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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Novel Genome-Editing-Based Approaches to Treat Motor Neuron Diseases: Promises and Challenges

Scientists review genome editing approaches aimed either at correcting the disease-causing mutations or at modulating the expression of genetic modifiers, e.g. by repairing SOD1 mutations or SMN2 splicing defect, or deleting C9orf72 expanded repeats.
[Molecular Therapy]
Miccio, A., Antoniou, P., Ciura, S., & Kabashi, E. (2021). Novel genome-editing-based approaches to treat motor neuron diseases: promises and challenges. Molecular Therapy, 0(0). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ymthe.2021.04.003 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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Ionis Initiates Phase III Trial of Novel Antisense Medicine to Treat Leading Cause of Juvenile-Onset ALS

Ionis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. announced the initiation of a Phase III clinical trial of ION363 in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) with mutations in the fused in sarcoma gene.
[Ionis Pharmaceuticals, Inc.]
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Incorporation of a Nucleoside Analog Maps Genome Repair Sites in Postmitotic Human Neurons

A targeted sequencing approach in human embryonic stem cell–induced neurons showed that, in neurons, DNA repair is enriched at well-defined hotspots that protect essential genes.
[Science]
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Dynamic Spatiotemporal Coordination of Neural Stem Cell Fate Decisions Occurs through Local Feedback in the Adult Vertebrate Brain

The authors combined dynamic imaging of entire neural stem cell (NSC) populations in their in vivo niche over several weeks with pharmacological manipulations, mathematical modeling, and spatial statistics and demonstrated that NSCs use spatiotemporally resolved local feedback signals to coordinate their decision to divide in adult zebrafish brains.
[Cell Stem Cell]
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An Interplay of Microglia and Matrix Metalloproteinase MMP9 under Hypoxic Stress Regulates the Opticin Expression in Retina

Researchers demonstrated that a reduced opticin levels in ROP vitreous are regulated by matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) secreted by activated microglia.
[Scientific Reports]
Patnaik, S., Rai, M., Jalali, S., Agarwal, K., Badakere, A., Puppala, L., Vishwakarma, S., Balakrishnan, D., Rani, P. K., Kekunnaya, R., Chhablani, P. P., Chakrabarti, S., & Kaur, I. (2021). An interplay of microglia and matrix metalloproteinase MMP9 under hypoxic stress regulates the opticin expression in retina. Scientific Reports, 11(1), 7444. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-86302-2 Cite
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Loss of Microglial SIRPα Promotes Synaptic Pruning in Preclinical Models of Neurodegeneration

To investigate the role of SIRPα in neurodegeneration, researchers modulated the expression of microglial SIRPα in mouse models of Alzheimer’s disease.
[Nature Communications]
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Transplantation of Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell-Derived Neural Crest Cells for Corneal Endothelial Regeneration

Transplantation of the hiPSC-derived neural crest cells rapidly restored rabbit corneal thickness and clarity. However, the long-term recovery efficacy was impaired by the improper maturation, senescence, and endothelial-mesenchymal transition of the transplanted cells.
[Stem Cell Research & Therapy]
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ATF5 Deficiency Causes Abnormal Cortical Development

To investigate the cause of abnormal behaviors exhibited by ATF5−/− mice, researchers analyzed the embryonic cerebral cortex of ATF5−/− mice. The ATF5−/− embryonic cerebral cortex was slightly thinner and had reduced numbers of radial glial cells and neural progenitor cells, compared to a wild-type cerebral cortex.
[Scientific Reports]
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