Background: Although the gene expression profile of several tissues in humans and in rodent animal models has been explored, analysis of the complete choroid plexus (CP) transcriptome is still lacking. A better characterization of the CP transcriptome can provide key insights into its functions as one of the barriers that separate the brain from the periphery and in the production of cerebrospinal fluid.
Methods: This work extends further what is known about the mouse CP transcriptome through a microarray analysis of CP tissue from normal mice under physiological conditions.
Results: We found that the genes most highly expressed are those implicated in energy metabolism (oxidative phosphorylation, glycolysis/gluconeogenesis) and in ribosomal function, which is in agreement with the secretory nature of the CP. On the other hand, genes encoding for immune mediators are among those with lower expression in basal conditions. In addition, we found genes known to be relevant during brain development, and not previously identified to be expressed in the CP, including those encoding for various axonal guidance and angiogenesis molecules and for growth factors. Some of these are known to influence the neural stem cell niche in the subventricular zone, highlighting the involvement of the CP as a likely modulator of neurogenesis. Interestingly, our observations confirm that the CP transcriptome is unique, displaying low homology with that of other tissues. Of note, we describe here that the closest similarity is with the transcriptome of the endothelial cells of the blood-brain barrier.
Conclusions: Based on the data presented here, it will now be possible to further explore the function of particular proteins of the CP secretome in health and in disease.