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Anat Histol Embryol. 2008 Feb;37(1):9-18. doi: 10.1111/j.1439-0264.2007.00786.x.

Regional analysis of the ependyma of the third ventricle of rat by light and electron microscopy.

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Department of Medical Laboratory Sciences, Faculty of Allied Health Sciences, Kuwait University, Kuwait.


Ependymal lining of cerebral ventricles lies at the interface between the ventricular cavities and the brain parenchyma. Ependymal cells are involved in various functions within the brain and play a major role in the production of the chemical principals of the cerebrospinal fluid. Histological studies on the regional variation of the third ventricular ependyma and the subependyma of adult rats were carried out by light and electron microscopic methods. For light microscopic analysis, methacrylate sections were used. In addition to the routine haematoxylin and eosin (H and E) staining for histological studies, the sections were stained with toluidine blue, cresyl violet and periodic acid Schiff's reagent (PAS). A regional analysis of the ependyma of the third ventricle showed that in most regions the ependyma was monolayered. The sidewalls and floor of the ventral portion of the third ventricle showed a multilayered ependyma. For descriptive purposes at the light microscopic level, the ependymal cells were classified, based on the cell shape (flat, cuboidal or columnar), presence or absence of cilia and the number of cytoplasmic granules present in the cells. Studies of transmission electron microscope have shown that these granules represent the cell organelles of the ependyma. The subependyma also showed a regional morphological variation, and, in most instances, contained glial and neuronal elements. In regions of specific brain nuclei, neurons were the major cell type of the subependyma. PAS staining did not show any positive granules in the ependymal cytosol. Characteristic supraependymal elements were present at the ependymal surface of the third ventricle.

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