Wednesday, September 15 at 1:00pm to 2:00pm
The goal of my research program is to understand mechanisms regulating brain development and lifelong brain health. We focus on the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), which forms an essential part of the central nervous system (CNS), guiding the brain’s development, ensuring that its nutritional needs are met, and protecting it from injury during movement. The choroid plexus (ChP), floating deep in each of the brain’s ventricles, is a primary source of this critical fluid and forms the blood-CSF barrier. The ChP also orchestrates neuroimmune responses. How the ChP performs these activities has been unclear, in part because its anatomical location has made direct observation impossible with available methodology. During my presentation, I will describe recent technological advances that we have made with collaborators that have allowed us to capture, for the first time, the secret life of the ChP in vivo. We can now observe secretory and calcium dynamics of ChP epithelial cells, which secrete CSF and its principal components, as well as movements and functions of macrophages, which represent the largest class of immune cells residing in the ChP. These new tools spark new hypotheses regarding ChP and CSF functions in health and disease.