Supraependymal cells of hypothalamic third ventricle: identification as resident phagocytes of the brain

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Science  25 Jul 1975:
Vol. 189, Issue 4199, pp. 299-301
DOI: 10.1126/science.1145204


Cells lying on the ventricular surface of the hypothalamic ependyma of the tegu lizard exhibit the pseudopodial and flaplike processes characteristic of macrophages found elsewhere. Since they ingest latex beads, they may be considered a resident phagocytic system of the brain. The importance of ependyma and ventricular phagocytes as a first line of defense against viral invasion of the brain, as well as their role in the pathogenesis of certain virus-related diseases, is suggested by a number of experimental and clinical observations.