PerspectivePhysiology

Exploring the source of human brain fluids

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Science  10 Jul 2020:
Vol. 369, Issue 6500, pp. 143-144
DOI: 10.1126/science.abd0269

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Summary

The cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) is an optically clear but molecularly complex liquid that flows within the brain ventricles. It cushions the brain and delivers nutrients and signaling molecules while removing others. The CSF is produced by the choroid plexus (ChP), an understudied epithelial barrier that regulates the entry of factors from the blood into CSF and is also highly secretory. As a central hub with multiple functions, the ChP is emerging as a key contributor to normal brain physiology and disease (1). A lack of tools has limited exploration of the ChP, especially in humans. On page 159 of this issue, Pellegrini et al. (2) establish human ChP organoids, three-dimensional multicellular in vitro structures. They form compartments filled with a CSF-like fluid and exhibit functional barrier and secretion properties, resembling those in vivo. They are a powerful tool to predict drug permeability and investigate ChP secretion and cell diversity.

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