It is fair to say that comparatively little is known about the functional role of the SCO, especially as it relates to day-to-day life. Although many possibilities have been put forth, the experimental record does not now provide strong support for any proposed function. An incomplete list of some possible functions include a “volume,” “stretch,” or “osmotic” (ion?) sensing mechanism that might make adjustments in cardiovascular and salt/water balance parameters. A “detoxification” function has been discussed, wherein the SCO removes excess endogenous or exogenous chemicals entering ventricular cerebrospinal fluid. Other possible functions of the SCO that have emerged are a role in the physiology of sleep and reproduction. Data presented at this symposium emphasize a new aspect of SCO function: namely, does it affect intracranial salt/water blance and CSF circulation? Implicit in these areas of inquiry is that the SCO could be involved in the pathophysiology of several models of hydrocephalus.
KeywordsCarbohydrate Tyrosine Serotonin Angiotensin Melatonin
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