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  • In recent years, several studies have reported the production of microglia-like cells from induced pluripotent stem cells. Pocock and Piers describe the methods used to produce and analyse these cells and their potential to improve our understanding of microglial function.

    • Jennifer M. Pocock
    • Thomas M. Piers
  • Activity-driven changes in gene transcription regulate synaptic development and function. Bading and colleagues describe recent evidence of lineage-specific changes in the gene regulatory regions that govern excitation–transcription coupling and consider how such changes may have contributed to the evolution of human cognitive abilities.

    • Giles E. Hardingham
    • Priit Pruunsild
    • Hilmar Bading
  • Thirst is a homeostatic response to changes in fluid balance and is governed by a set of interconnected brain structures known as the lamina terminalis. In this Progress article, Knight and colleagues summarize recent updates to our understanding of the neural circuitry underlying thirst and drinking behaviour in mammals.

    • Christopher A. Zimmerman
    • David E. Leib
    • Zachary A. Knight
  • Recent studies suggest that progranulin has an important role in lysosome biogenesis and innate immunity in the brain. In this Progress article, Kao and colleagues suggest that progranulin also plays a part in suppressing excessive neuroinflammation during ageing.

    • Aimee W. Kao
    • Andrew McKay
    • Eric J. Huang
  • Topoisomerases catalyse DNA-strand breaks that help to relieve torsional stress and maintain cellular homeostasis. Here, McKinnon describes the importance of topoisomerase function for the normal operation of the nervous system and considers how aberrant topoisomerase activity can contribute to neurologic disease.

    • Peter J. McKinnon
  • Somatostatin-expressing neurons represent a major class of inhibitory interneurons in the hippocampus and neocortex. Urban-Ciecko and Barth examine recent studies into the functions of these neurons, and their effects on surrounding cells and network activity in health and disease.

    • Joanna Urban-Ciecko
    • Alison L. Barth
  • A series of genetic studies has implicated the microglial immune receptor TREM2 in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer disease (AD). Here, Colonna and Wang describe recent studies that have begun to unpick the mechanisms by which TREM2 is involved in AD and discuss unanswered questions in the field.

    • Marco Colonna
    • Yaming Wang
  • The long-held doctrine that an individual neuron releases only one type of small molecule neurotransmitter has been challenged in recent years. In this Progress article, Sabatini and colleagues discuss recent evidence suggesting that co-release of GABA occurs in several neuronal populations in the adult mammalian CNS and the implications of such co-release for neuronal signalling.

    • Nicolas X. Tritsch
    • Adam J. Granger
    • Bernardo L. Sabatini
  • Emerging evidence suggests a role for the voltage-gated sodium channel NaV1.9 in pain. In this Progress article, Dib-Hajj, Black and Waxman analyse the findings from three studies that report mutations in the gene encoding NaV1.9 in pain disorders, and suggest that NaV1.9 may be a potential therapeutic target for pain.

    • Sulayman D. Dib-Hajj
    • Joel A. Black
    • Stephen G. Waxman
  • Chemokine receptors and opioid receptors in nociceptive pathways interact in ways that can alter opioid function. In this Progress article, Réaux-Le Goazigo and colleagues discuss how crosstalk between chemokine and opioid receptors offers a new framework for the development of novel analgesic therapies to alleviate pain.

    • Stéphane Mélik Parsadaniantz
    • Cyril Rivat
    • Annabelle Réaux-Le Goazigo
  • Inhibitory GABAergic synapses on dendritic spines and shafts have a key role in the localized regulation of neuronal Ca2+signalling. In this Progress article, Higley explains how the influences of dendritic inhibition on electrical and biochemical activity in neurons shape synaptic plasticity.

    • Michael J. Higley
  • Microglia are known to remove dead and dying neurons in the brain by phagocytosis. In this Progress article, Brown and Neher discuss recent evidence indicating that, in certain situations, microglia can instigate the death of viable neurons through phagocytosis, a process they term phagoptosis.

    • Guy C. Brown
    • Jonas J. Neher
  • The idea that learned associations are encoded within neuronal ensembles has so far mainly been based on correlational data. This Progress article describes recently developed approaches that can selectively target and study activated neuronal ensembles in models of addiction and relapse and in conditioned fear.

    • Fabio C. Cruz
    • Eisuke Koya
    • Bruce T. Hope
  • Recent studies have shown that the protein p11 (also known as S100A10) has an important role in depression-like behaviour and antidepressant actions. Greengard and colleagues discuss the molecular and cellular mechanisms that may underlie this role.

    • Per Svenningsson
    • Yong Kim
    • Paul Greengard
  • Recent studies show that oestradiol, the classic female oestrogen, can be locally synthesized by central auditory neurons to rapidly modulate neuronal physiology and auditory-based behaviours in both sexes. Pinaud and Tremere review these findings, which indicate that oestradiol is an important, novel modulator of hearing function.

    • Raphael Pinaud
    • Liisa A. Tremere
  • Amyloid-β and tau exert toxicity in Alzheimer's disease through mechanisms that are gradually becoming understood. This Progress article reviews recent findings regarding their possible interactions and synergistic effects at the synapse, and discusses how these effects may contribute to the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease.

    • Lars M. Ittner
    • Jürgen Götz
  • In this Progress article, Sacktor highlights the key role of protein kinase Mζ (PKMζ) — the constitutively active protein kinase C isoform — in perpetuating the synaptic events underlying long-term memory, and proposes a model of 'synaptic autotagging' by which this enzyme maintains its localization at the synapse.

    • Todd C. Sacktor
  • Recent evidence suggests that mutations inLRRK2are linked to Parkinson's disease. In this Progress article, Mark Cookson discusses how these mutations might affect LRRK2 function and its interactions with other proteins that have been implicated in Parkinson's disease, specifically α-synuclein and tau.

    • Mark R. Cookson
  • Glucocorticoid hormones modulate the acquisition and consolidation of memories of stressful events. Krugers and colleagues review recent evidence that glucocorticoids achieve this through rapid and persistent effects on AMPA receptors by activation of mineralocorticoid receptors and glucocorticoid receptors, respectively.

    • Harmen J. Krugers
    • Casper C. Hoogenraad
    • Laurent Groc