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Microsc Res Tech. 2001 Jan 1;52(1):65-82.

Choroid plexus: target for polypeptides and site of their synthesis.

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Department of Clinical Neurosciences, Brown University Medical School, Providence, Rhode Island 02903, USA.


Choroid plexus (CP) is an important target organ for polypeptides. The fenestrated phenotype of choroidal endothelium facilitates the penetration of blood-borne polypeptides across the capillary walls. Thus, both circulating and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF)-borne polypeptides can reach their receptors on choroidal epithelium. Several polypeptides have been demonstrated to regulate CSF formation by controlling blood flow to choroid plexus and/or the activity of ion transport in choroidal epithelium. However, many ligand-receptor interactions occurring in the CP are not involved in the regulation of fluid secretion. Increasing evidence suggests that the choroidal epithelium plays an important role in hormonal signaling via a receptor-mediated transport into the brain (e.g., leptin) and helps to clear certain CSF-borne polypeptides (e.g., soluble amyloid beta-protein). Thus, impaired choroidal transport or insufficient clearance of polypeptides may contribute to pathogenesis of systemic or central nervous system (CNS) disorders, such as obesity or Alzheimer's disease. CP epithelium is not only a target but is also a source of neuropeptides, growth factors, and cytokines in the CNS. These polypeptides following their release into the CSF may exert distal, endocrine-like effects on target cells in the brain due to bulk flow of this fluid. Distinct temporal patterns of choroidal expression of several polypeptides are observed during brain development and in various CNS disorders, including traumatic brain injury and ischemia. Therefore, it is proposed that the CP plays an integral role not only in normal brain functioning, but also in the recovery from the injury. This review attempts to critically analyze the available data to support the above hypothesis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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