Studies on the human choroid plexus in vitro
Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, Kuwait University, Safat, 13110, Kuwait
Fluids and Barriers of the CNS 2013, 10:10 doi:10.1186/2045-8118-10-10Published: 7 February 2013
The role of human choroid plexus (CP) epithelium in the transport of solutes between the blood and the cerebrospinal fluid and/or in secretion processes may be studied by employing several experimental approaches. There are a number of in vitro techniques for human CP epithelium (CPE) and all have limitations that do not exclude them a priori, but that should be carefully taken into consideration. Developmental and morphological studies have been largely performed on human choroid plexus samples of either embryonic or post-mortem origin. Functional uptake studies may be performed on pathologically unaltered CP samples obtained during surgical removal of choroid plexus tumors. This approach can be used to explore transport processes mainly across the apical side of the CPE, but cannot be used to study vectorial transport across the CPE. Also, these samples have limited viability. A monolayer of CPE in culture, grown on permeable supports, provides the best available tool to study transport processes or polarized secretion by the CP, but thus far only limited attempts to culture these cells have been published and they mainly include data from neoplastic CPE. A study that used a human papilloma-derived cell line in culture showed that it forms a monolayer with barrier properties, although the cells express pleomorphic and neoplastic features and lack contact inhibition. Other cell cultures express some CPE markers but do not develop tight junctions/barrier properties. This article reviews the main characteristics and limitations of available in vitro methods to study human CPE, which could help researchers choose an appropriate experimental approach for a particular study.