Development of brain ventricular system

Cell Mol Life Sci. 2018 Feb;75(3):375-383. doi: 10.1007/s00018-017-2605-y. Epub 2017 Aug 5.


The brain ventricular system (BVS) consists of brain ventricles and channels connecting ventricles filled with cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). The disturbance of CSF flow has been linked to neurodegenerative disease including hydrocephalus, which manifests itself as an abnormal expansion of BVS. This relatively common developmental disorder has been observed in human and domesticated animals and linked to functional deficiency of various cells lineages facing BVS, including the choroid plexus or ependymal cells that generate CSF or the ciliated cells that cilia beating generates CSF flow. To understand the underlying causes of hydrocephalus, several animal models were developed, including rodents (mice, rat, and hamster) and zebrafish. At another side of a spectrum of BVS anomalies there is the "slit-ventricle" syndrome, which develops due to insufficient inflation of BVS. Recent advances in functional genetics of zebrafish brought to light novel genetic elements involved in development of BVS and circulation of CSF. This review aims to reveal common elements of morphologically different BVS of zebrafish as a typical representative of teleosts and other vertebrates and illustrate useful features of the zebrafish model for studies of BVS. Along this line, recent analyses of the two novel zebrafish mutants affecting different subunits of the potassium voltage-gated channels allowed to emphasize an important functional convergence of the evolutionarily conserved elements of protein transport essential for BVS development, which were revealed by the zebrafish and mouse studies.

Keywords: Brain ventricle; Circumventricular organs; Embryonic cerebrospinal fluid; Hydrocephalus; Slit-ventricle syndrome; Voltage-gated K channel.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cerebral Ventricles / embryology*
  • Cerebral Ventricles / growth & development
  • Cricetinae
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Rats
  • Vertebrates / embryology
  • Zebrafish