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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Soluble α-Synuclein–Antibody Complexes Activate the NLRP3 Inflammasome in hiPSC-Derived Microglia

Researchers showed that αSyn activated the NLRP3 inflammasome in human induced pluripotent stem cell (hiPSC)-derived microglia via dual stimulation involving Toll-like receptor 2 engagement and mitochondrial damage.
[Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America]
Trudler, D., Nazor, K. L., Eisele, Y. S., Grabauskas, T., Dolatabadi, N., Parker, J., Sultan, A., Zhong, Z., Goodwin, M. S., Levites, Y., Golde, T. E., Kelly, J. W., Sierks, M. R., Schork, N. J., Karin, M., Ambasudhan, R., & Lipton, S. A. (2021). Soluble α-synuclein–antibody complexes activate the NLRP3 inflammasome in hiPSC-derived microglia. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 118(15). https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.2025847118 Cite
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Efficient Conversion of Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells Into Microglia by Defined Transcription Factors

The authors report a novel approach that produces, within ten days, the differentiation of human induced pluripotent stem cells into microglia by forced expression of both SPI1 and CEBPA.
[Stem Cell Reports]
Chen, S.-W., Hung, Y.-S., Fuh, J.-L., Chen, N.-J., Chu, Y.-S., Chen, S.-C., Fann, M.-J., & Wong, Y.-H. (2021). Efficient conversion of human induced pluripotent stem cells into microglia by defined transcription factors. Stem Cell Reports, 0(0). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.stemcr.2021.03.010 Cite
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Effect of Long-Term 3D Spheroid Culture on WJ-MSC

Investigators developed a protocol enabling a derivation of MSC subpopulation with increased expression of pluripotent and neural genes.
[Cells]
Kaminska, A., Wedzinska, A., Kot, M., & Sarnowska, A. (2021). Effect of Long-Term 3D Spheroid Culture on WJ-MSC. Cells, 10(4), 719. https://doi.org/10.3390/cells10040719 Cite
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Identification of an Endogenous Glutamatergic Transmitter System Controlling Excitability and Conductivity of Atrial Cardiomyocytes

Researchers reveal an intrinsic glutamatergic transmitter system directly modulating excitability and conductivity of atrial cardiomyocytes through controlling ionotropic glutamate receptor-gated currents.
[Cell Research]
Xie, D., Xiong, K., Su, X., Wang, G., Ji, Q., Zou, Q., Wang, L., Liu, Y., Liang, D., Xue, J., Wang, L., Gao, X., Gu, X., Liu, H., He, X., Li, L., Yang, J., Lu, Y., Peng, L., & Chen, Y.-H. (2021). Identification of an endogenous glutamatergic transmitter system controlling excitability and conductivity of atrial cardiomyocytes. Cell Research, 1–14. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41422-021-00499-5 Cite
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Overlapping Roles of JIP3 and JIP4 in Promoting Axonal Transport of Lysosomes in Human iPSC-Derived Neurons

Investigators established a hiPSC-derived neuron model for the investigation of axonal lysosome transport and maturation and showed that loss of JIP3 resulted in the accumulation of axonal lysosomes and the Alzheimer’s disease-related amyloid precursor protein-derived Aβ42 peptide.
[Molecular Biology of the Cell]
Gowrishankar, S., Lyons, L., Rafiq, N. M., Roczniak-Ferguson, A., De Camilli, P., & Ferguson, S. M. (2021). Overlapping roles of JIP3 and JIP4 in promoting axonal transport of lysosomes in human iPSC-derived neurons. Molecular Biology of the Cell, mbc.E20-06-0382. https://doi.org/10.1091/mbc.E20-06-0382 Cite
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Functional and Molecular Properties of DYT-SGCE Myoclonus-Dystonia Patient-Derived Striatal Medium Spiny Neurons

To elucidate the underlying pathogenic mechanisms of myoclonus dystonia, scientists investigated iPSC-derived striatal medium spiny neurons from two myoclonus-dystonia patients carrying a heterozygous mutation in the SGCE gene in comparison to two matched healthy control lines.
[International Journal of Molecular Sciences]
Kutschenko, A., Staege, S., Grütz, K., Glaß, H., Kalmbach, N., Gschwendtberger, T., Henkel, L. M., Heine, J., Grünewald, A., Hermann, A., Seibler, P., & Wegner, F. (2021). Functional and Molecular Properties of DYT-SGCE Myoclonus-Dystonia Patient-Derived Striatal Medium Spiny Neurons. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 22(7), 3565. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms22073565 Cite
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Integrins Protect Sensory Neurons in Models of Paclitaxel-Induced Peripheral Sensory Neuropathy

The authors used a genetically tractable Drosophila model and primary sensory neurons isolated from adult mouse to examine the mechanisms underlying chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy and identify protective pathways.
[Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America]
Shin, G. J., Pero, M. E., Hammond, L. A., Burgos, A., Kumar, A., Galindo, S. E., Lucas, T., Bartolini, F., & Grueber, W. B. (2021). Integrins protect sensory neurons in models of paclitaxel-induced peripheral sensory neuropathy. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 118(15). https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.2006050118 Cite
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Targeting Autophagy as a Therapeutic Strategy to Prevent Dopamine Neuron Loss in Early Stages of Alzheimer Disease

Investigators summarized new data showing how macroautophagy/autophagy impairment – due to enhanced activity of the ABL/c-Abl kinase – might have caused the dopamine neuron loss.
[Autophagy]
Nobili, A., Barbera, L. L., & D’Amelio, M. (2021). Targeting autophagy as a therapeutic strategy to prevent dopamine neuron loss in early stages of Alzheimer disease. Autophagy, 0(0), 1–3. https://doi.org/10.1080/15548627.2021.1909409 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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The Autism-Associated Protein CHD8 Is Required for Cerebellar Development and Motor Function

The authors showed that cerebellar granule neuron progenitor-specific deletion of chromodomain helicase DNA-binding protein 8 (CHD8) in mice impaired the proliferation and differentiation of the cells as well as gave rise to cerebellar hypoplasia and a motor coordination defect, but not to autism spectrum disorder-like behavioral abnormalities.
[Cell Reports]
Kawamura, A., Katayama, Y., Kakegawa, W., Ino, D., Nishiyama, M., Yuzaki, M., & Nakayama, K. I. (2021). The autism-associated protein CHD8 is required for cerebellar development and motor function. Cell Reports, 35(1). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.celrep.2021.108932 Cite
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