Neuroendocrine regulatory mechanisms in the choroid plexus-cerebrospinal fluid system

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article


The CSF is often regarded as merely a mechanical support for the brain, as well as an unspecific sink for waste products from the CNS. New methodology in receptor autoradiography, immunohistochemistry and molecular biology has revealed the presence of many different neuroendocrine substances or their corresponding receptors in the main CSF-forming structure, the choroid plexus. Both older research on the sympathetic nerves and recent studies of peptide neurotransmitters in the choroid plexus support a neurogenic regulation of choroid plexus CSF production and other transport functions. Among the endocrine substances present in blood and CSF, 5-HT, ANP, vasopressin and the IGFs have high receptor concentrations in the choroid plexus and have been shown to influence choroid plexus function. Finally, the choroid plexus produces the growth factor IGF-II and a number of transport proteins, most importantly transthyretin, that might regulate hormone transport from blood to brain. These studies suggest that the choroid plexus-CSF system could constitute an important pathway for neuroendocrine signalling in the brain, although clearcut evidence for such a role is still largely lacking.


  • Christer Nilsson
  • Maria Lindvall-Axelsson
  • Christer Owman
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Pharmacology and Toxicology


  • Choroid plexus, Cerebrospinal fluid, Neuroendocrine, Central nervous system, Vasoactive intestinal polypeptide, 5-Hydroxytryptamine, Atrial natriuretic peptide, Vasopressin, Insulin-like growth factor, Transthyretin
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)109-138
JournalBrain research. Brain research reviews
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1992
Publication categoryResearch