The choroid plexus and cerebral ventricles are critical structures for the production of cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) and play an important role in regulating ion and metal transport in the brain, however many aspects of its roles in normal physiology and disease states, such as psychiatric illness, remain unknown. The choroid plexus is difficult to examine in vivo, and in situ ex vivo, and as such has typically been examined indirectly with radiolabeled tracers or ex vivo stains, making measurements of the endogenous K+, Cl-, and Ca+ distributions unreliable. In the present study, we directly examined the distribution of endogenous ions and biologically relevant transition metals in the choroid plexus and regions surrounding the ventricles (ventricle wall, cortex, corpus callosum, striatum) using X-ray fluorescence imaging (XFI). We find that the choroid plexus was rich in Cl- and Fe while K+ levels increase further from the ventricle as Cl- levels decrease, consistent with the known role of ion transporters in the choroid plexus CSF production. A polyI:C offspring displayed enlarged ventricles, elevated Cl- surrounding the ventricles, and intraventricular calcifications. These observations fit with clinical findings in patients with schizophrenia and suggest maternal treatment with polyI:C may lead to dysfunctional ion regulation in offspring. This study demonstrates the power of XFI for examining the endogenous elemental distributions of the ventricular system in healthy brain tissue as well as disease models.
Lins, B. R., Pushie, J. M., Jones, M., Howard, D. L., Howland, J. G., & Hackett, M. J. (2016). Mapping alterations to the endogenous elemental distribution within the lateral ventricles and choroid plexus in brain disorders using X-ray fluorescence imaging. PLoS ONE, 11(6). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0158152