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Differentiation. 2012 Feb;83(2):S86-90. doi: 10.1016/j.diff.2011.10.007. Epub 2011 Nov 17.

Planar polarity of ependymal cilia.

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Department of Developmental and Regenerative Biology, Nagoya City University, Graduate School of Medical Sciences, Nagoya 467-8601, Japan.


Ependymal cells, epithelial cells that line the cerebral ventricles of the adult brain in various animals, extend multiple motile cilia from their apical surface into the ventricles. These cilia move rapidly, beating in a direction determined by the ependymal planar cell polarity (PCP). Ciliary dysfunction interferes with cerebrospinal fluid circulation and alters neuronal migration. In this review, we summarize recent studies on the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying two distinct types of ependymal PCP. Ciliary beating in the direction of fluid flow is established by a combination of hydrodynamic forces and intracellular planar polarity signaling. The ciliary basal bodies' anterior position on the apical surface of the cell is determined in the embryonic radial glial cells, inherited by ependymal cells, and established by non-muscle myosin II in early postnatal development.

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