[Neurosciences] #ISCFBM15 Meeting – Day 1

IMG_0443 Since last night I have I am in Vancouver for a scientific meeting. First time in Vancouver and second time I visit our northern neighbors. Canadians always amaze me, easy going folks up here. Vancouver is a very nice city indeed, I don’t ask much but seeing such a nice landscape made of mountains, a seas with water-plane docked on the piers and skyscrapers everywhere is a great experience. Thats a lot of change from the Texas Panhandle. So today closes the first day of #Brain2015, a lot of symposium, talks, posters but very interesting take home messages indeed. I will not spoil much but this is what I found very interesting and relevant as a BBB scientist: * Professor Constantin Iadecola was the keynote lecturer today and talked a lot about stroke and immunity. I grew up learning from textbooks that inflammation was the bad guy for stroke recovery. Indeed, it appears clear now that “its complicated”. There is indeed a fine balance between the good “innate immunity” and the bad one, it is all about a fine equilibrium. And it all revolves about DAMPs (Damage Associated Molecular Patterns), these are some cellular components from damaged that will trigger the inflammation cascade by an array of different transporters. This term is fairly new and well coined and I believe that is just started to get hot topic. Another remarkable take home message was the contribution of the gut microbiota in the neuroinflammatory response following stroke! It seems (at least in mice) that your gut microbiota is driving your stroke outcome in terms of inflammatory standpoint, you either have a good outcome or a bad one. However, it is very important to note, at this point we only barely know about such gut-brain axis and we just start to understand the role of the microbiota. We are still far away from a cure or a treatment and calling now that such cure exist is simply a fallacious treatment. However, that gut-brain interactions really got me in and I would bet that this is the next hot topic. The second session was this afternoon about cellular and molecular response to ischemic injury. A very interesting study performed by a group from Mario Neggri Institute (Milan, Italy) about the use of amniotic mesenchymal stem cells as a source of paracrine factors following OGD stress, that have a cutoff of less than <700Da. I am guessing that is surely some small molecules, maybe lipid based or something similar but also very small peptide sequences.  Another interesting talk came from a group at the University of Glasgow and showed how some microRNA was driving neurons cell survival during hypoxia/ischemia OGD stress, however it seems such miRNA are cargoed inside small vesicles called extracellular vesicles. I may bet that they be exosomes but I am still pretty new on this and this is also some trend I see coming in the field, using exosomes as parcel services to deliver small codes fragments between cells to cells. Finally, the last session of the day was about pericytes. These are some guys I have been playing when I was younger and then I got diverted. Richard Daneman (UC Davis) have shown some remarkable work, some deja vu but some very interesting. Richard has been already before marked the field with his work on transcriptomics and pericytes. He has been working on trying to get a transcriptomics framework between four majors animals models of neurological diseases and how they affect the BBB: stroke (MCAo), epilepsy (kainate), multiple sclerosis (EAE) and traumatic brain injury. What was very interesting was the fact that there is a number of genes that are altered in all four diseases, and a consequent number of them altered in three diseases. That was very fascinating and suggest that the BBB may have some generic “first responder kit” to tackle these injuries. Of course he refrained to mention these candidates but this is something to keep an eye on. Finally we had a talk from David Attwell (UCL) that was on pericytes coupling in cerebral blood flow regulation and two things stroke me: the parasite hug of death that a boa constrictor encircle micro vessels during ischemia and die by keeping up these vessels strangulated and also some hot debate about defining “what is a pericyte”? So far, Day 1 have been a very good success, maybe weak in setting some collaborations and get to make new colleagues. However I still have two days left and already some collaboration in mind. To be continued….. P.S.: This is Mars. I missed you Mars! (You have to be European and living long enough in the US to understand my joy to see this treat next to my PM coffee cup :p) IMG_0473

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