Morphology and distribution of ecto-5′-nucleotidase-positive cells in the rat choroid plexus

J. S. Braun, M. Le Hir, B. Kaissling

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16 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of this report was to find out whether adenosine can be produced locally in the choroid plexus of rats. Therefore we investigated the distribution of the enzyme ecto-5′-nucleotidase which hydrolyzes extracellular adenosine monophosphate to adenosine and phosphate. Enzyme activity histochemistry and immunohistochemistry demonstrated that ecto-5′-nucleotidase is present in the stroma but not in the epithelium. The positive cells in the stroma were identified as fibroblasts by their localization and by their shape. Double-labelling immunohistochemistry actually showed that ecto-5′-nucleotidase was absent from MHC class II-positive cells and from vessel walls. These data indicate that adenosine may be produced in the choroid plexus, and specifically in the interstitium. From there, adenosine would have direct access to nerves, immune cells, the epithelium and microvessels. Because adenosine has been reported to modulate blood supply and the rate of production of cerebrospinal fluid, a local control mechanism involving adenosine might operate in the choroid plexus in a similar way to that described in other tissues. Effects of adenosine on nerves and immune cells are discussed. The exclusive presence of ecto-5′-nucleotidase in the fibroblasts that are in contact with choroid plexus epithelium suggests that the expression of the enzyme is controlled by factors produced by epithelial cells, for instance by extracellular nucleotides.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)193-200
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Neurocytology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • General Neuroscience
  • Histology
  • Cell Biology


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