A cellular and spatial map of the choroid plexus across brain ventricles and ages

Cell. 2021 May 27;184(11):3056-3074.e21. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2021.04.003. Epub 2021 Apr 30.


The choroid plexus (ChP) in each brain ventricle produces cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and forms the blood-CSF barrier. Here, we construct a single-cell and spatial atlas of each ChP in the developing, adult, and aged mouse brain. We delineate diverse cell types, subtypes, cell states, and expression programs in epithelial and mesenchymal cells across ages and ventricles. In the developing ChP, we predict a common progenitor pool for epithelial and neuronal cells, validated by lineage tracing. Epithelial and fibroblast cells show regionalized expression by ventricle, starting at embryonic stages and persisting with age, with a dramatic transcriptional shift with maturation, and a smaller shift in each aged cell type. With aging, epithelial cells upregulate host-defense programs, and resident macrophages upregulate interleukin-1β (IL-1β) signaling genes. Our atlas reveals cellular diversity, architecture and signaling across ventricles during development, maturation, and aging of the ChP-brain barrier.

Keywords: aging; brain barrier; cerebrospinal fluid; choroid plexus; development; single-cell RNA sequencing; single-nucleus RNA sequencing.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Aging / physiology
  • Animals
  • Blood-Brain Barrier / metabolism
  • Brain / metabolism
  • Brain / physiology
  • Brain Diseases / genetics
  • Brain Diseases / physiopathology
  • Cell Differentiation / genetics
  • Cell Lineage / genetics
  • Choroid Plexus / embryology*
  • Choroid Plexus / metabolism*
  • Choroid Plexus / physiology
  • Epithelial Cells / metabolism
  • Female
  • Male
  • Mice / embryology
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Signal Transduction
  • Single-Cell Analysis