α-Synuclein is present at high levels in all neurons and their synapses. We now learn that this protein helps dilate the fusion pore, which forms transiently during vesicle exocytosis, promoting release of certain neurotransmitters.
Capillary endothelial cells sense neuronal activity-evoked increases in extracellular K+ via KIR2.1 inwardly rectifying K+ channels. The ensuing hyperpolarization travels upstream along the vascular network, reaching arterioles and evoking vasodilation.
Technical advances in calcium imaging enable the first tests of classic theories of cerebellar learning. Two independent groups reveal dense representation of surprising modalities in cerebellar granule cells.
A study combines monkey behavioral testing with electrical stimulation of face patches, located with functional MRI and studied electrophysiologically, to probe the behavioral relevance of the face patches' selectivity.
The consequences of spinal cord injury are often severe and irreversible; cell transplantation has emerged as a potential treatment. In this Review, the authors highlight mechanisms through which cell transplantation is thought to promote functional improvements and the obstacles to making cell transplantation a viable therapy.
The Huntington's disease (HD) induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) consortium describe the combined use of differentiated patient-derived iPSCs and systems biology to discover underlying mechanisms in HD. They identify neurodevelopmental deficits in HD cells that can be corrected in cells and in vivo with a small molecule.
Brain tumor initiating cells (BTICs) utilize high-affinity glucose uptake, which is normally active in neurons to maintain energy demands and self-renew. Leveraging metabolomic and genomic analyses, Wang et al. report that de novo purine biosynthesis reprograms BTIC metabolism, revealing a potential point of fragility amenable to targeted cancer therapy.
Regeneration of myelin is a dynamic, yet enigmatic process. Dombrowski et al. uncover a central role for regulatory T (Treg) cells in driving oligodendrocyte differentiation, in part via CCN3, a novel factor in Treg function and oligodendrocyte biology. This identifies Treg cells as key cellular players in efficient remyelination.