Acta Neuropathologica

, Volume 119, Issue 1, pp 75–88 | Cite as

Choroid plexus: biology and pathology

  • Hartwig WolburgEmail author
  • Werner Paulus


The choroid plexus is an epithelial–endothelial vascular convolute within the ventricular system of the vertebrate brain. It consists of epithelial cells, fenestrated blood vessels, and the stroma, dependent on various physiological or pathological conditions, which may contain fibroblasts, mast cells, macrophages, granulocytes or other infiltrates, and a rich extracellular matrix. The choroid plexus is mainly involved in the production of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) by using the free access to the blood compartment of the leaky vessels. In order to separate blood and CSF compartments, choroid plexus epithelial cells and tanycytes of circumventricular organs constitute the blood–CSF–brain barrier. As non-neuronal cells in the brain and derived from neuroectoderm, choroid plexus epithelia are defined as a subtype of macroglia. The choroid plexus is involved in a variety of neurological disorders, including neurodegenerative, inflammatory, infectious, traumatic, neoplastic, and systemic diseases. Aβ and Biondi ring tangles accumulate in the Alzheimer’s disease choroid plexus. In multiple sclerosis, the choroid plexus could represent a site for lymphocyte entry in the CSF and brain, and for presentation of antigens. Recent studies have provided new diagnostic markers and potential molecular targets for choroid plexus papilloma and carcinoma, which represent the most common brain tumors in the first year of life. We here revive some of the classical studies and review recent insight into the biology and pathology of the choroid plexus.


Choroid plexus Blood–brain barrier Blood–cerebrospinal fluid barrier Choroid plexus papilloma 


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© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of PathologyUniversity Hospital TübingenTübingenGermany
  2. 2.Institute of NeuropathologyUniversity Hospital MünsterMuensterGermany

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