulating synaptic transmission and neuronal function, and discuss how cocaine influences these astrocyte-mediated mechanisms to induce persistent synaptic and circuit alterations that promote cocaine seeking and relapse.
[Molecular Psychiatry]
Wang, J., Holt, L. M., Huang, H. H., Sesack, S. R., Nestler, E. J., & Dong, Y. (2021). Astrocytes in cocaine addiction and beyond. Molecular Psychiatry, 1–17. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41380-021-01080-7 Cite
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Astrocytes and Neurons Share Region-Specific Transcriptional Signatures That Confer Regional Identity to Neuronal Reprogramming

Investigators showed that in the neocortex and thalamus, neurons and astrocytes express shared region-specific transcriptional and epigenetic signatures.
[Science Advances]
Herrero-Navarro, Á., Puche-Aroca, L., Moreno-Juan, V., Sempere-Ferràndez, A., Espinosa, A., Susín, R., Torres-Masjoan, L., Leyva-Díaz, E., Karow, M., Figueres-Oñate, M., López-Mascaraque, L., López-Atalaya, J. P., Berninger, B., & López-Bendito, G. (2021). Astrocytes and neurons share region-specific transcriptional signatures that confer regional identity to neuronal reprogramming. Science Advances, 7(15), eabe8978. https://doi.org/10.1126/sciadv.abe8978 Cite
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Astrocytes Close a Motor Circuit Critical Period

Scientists defined a critical period in a developing Drosophila motor circuit and identified astrocytes as essential for proper critical period termination.
[Nature]
Ackerman, S. D., Perez-Catalan, N. A., Freeman, M. R., & Doe, C. Q. (2021). Astrocytes close a motor circuit critical period. Nature, 1–7. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-021-03441-2 Cite
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C3G Downregulation Induces the Acquisition of a Mesenchymal Phenotype That Enhances Aggressiveness of Glioblastoma Cells

The authors report that C3G downregulation promoted the acquisition of a more mesenchymal phenotype that enhanced the migratory and invasive capacity of glioblastoma cells.
[Cell Death & Disease]
Manzano, S., Gutierrez-Uzquiza, A., Bragado, P., Sequera, C., Herranz, Ó., Rodrigo-Faus, M., Jauregui, P., Morgner, S., Rubio, I., Guerrero, C., & Porras, A. (2021). C3G downregulation induces the acquisition of a mesenchymal phenotype that enhances aggressiveness of glioblastoma cells. Cell Death & Disease, 12(4), 1–17. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41419-021-03631-w Cite
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Astrocytic Atrophy as a Pathological Feature of Parkinson’s Disease with LRRK2 Mutation

In cell lines derived from Parkinson’s disease patients, astrocytes were characterized by a significant decrease in S100B and GFAP-positive astrocytic profiles associated with marked decrease in astrocyte complexity.
[npj Parkinsons Disease]
Ramos-Gonzalez, P., Mato, S., Chara, J. C., Verkhratsky, A., Matute, C., & Cavaliere, F. (2021). Astrocytic atrophy as a pathological feature of Parkinson’s disease with LRRK2 mutation. Npj Parkinson’s Disease, 7(1), 1–11. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41531-021-00175-w Cite
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Adipose Derived Stem Cells Protect Motor Neurons and Reduce Glial Activation in both In Vitro and In Vivo Models of ALS

Researchers tested the in vitro neuroprotective potential of mouse adipose derived stem cells in astrocyte/motor neuron co-cultures where amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) astrocytes show neurotoxicity.
[Molecular Therapy-Methods & Clinical Development]
Ciervo, Y., Gatto, N., Allen, C., Grierson, A., Ferraiuolo, L., Mead, R. J., & Shaw, P. J. (2021). Adipose derived stem cells protect motor neurons and reduce glial activation in both in vitro and in vivo models of ALS. Molecular Therapy - Methods & Clinical Development, 0(0). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.omtm.2021.03.017 Cite
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Retinal Glial Remodeling by FGF21 Preserves Retinal Function during Photoreceptor Degeneration

Single-cell transcriptomics of retinal cells, showed that fibroblast growth factor 21 (FGF21) receptor Fgfr1 was specifically expressed in Müller glia/astrocytes.
[iScience]
Fu, Z., Qiu, C., Cagnone, G., Tomita, Y., Huang, S., Cakir, B., Kotoda, Y., Allen, W., Bull, E., Akula, J. D., Joyal, J.-S., Hellström, A., Talukdar, S., & Smith, L. E. H. (2021). Retinal glial remodeling by FGF21 preserves retinal function during photoreceptor degeneration. IScience, 0(0). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.isci.2021.102376 Cite
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Brain Ethanol Metabolism by Astrocytic ALDH2 Drives the Behavioral Effects of Ethanol Intoxication

The authors showed that aldehyde dehydrogenase 2 (ALDH2) was expressed in astrocytes in the mouse cerebellum and that ethanol metabolism by astrocytic ALDH2 mediated behavioral effects associated with ethanol intoxication.
[Nature Metabolism]
Jin, S., Cao, Q., Yang, F., Zhu, H., Xu, S., Chen, Q., Wang, Z., Lin, Y., Cinar, R., Pawlosky, R. J., Zhang, Y., Xiong, W., Gao, B., Koob, G. F., Lovinger, D. M., & Zhang, L. (2021). Brain ethanol metabolism by astrocytic ALDH2 drives the behavioural effects of ethanol intoxication. Nature Metabolism, 3(3), 337–351. https://doi.org/10.1038/s42255-021-00357-z Cite
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Vascularization of Human Brain Organoids

Scientists summarize the efforts to accomplish vascularization and perfusion of brain organoids, and they discuss these attempts from a forward‐looking perspective.
[Stem Cells]
Matsui, T. K., Tsuru, Y., Hasegawa, K., & Kuwako, K. (n.d.). Vascularization of human brain organoids. STEM CELLS, n/a(n/a). https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.1002/stem.3368 Cite
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Modulation of the IGF1R-MTOR Pathway Attenuates Motor Neuron Toxicity of Human ALS SOD1G93A Astrocytes

The authors showed elevated activation of the MTOR pathway in human-derived astrocytes harboring mutant SOD1, which resulted in inhibition of macroautophagy/autophagy, increased cell proliferation, and enhanced astrocyte reactivity.
[Autophagy]
Granatiero, V., Sayles, N. M., Savino, A. M., Konrad, C., Kharas, M. G., Kawamata, H., & Manfredi, G. (2021). Modulation of the IGF1R-MTOR pathway attenuates motor neuron toxicity of human ALS SOD1G93A astrocytes. Autophagy, 0(0), 1–14. https://doi.org/10.1080/15548627.2021.1899682 Cite
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