BNIP3L/NIX-Mediated Mitophagy Protects Against Glucocorticoid-Induced Synapse Defects

The authors investigated the role of glucocorticoids in mitophagy inhibition and subsequent synaptic defects in hippocampal neurons, SH-SY5Y cells, and ICR mice.
[Nature Communications]
Choi, G. E., Lee, H. J., Chae, C. W., Cho, J. H., Jung, Y. H., Kim, J. S., Kim, S. Y., Lim, J. R., & Han, H. J. (2021). BNIP3L/NIX-mediated mitophagy protects against glucocorticoid-induced synapse defects. Nature Communications, 12(1), 487. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-20679-y Cite
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p53 Is Required for Nuclear but Not Mitochondrial DNA Damage-Induced Degeneration

Researchers induced selective mitochondrial DNA damage in neuronal axons using microfluidic chambers that allowed for the spatial and fluidic isolation of neuronal cell bodies from the axons.
[Cell Death & Disease]
Geden, M. J., Romero, S. E., & Deshmukh, M. (2021). p53 is required for nuclear but not mitochondrial DNA damage-induced degeneration. Cell Death & Disease, 12(1), 1–11. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41419-020-03373-1 Cite
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Mesenchymal Stem Cell-Derived Exosome miR-542-3p Suppresses Inflammation and Prevents Cerebral Infarction

Microarray indicated a decrease of miR-542-3p and an increase of Toll-Like Receptor 4 (TLR4) in middle cerebral artery occlusion mice comparing with sham mice. And luciferase and RIP analysis indicated a binding of miR-542-3p and TLR4.
[Current Stem Cell Research & Therapy]
Cai, G., Cai, G., Zhou, H., Zhuang, Z., Liu, K., Pei, S., Wang, Y., Wang, H., Wang, X., Xu, S., Cui, C., Sun, M., Guo, S., Jia, K., Wang, X., & Zhang, D. (2021). Mesenchymal stem cell-derived exosome miR-542-3p suppresses inflammation and prevents cerebral infarction. Stem Cell Research & Therapy, 12(1), 2. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13287-020-02030-w Cite
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TNFα Promotes Oral Cancer Growth, Pain, and Schwann Cell Activation

The authors hypothesized that the oral cancer mediator TNFα activated Schwann cells, which further promoted cancer progression and pain.
[Scientific Reports]
Salvo, E., Tu, N. H., Scheff, N. N., Dubeykovskaya, Z. A., Chavan, S. A., Aouizerat, B. E., & Ye, Y. (2021). TNFα promotes oral cancer growth, pain, and Schwann cell activation. Scientific Reports, 11(1), 1840. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-81500-4 Cite
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PIAS1 Modulates Striatal Transcription, DNA Damage Repair, and SUMOylation with Relevance to Huntington’s Disease

Investigators evaluated the mechanistic contributions of protein inhibitor of activated STAT-1 (PIAS1) in Huntington’s disease (HD) mice and HD patient-derived induced pluripotent stem cells and found a link between PIAS1 and DNA damage repair pathways.
[Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America]
Morozko, E. L., Smith-Geater, C., Monteys, A. M., Pradhan, S., Lim, R. G., Langfelder, P., Kachemov, M., Hill, A., Stocksdale, J. T., Cullis, P. R., Wu, J., Ochaba, J., Miramontes, R., Chakraborty, A., Hazra, T. K., Lau, A., St-cyr, S., Orellana, I., Kopan, L., … Thompson, L. M. (2021). PIAS1 modulates striatal transcription, DNA damage repair, and SUMOylation with relevance to Huntington’s disease. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 118(4). https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.2021836118 Cite
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Current Understanding of the Molecular and Cellular Pathology of Diabetic Retinopathy

The authors highlight research that has led to a new understanding of retinal pathophysiology during diabetes mellitus and that has uncovered potential new therapeutic avenues to treat this debilitating disease.
[Nature Reviews Endocrinology]
Antonetti, D. A., Silva, P. S., & Stitt, A. W. (2021). Current understanding of the molecular and cellular pathology of diabetic retinopathy. Nature Reviews Endocrinology, 1–12. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41574-020-00451-4 Cite
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Dietary Capsaicin Normalizes CGRP Peptidergic DRG Neurons in Experimental Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy

Researchers supplemented capsaicin in the diet of the animals to upregulate calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) and reversed the downregulation of the neuropeptide in the dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons dissociated from the diabetic animals, via gene transfection and exogenous CGRP, to test disease-preventing and disease-limiting effects of CGRP.
[Scientific Reports]
Zhang, X.-Y., Guo, Z., Li, T.-P., & Sun, T. (2021). Dietary capsaicin normalizes CGRP peptidergic DRG neurons in experimental diabetic peripheral neuropathy. Scientific Reports, 11(1), 1704. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-81427-w Cite
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Loss of POMC-Mediated Antinociception Contributes to Painful Diabetic Neuropathy

Scientists report dysfunctional proopiomelanocortin (POMC)-mediated antinociception in sensory neurons in diabetes.
[Scientific Reports]
Deshpande, D., Agarwal, N., Fleming, T., Gaveriaux-Ruff, C., Klose, C. S. N., Tappe-Theodor, A., Kuner, R., & Nawroth, P. (2021). Loss of POMC-mediated antinociception contributes to painful diabetic neuropathy. Nature Communications, 12(1), 426. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-20677-0 Cite
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Transneuronal Delivery of Hyper-Interleukin-6 Enables Functional Recovery after Severe Spinal Cord Injury in Mice

The authors report significant locomotor recovery of both hindlimbs after a complete spinal cord crush. This was achieved by the unilateral transduction of cortical motoneurons with an AAV expressing hyper-IL-6, a potent designer cytokine stimulating JAK/STAT3 signaling and axon regeneration.
[Nature Communications]
Transneuronal delivery of hyper-interleukin-6 enables functional recovery after severe spinal cord injury in mice | Nature Communications. (n.d.). Retrieved January 15, 2021, from https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-020-20112-4 Cite
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A Subset of Spinal Dorsal Horn Interneurons Crucial for Gating Touch-Evoked Pain-Like Behavior

Scientists identified a subset of inhibitory interneurons in the spinal dorsal horn (SDH) operated by adeno-associated viral vectors incorporating a neuropeptide Y promoter (AAV-NpyP+) and showed that specific ablation or silencing of AAV-NpyP+ SDH interneurons converted touch-sensing Aβ fiber-derived signals to morphine-resistant pain-like behavioral responses.
[Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America]
Tashima, R., Koga, K., Yoshikawa, Y., Sekine, M., Watanabe, M., Tozaki-Saitoh, H., Furue, H., Yasaka, T., & Tsuda, M. (2021). A subset of spinal dorsal horn interneurons crucial for gating touch-evoked pain-like behavior. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 118(3). https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.2021220118 Cite
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BlueRock Therapeutics in Collaboration with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center Receives IND Clearance for DA01 in Parkinson’s Disease

BlueRock Therapeutics, in collaboration with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, announced that the US FDA has cleared their Investigational New Drug application to proceed with a Phase I study in patients with advanced Parkinson’s disease (PD). This is the first trial in the US to study pluripotent stem cell-derived dopaminergic neurons in patients with Parkinson’s disease.
[BlueRock Therapeutics (PR Newswire, Inc.)]
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