Mechanisms of volume regulation in murine choroid plexus epithelial cells

  • Alexandra Hughes

    Student thesis: Phd


    The choroid plexuses are largely responsible for cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) secretion and therefore play a fundamental role in brain homeostasis. The membrane proteins involved in CSF secretion are not fully known. Several electroneutral transporters have been identified by molecular methods in choroid plexus epithelial cells but there is a lack of functional data to support their expression making it impossible to elucidate their role in CSF secretion fully. The activity of many of these transporters can be observed in cell volume regulation. Thus, the main aim of the present study was to determine the ability of mammalian choroid plexus epithelial cells to regulate their volume in response to anisosmotic challenge and to investigate the transporters involved.Experiments were performed on cells isolated from the mouse fourth ventricle choroid plexus. Cells were isolated using a combination of manual perturbation, the enzyme dispase and a Ca2+ free incubation to disrupt tight junctions. Cell volume was measured using a video-imaging method. Cells used in this study were all of a similar morphology and had a mean volume of 0.71 pL.Cells exhibited a HCO3- dependent regulatory volume increase (RVI) in response to hypertonic challenge. Strong evidence is presented that the Na+/H+ exchanger (NHE1) and the Cl-/HCO3- exchanger (AE2) contribute to the RVI but the Na+K+2Cl- cotransporter (NKCC1) and the epithelial Na+ channel (ENaC) do not. Choroid plexus cells exhibit a HCO3- dependent regulatory volume decrease (RVD) in response to hypotonic challenge. The RVD was unaffected by DIOA (an inhibitor of KCC activity), the K+ channel inhibitors TEA+, Ba2+ or 4AP or the Cl- channel inhibitors DIDS or NPPB. However removal of extracellular Ca2+ completely abolished cell swelling in response to hypotonic challenge. This sensitivity of volume change to Ca2+ was specific to cell swelling as cell shrinkage in hypertonic artificial CSF was unaffected by removal of extracellular Ca2+.Thus functional evidence is presented to further elucidate the role of several proteins in the choroid plexus cell volume regulatory response to anisosmotic challenge.
    Date of Award31 Dec 2010
    Original languageEnglish
    Awarding Institution
    • The University of Manchester
    SupervisorPeter Brown (Supervisor)


    • murine epithelial cell isolation
    • volume regulation
    • choroid plexus

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