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The nature and composition of the internal environment of the developing brain


Dziegielewska, KM and Knott, GW and Saunders, NR, The nature and composition of the internal environment of the developing brain, Cellular and Molecular Neurobiology, 20, (1) pp. 41-56. ISSN 0272-4340 (2000) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1023/A:1006943926765


1. The fetal brain develops within its own environment, which is protected from free exchange of most molecules among its extracellular fluid, blood plasma, and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) by a set of mechanisms described collectively as 'brain barriers.' 2. There are high concentrations of proteins in fetal CSF, which are due not to immaturity of the blood-CSF barrier (tight junctions between the epithelial cells of the choroid plexus), but to a specialized transcellular mechanism that specifically transfers some proteins across choroid plexus epithelial cells in the immature brain. 3. The proteins in CSF are excluded from the extracellular fluid of the immature brain by the presence of barriers at the CSF-brain interfaces on the inner and outer surfaces. These barriers are not present in the adult. 4. Some plasma proteins are present within the cells of the developing brain. Their presence may be explained by a combination of specific uptake from the CSF and synthesis in situ. 5. Information about the composition of the CSF (electrolytes as well as proteins) in the developing brain is of importance for the culture conditions used for experiments with fetal brain tissue in vitro, as neurons in the developing brain are exposed to relatively high concentrations of proteins only when they have cell surface membrane contact with CSF. 6. The developmental importance of high protein concentrations in CSF of the immature brain is not understood but may be involved in providing the physical force (colloid osmotic pressure) for expansion of the cerebral ventricles during brain development, as well as possibly having nutritive and specific cell development functions.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Biomedical and Clinical Sciences
Research Group:Neurosciences
Research Field:Central nervous system
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Clinical health
Objective Field:Clinical health not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Dziegielewska, KM (Dr Kate Dziegielewska)
UTAS Author:Knott, GW (Dr Graham Knott)
UTAS Author:Saunders, NR (Professor Norman Saunders)
ID Code:19741
Year Published:2000
Web of Science® Times Cited:39
Deposited By:Anatomy and Physiology
Deposited On:2000-08-01
Last Modified:2001-03-20

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