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Review Article: The diverse roles and multiple forms of focal adhesion kinase in brain

Focal Adhesion Kinase, the main transducer of integrin signaling, deserves particular attention during brain development. FAK is found in various alternatively spliced forms and distributed in multiple subcellular compartments. FAK increases or decreases migration, participates in differentiation, and contributes to plasticity events. It is also linked to cell survival in cancer and apoptosis. This review focuses on the diversity of events involving brain-located forms of FAK. Read more http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/ejn.12737/full.

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Featured News 

Review on Fly Motion Vision by the 2014 EJN Award Winner

Enjoy reading the new review article by Alexander Borst on visual motion-detection circuits and watch the above related video presentation. Alexander Borst, Director at the Max Planck Institute of Neurobiology in Martinsried (Germany) and Head of the department Systems and Computational Neurobiology, won the 2014 FENS EJN Award. As an example for neural computation, Alexander Borst studies motion vision in flies. Access the full text review article: In search of the holy grail of fly motion vision at http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/ejn.12731/full

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Read our new virtual Issue on Attention – PDFs free to download until Jan 29 2015

How does the brain detect and select relevant stimuli from the seemingly endless array of cues in the environment? How does the brain enhance the post-perceptual processing of cues so that they can govern behavior? How do prior experiences and expectations direct brain systems to bias attention to certain cues? What is the impact of impairments in brain systems mediating these functions? How do disease processes result in a biased selection of certain cues, such as cues associated with addictive drug use or cues with negative affective valence? These are…

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Oxycodone evokes a greater increase in dopamine release in the nucleus accumbens than morphine

  In this Featured Article of the month (October 2014), researchers measured rapid dopamine and other neurotransmitter release following intravenous infusion of morphine and oxycodone. They found that, although both opioids increased dopamine in the nucleus accumbens,  oxycodone evoked a significantly greater and longer increase in dopamine concentration, while morphine evoked a brief increase in dopamine and a surge in GABA. This study reveals previously unknown differences in opioid-induced neurotransmitter signaling. Watch this Interview with Brandon Aragona, corresponding author of the related article. Access full text: Rapid dopamine transmission within…

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Featured Funding News Resources 

Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation (ADDF) funding opportunities

2014 Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation’s Research Funding Priorities   The Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation (ADDF) funds four different categories of research; drug discovery and preclinical development, early detection, clinical trials and prevention. The ADDF does not fund basic research. The ADDF is interested in novel targets and therapeutic approaches for Alzheimer’s disease, related dementias and cognitive aging. These areas include, but are not limited to: Energy utilization/mitochondria function, insulin sensitivity, protein degradation/autophagy, ApoE function and cholesterol metabolism, vesicular trafficking, inflammatory pathways, synaptic function/morphology, calcium regulation, myelin changes, ischemia and oxidative…

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How Collaborative Efforts Yielded the EJN Best Publication – Interview with the Award Winner Lisa Schnell

For much of human history, one of the prevailing dogmas of medicine was that the spinal cord cannot regenerate. In 1985 Martin Schwab postulated the concept of “inhibitors of neurite growth” as a cause of the absent regeneration. Subsequently, Martin Schwab isolated one of the most potent nerve fiber growth inhibitors, Nogo-A. When this component was blocked, regeneration and functional repair could be shown for the first time in adult rats and monkeys after spinal cord injury, overturning the longstanding dogma. In the EJN research report that was selected as the…

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Featured News 

Adult neurogenesis in DG without 5-HT: Behind the scenes of an unexpected discovery

Selective serotonin (5-HT) re-uptake inhibitors, which increase 5-HT transmission,  increase neurogenesis in the dentate gyrus (DG) of the hippocampus. In addition, some environmental factors, which decrease adult neurogenesis, also decrease the density of serotonergic axons or 5-HT release. It was therefore expected that 5-HT depletion would lead to a decrease in neurogenis in the DG. However, in a Featured Article published in EJN in September 2013, Diaz et al. have shown that constitutive 5-HT depletion does not alter the proliferation of neural precursors in the DG, but promotes the survival of…

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Mathematical model of negative covariability of inter-columnar excitatory synaptic actions

by Mitsuru Saito, Takuma Tanaka, Hajime Sato, Hiroki Toyoda, Toshio Aoyagi and Youngnam Kang A mathematical model of PPD of intracortical EPSCs was constructed by assuming synaptic connections between pyramidal cells and inhibitory interneurons (Sato et al., EJN, 2013). Both the positive covariability between the pair of E1 and the negative one between that of E2 observed with PPD ratio < 0.8 were abolished by eliminating background oscillatory synchronization across columns, suggesting that the synchronization leads to the desynchronization due to column-wise presynaptic inhibition.

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Technical Spotlight – Antibodies to cannabinoid type 1 receptor co-react with stomatin-like protein 2 in mouse brain mitochondria

Technical Spotlight of EJN issue 38-3 by Yury M. Morozov, Martin H. Dominguez, Luis Varela, Marya Shanabrough, Marco Koch, Tamas L. Horvath and Pasko Rakic Anti-cannabinoid type 1 receptor (CB1) polyclonal antibodies are widely used to detect the presence of CB1 in a variety of brain cells and their organelles, including neuronal mitochondria. Surprisingly, we found that anti-CB1 sera, in parallel with CB1, also recognize the mitochondrial protein stomatin-like protein 2. In addition, we show that the previously reported effect of synthetic cannabinoid WIN 55,212-2 on mitochondrial complex III respiration…

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Featured News 

Featured Article – Regulation of mitochondrial dynamics & distribution by synapse position and neuronal activity in the axon

“We measured stability and mobility of axonal mitochondria by using time-lapse imaging of cultured hippocampal neurons. We found that both stability of stationary mitochondria and probability to pause near presynaptic sites are regulated by developmental stages and neuronal activity. Our results provide a detailed framework for understanding how neuronal maturation, activity and synaptic location dynamically determine the distribution of mitochondria along the axon.”

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