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Childs Nerv Syst. 1993 Apr;9(2):65-71.

Role of disturbance of ependymal ciliary movement in development of hydrocephalus in rats.

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Department of Neurosurgery, Juntendo University School of Medicine, Tokyo, Japan.


We have developed a new in vitro method of quantitatively analyzing ciliary movement in the ependymal wall of the aqueduct in rats. An axial slice of the midbrain containing ependymal wall was placed in a culture dish filled with a culture medium containing latex beads 1 micron in diameter at a concentration of 10(7) beads/ml. The movement of the beads caused by flow of culture medium generated by the to-and-fro ciliary movement was recorded by a high speed video system attached to an inverted phase-contrast microscope. Ciliary movement was expressed by the speed of the latex beads (micron/s). Aqueductal ciliary movement in congenitally hydrocephalic HTX rats, congenitally hydrocephalic WIC-Hyd rats, and other normal rats was evaluated. The results suggest that in congenitally hydrocephalic WIC-Hyd rats the degree of hydrocephalus related strongly to the degree of ciliary dyskinesia, but in congenitally hydrocephalic HTX rats it did not. Considering this discrepancy, we attempted to see whether or not hydrocephalus was caused by artificial disturbance of ependymal ciliary movement in vivo. We found that continuous infusion of metavanadate, an inhibitor of ciliary movement, into the III ventricle of normal Sprague-Dawley rats for 7 days induced dilatation of the ventricular system. Although the question whether or not disturbance of aqueductal ependymal ciliary movement is related to the development of human congenital hydrocephalus is debatable, the results of the present in vitro and in vivo experimental investigations appear to suggest that the disturbance of ciliary movement in the aqueduct could at least be one of the factors contributing to the inducement of hydrocephalus in experimental conditions.

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