Background: Choroid plexus epithelial cells are the site of blood/cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) barrier and regulate molecular transfer between the two compartments. Their mitotic activity in the adult is low. During development, the pattern of growth and timing of acquisition of functional properties of plexus epithelium are not known.Methods: Numbers and size of choroid plexus epithelial cells and their nuclei were counted and measured in the lateral ventricular plexus from the first day of its appearance until adulthood. Newborn Monodelphis pups were injected with 5-bromo-2-deoxyuridine (BrdU) at postnatal day 3 (P3), P4 and P5. Additional animals were injected at P63, P64 and P65. BrdU-immunopositive nuclei were counted and their position mapped in the plexus structure at different ages after injections. Double-labelling immunocytochemistry with antibodies to plasma protein identified post-mitotic cells involved in protein transfer.Results: Numbers of choroid plexus epithelial cells increased 10-fold between the time of birth and adulthood. In newborn pups each consecutive injection of BrdU labelled 20-40 of epithelial cells counted. After 3 injections, numbers of BrdU positive cells remained constant for at least 2 months. BrdU injections at an older age (P63, P64, P65) resulted in a smaller number of labelled plexus cells. Numbers of plexus cells immunopositive for both BrdU and plasma protein increased with age indicating that protein transferring properties are acquired post mitotically. Labelled nuclei were only detected on the dorsal arm of the plexus as it grows from the neuroependyma, moving along the structure in a 'conveyor belt' like fashion.Conclusions: The present study established that lateral ventricular choroid plexus epithelial cells are born on the dorsal side of the structure only. Cells born in the first few days after choroid plexus differentiation from the neuroependyma remain present even two months later. Protein-transferring properties are acquired post-mitotically and relatively early in plexus development.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental Neuroscience
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience