2017 SFN Symposium

Join us in shaping the future of neuroscience at MilliporeSigma’s 5th Annual SfN Satellite Event.

Uncover Neuroinflammation: Determining Molecular and Functional Heterogeneity

Sunday, November 12, 2017
6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. -
doors open at 6:15
Marriott Marquis (Salon 6)
901 Massachusetts Ave. NW
Washington, D.C., 20001

Be a part of the conversation on this highly active area of research as we bring together three leading experts in neuroinflammation and disease. Attendees will walk away with a better understanding of diverse astrocyte contributions to neurological disease and how targeting the immune system rather than brain-specific disease-escalating factors may provide a multi-dimensional therapy for Alzheimer’s disease.

Topics will include:

  • Systemic immunity protects the mind: Can immune checkpoint blockade combat Alzheimer’s disease?
  • Decoding astrocyte heterogeneity in the normal and pathological brain

 **Enjoy hors d’oeuvres, drinks and lively conversation with the neuroscience community**
 

Agenda:
6:15 PM Meet & greet
6:50 PM Opening remarks and recognition of the 2017 Neuroscience Discovery Grant finalists and winner
7:00 PM Topic - The Devil’s in the Details: the importance of heterogeneity and context in predicting and understanding neuroinflammatory outcomes

Presenter:  Monica  Carson (view bio)
Professor and Chair, Biomedical Sciences, University of California, Riverside
7:15 PM Topic - Systemic immunity protects the mind: Can immune checkpoint blockade combat Alzheimer’s disease?

Presenter:  Michal Schwartz (
view bio)
Professor of Neuroimmunology, incumbent of The Maurice and Ilse Katz Professorial Chair in Neuroimmunology, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel.   
7:45 PM Topic - Decoding astrocyte heterogeneity in the normal and pathological brain

Presenter:  Dr. Benjamin Deneen (view bio)
Associate Professor, Center for Cell and Gene Therapy, Department of Neuroscience, Baylor College of Medicine
8:15 PM Q & A, closing discussion and goodbye

RSVP to our Satellite Event Here!

And don’t forget to register for a MilliporeSigma poster tube adjustable strap while you’re there!

 

The Devil’s in the Details: the importance of heterogeneity and context in predicting and understanding neuroinflammatory outcomes

Abstract

Until recently, the existence and critical importance of glial heterogeneity for brain development, brain function and neuroinflammation were at best understated. Similarly, neuroinflammation was initially discussed as on versus off, and subsequently as a spectrum along tissue repair and cytotoxic tissue defense.  However, the complexity of the brain requires regional, age and context dependent support and defense. The same glial or inflammatory response may be beneficial or detrimental based on brain region, age or insult.  Here we introduce these concepts covered in this symposium using TREM2 dependent regulation of microglial function along the lifespan.

Systemic immunity protects the mind: Can immune checkpoint blockade combat Alzheimer’s disease?

Abstract

It is now widely accepted that immune surveillance is required for supporting brain functional plasticity and repair. Participating cells include the microglia, the resident myeloid immune cells of the brain, circulating monocytes, and CD4+ T cells. Over the years, we demonstrated that leukocytes supporting the brain can gain access to the brain through a unique compartment within the brain territory, the choroid plexus epithelium (CP) at the blood-cerebrospinal fluid-barrier (B-CSF-B), remote from the brain parenchyma. The CP serves as a selective gateway allowing leukocyte entry to the CNS; its activity is controlled by its cytokine milieu, and specifically by IFN-. We showed that in mouse models of aging and in Alzheimer’s disease (AD), this interface is suppressed in its ability to allow communication between the brain and the circulating leukocytes. We further found that transiently relieving systemic immune suppression could enhance recruitment of disease-modifying leukocytes to sites of brain pathology. Unleashing the immune system could be achieved by blocking inhibitory immune checkpoints, regulatory pathways that normally maintain systemic immune homeostasis and tolerance. Specifically, we found in three mouse models of AD that targeting the inhibitory checkpoints, PD-1/PD-L1 pathway, was effective in reversing cognitive loss, reducing brain inflammation, and mitigating disease pathology. Overall, our results indicate that targeting the immune system rather than brain-specific disease-escalating factors may provide a multi-dimensional therapy for AD.

Decoding astrocyte heterogeneity in the normal and pathological brain

Abstract

Astrocytes are the most abundant cell type in the brain and perform a wide array of functions, yet the nature of their cellular heterogeneity and how it oversees these diverse roles remains shrouded in mystery. Using an intersectional FACS-based strategy, we identified 5 distinct astrocyte subpopulations present across 3 brain regions that exhibit extensive molecular diversity. Application of this molecular insight towards function revealed that these populations differentially support synaptogenesis between neurons. We identified correlative populations in mouse and human glioma, finding that the emergence of specific subpopulations during tumor progression corresponds with the onset of seizures and tumor invasion. In sum, we have identified subpopulations of astrocytes in the adult brain and their correlates in glioma that are endowed with diverse cellular, molecular, and functional properties. These populations selectively contribute to synaptogenesis and tumor pathophysiology, providing a blueprint for understanding diverse astrocyte contributions to neurological disease.

 

Speaker Biographies

 

Speaker Bio
Professor Michal Schwartz
Schwartz is a Professor of Neuroimmunology, incumbent of The Maurice and Ilse Katz Professorial Chair in Neuroimmunology, at the Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel. Schwartz is currently the elected president of the International Society of for Neuroimmunology (2016-2018). Schwartz received her BSc degree with a major in chemistry, cum laude, from the Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Israel, and her PhD in Immunology from the Weizmann Institute. She performed postdoctoral research in Neuroscience at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, studying nerve regeneration. Schwartz’s research is focused on the role of innate and adaptive immunity in central nervous system (CNS) plasticity in health and disease, and on developing methodologies to manipulate the immune system for the benefit of the CNS under acute injuries, chronic neurodegenerative conditions, mental dysfunction, and brain aging. Schwartz pioneered the pivotal role of the systemic immune system in healthy brain function and repair. Schwartz basically redefined the relationships between the brain and the immune system in health and disease. She was the pioneer suggesting that both monocytes and T cells are needed for repair of injured CNS tissues (Nature Medicine, 1998; Nature Medicine. 1999; PLOS Medicine, 2009). She coined the concept of “protective autoimmunity”, as a physiological response that protects the brain. Schwartz further demonstrated that T cells are needed for healthy brain functional plasticity (Nature Neuroscience, 2006). Subsequently, she identified the brain’s choroid plexus epithelium, which forms the blood-CSF-barrier, as an active physiological immunological interface between the brain and the circulation, and as an entry gate for leukocytes, needed for brain homeostasis and repair.as the “permissive” immunological interface between the brain and the circulation (Immunity, 2013; Brain 2013). This led to her over the last 2 years to discover that brain aging and neurodegenerative diseases are associated with dysfunction of this interface (Science, 2014; J. Neuroscience, 2015; Nature communication, 2015), and that unleashing the immune system can combat Alzheimer’s disease (Nature Communications, 2015; Nature Medicine, 2016; Science, 2017). Schwartz’s work is highly cited (H index 97; Google Scholar).

 

Speaker Bio
Dr. Monica J Carson
Monica J Carson, PhD is Professor and Chair of the Division of Biomedical Sciences as well as the Director of the Center for Glial-Neuronal Interactions (CGNI) at the University of California Riverside School of Medicine.  Since her graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania, Dr. Carson has had a long standing interest in glial heterogeneity with a specific focus on microglial biology and the contributions of Blood-Brain Interactions in maintaining brain health along the lifespan. Additional information concerning her research and CGNI can be found at: microglia.ucr.edu

 

Speaker Bio
Benjamin Deneen, PhD, Principal Investigator
Dr. Deneen received his B.S. in Genetics from the University of California Davis, where he studied fly meiosis in Dr. Scott Hawley’s laboratory. He completed his Ph.D. at UCLA working in the laboratory of Dr. Chris Denny, where he studied the EWS/FLI1 translocation, an aberrant transcription factor that drives Ewing’s Sarcoma. For his post-doctoral studies, he shifted his focus to developmental neurobiology and worked in Dr. David Anderson’s laboratory at Cal-Tech. During Dr. Deneen’s post-doc he identified key transcriptional regulators that control developmental gliogenesis. In January 2009 he started his laboratory at the Baylor College of Medicine, in the Center for Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine and Department of Neuroscience. Dr. Deneen is interested in all things related to glial biology and has assembled an amazing team of students, post-docs, and technicians who share his passion for all things glial.