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Epigenetic mechanisms in neurogenesis

Nature on Neuroscience - Wed, 06/22/2016 - 22:00

Nature Reviews Neuroscience 17, 537 (2016). doi:10.1038/nrn.2016.70

Authors: Bing Yao, Kimberly M. Christian, Chuan He, Peng Jin, Guo-li Ming & Hongjun Song

In the embryonic and adult brain, neural stem cells proliferate and give rise to neurons and glia through highly regulated processes. Epigenetic mechanisms — including DNA and histone modifications, as well as regulation by non-coding RNAs — have pivotal roles in different stages of neurogenesis.

Neurodegenerative disease: Restoring balance

Nature on Neuroscience - Sun, 06/19/2016 - 22:00

Nature Reviews Neuroscience 17, 400 (2016). doi:10.1038/nrn.2016.80

Author: Sian Lewis

Intracellular accumulation of the microtubule-associated protein tau is a hallmark of Alzheimer disease. Alternative splicing of the gene encoding tau can generate tau isoforms with three repeat domains (3R) or four repeat domains (4R), and it has been hypothesized that an excess of 4R tau

Cell biology of the neuron: Life in the slow lane

Nature on Neuroscience - Sun, 06/19/2016 - 22:00

Nature Reviews Neuroscience 17, 400 (2016). doi:10.1038/nrn.2016.81

Author: Sian Lewis

Dynein is a molecular motor that is involved in retrograde axonal transport, but the mechanism by which it reaches distal axonal locations is incompletely understood. Here, the authors used live cell imaging techniques in the mouse brain and found that dynein undergoes anterograde transport as

Sleep and memory: Sleeping through the performance

Nature on Neuroscience - Sun, 06/19/2016 - 22:00

Nature Reviews Neuroscience 17, 400 (2016). doi:10.1038/nrn.2016.82

Author: Sian Lewis

The consolidation of memory traces during sleep for their long-term storage in the cortex has not been demonstrated directly. Maingret et al. trained rats either in a spatial memory task that required consolidation or a task that did not. They found that hippocampo-cortical oscillatory

Neurophysiology: Going with the flow

Nature on Neuroscience - Sun, 06/19/2016 - 22:00

Nature Reviews Neuroscience 17, 400 (2016). doi:10.1038/nrn.2016.83

Author: Sian Lewis

The spatial scale over which changes in neural activity influence local blood flow remains under debate. Here, blood vessel diameter and adjacent neuronal spiking activity in the cat visual cortex were monitored simultaneously during exposure of the animal to a range of stimulus orientations. Parenchymal

Time to connect: bringing social context into addiction neuroscience

Nature on Neuroscience - Wed, 06/08/2016 - 22:00

Nature Reviews Neuroscience 17, 592 (2016). doi:10.1038/nrn.2016.67

Authors: Markus Heilig, David H. Epstein, Michael A. Nader & Yavin Shaham

Research on the neural substrates of drug reward, withdrawal and relapse has yet to be translated into significant advances in the treatment of addiction. One potential reason is that this research has not captured a common feature of human addiction: progressive social exclusion and marginalization.

Learning and memory: Once upon a recent time

Nature on Neuroscience - Wed, 06/08/2016 - 22:00

Nature Reviews Neuroscience 17, 397 (2016). doi:10.1038/nrn.2016.84

Author: Natasha Bray

There is greater 'overlap' between the sets of CA1 neurons encoding temporally close memories than of neurons encoding memories temporally spaced apart; such overlap may enable linking of temporally close memories.

Glia: An astrocytic axis

Nature on Neuroscience - Thu, 06/02/2016 - 22:00

Nature Reviews Neuroscience 17, 398 (2016). doi:10.1038/nrn.2016.77

Author: Natasha Bray

In experimental autoimmune encephalitis (a mouse model of multiple sclerosis), type I interferons stimulate the production of aryl hydrocarbon receptor, which is activated by diet- and microbe-derived molecules and limits CNS inflammation.

Depression: Breaking down ketamine's actions

Nature on Neuroscience - Thu, 06/02/2016 - 22:00

Nature Reviews Neuroscience 17, 399 (2016). doi:10.1038/nrn.2016.73

Author: Katherine Whalley

Ketamine's usefulness as an antidepressant is limited by side effects, including abuse potential and sensory dissociation, and its mechanism of action remains unclear. Here, the authors show that ketamine mediates its antidepressant activity not through NMDA receptor inhibition, as previously assumed, but by boosting AMPA

Neurodevelopmental disorders: Zika virus causes brain defects in mice

Nature on Neuroscience - Thu, 06/02/2016 - 22:00

Nature Reviews Neuroscience 17, 399 (2016). doi:10.1038/nrn.2016.74

Author: Katherine Whalley

The Brazilian Zika virus (ZIKVBR) outbreak has been linked to increased incidence of microcephaly; however, in vivo evidence for the effects of ZIKVBR on brain development is lacking. The authors show that pups born to SJL mice infected with ZIKV

Techniques: A CRISPR method of localization

Nature on Neuroscience - Thu, 06/02/2016 - 22:00

Nature Reviews Neuroscience 17, 399 (2016). doi:10.1038/nrn.2016.75

Author: Katherine Whalley

Genome editing using the CRISPR–Cas9 system allows the manipulation of specific genes. Mikuni et al. use this approach to insert sequences encoding protein tags into genes of interest in neural progenitors in the embryonic mouse brain, enabling them to map endogenous protein localization in

Neuroendocrinology: Switching on puberty

Nature on Neuroscience - Thu, 06/02/2016 - 22:00

Nature Reviews Neuroscience 17, 399 (2016). doi:10.1038/nrn.2016.76

Author: Katherine Whalley

Puberty onset is coordinated by gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH)-secreting hypothalamic neurons. Here, the authors show that impairing microRNA (miRNA) synthesis causes hypergonadism and sterility in mice. They find that two key miRNAs — miR-200 and miR-155 — target genes that control the activity of the Gnrh

Neurodegenerative disease: Ever decreasing ripples

Nature on Neuroscience - Wed, 05/25/2016 - 22:00

Nature Reviews Neuroscience 17, 398 (2016). doi:10.1038/nrn.2016.71

Author: Sian Lewis

Slow gamma oscillations during sharp-wave ripples in hippocampus are reduced in mice expressing human APOE4 and this is associated with age-related deficits in learning and memory.

Glia: Astrocytic go-betweens

Nature on Neuroscience - Wed, 05/25/2016 - 22:00

Nature Reviews Neuroscience 17, 400 (2016). doi:10.1038/nrn.2016.72

Author: Darran Yates

Septal cholinergic neurons inhibit hippocampal granule cells through the activation of hilar astrocytes.

Somatostatin-expressing neurons in cortical networks

Nature on Neuroscience - Wed, 05/25/2016 - 22:00

Nature Reviews Neuroscience 17, 401 (2016). doi:10.1038/nrn.2016.53

Authors: Joanna Urban-Ciecko & Alison L. Barth

Somatostatin-expressing GABAergic neurons constitute a major class of inhibitory neurons in the mammalian cortex and are characterized by dense wiring into the local network and high basal firing activity that persists in the absence of synaptic input. This firing provides both GABA type A receptor

The neuroscience of working memory capacity and training

Nature on Neuroscience - Wed, 05/25/2016 - 22:00

Nature Reviews Neuroscience 17, 438 (2016). doi:10.1038/nrn.2016.43

Authors: Christos Constantinidis & Torkel Klingberg

Working memory — the ability to maintain and manipulate information over a period of seconds — is a core component of higher cognitive functions. The storage capacity of working memory is limited but can be expanded by training, and evidence of the neural mechanisms underlying

HIVE is supported by the European Commission under the Future and Emerging Technologies program.

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