Choroid plexus: target for polypeptides and site of their synthesis

Microsc Res Tech. 2001 Jan 1;52(1):65-82. doi: 10.1002/1097-0029(20010101)52:1<65::AID-JEMT9>3.0.CO;2-4.


Choroid plexus (CP) is an important target organ for polypeptides. The fenestrated phenotype of choroidal endothelium facilitates the penetration of blood-borne polypeptides across the capillary walls. Thus, both circulating and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF)-borne polypeptides can reach their receptors on choroidal epithelium. Several polypeptides have been demonstrated to regulate CSF formation by controlling blood flow to choroid plexus and/or the activity of ion transport in choroidal epithelium. However, many ligand-receptor interactions occurring in the CP are not involved in the regulation of fluid secretion. Increasing evidence suggests that the choroidal epithelium plays an important role in hormonal signaling via a receptor-mediated transport into the brain (e.g., leptin) and helps to clear certain CSF-borne polypeptides (e.g., soluble amyloid beta-protein). Thus, impaired choroidal transport or insufficient clearance of polypeptides may contribute to pathogenesis of systemic or central nervous system (CNS) disorders, such as obesity or Alzheimer's disease. CP epithelium is not only a target but is also a source of neuropeptides, growth factors, and cytokines in the CNS. These polypeptides following their release into the CSF may exert distal, endocrine-like effects on target cells in the brain due to bulk flow of this fluid. Distinct temporal patterns of choroidal expression of several polypeptides are observed during brain development and in various CNS disorders, including traumatic brain injury and ischemia. Therefore, it is proposed that the CP plays an integral role not only in normal brain functioning, but also in the recovery from the injury. This review attempts to critically analyze the available data to support the above hypothesis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Angiotensin II / physiology
  • Animals
  • Brain / metabolism
  • Cerebrospinal Fluid / metabolism
  • Choroid Plexus / blood supply
  • Choroid Plexus / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor II / metabolism
  • Leptin / metabolism
  • Peptides / metabolism*
  • Prealbumin / metabolism
  • Regional Blood Flow
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta / metabolism
  • Vasopressins / physiology


  • Leptin
  • Peptides
  • Prealbumin
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta
  • Vasopressins
  • Angiotensin II
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor II