Tanycytes are a specialized ependymal lining of brain ventricles with exceptional features of having long basal processes and junctional complexes between cell bodies. These tanycytes are present at the regions of circumventricular organs (CVOs) which possess common morphological and functional features enabling them to be described as the brain windows where the barrier systems have special properties. Previous studies detailed seven of these CVOs but little information is available regarding another putative site at the rostral part of the median sulcus of the 4th ventricle, or the sulcus medianus organum (SMO). Here we performed a pilot immunohistochemical study to support earlier observations suggesting the SMO as a novel CVO. We labeled rat brain with ZO1, vimentin, pan-cadherin and angiotensin II type 1 receptors markers which showed a morphologically distinct population of cells at the region of the SMO similar to tanycytes present in the median eminence, a known CVO. These cells had basal processes reaching the deeply seated blood vessels while the caudal part of the median sulcus did not show similar long cellular extensions. We concluded that tanycyte-like cells are present in the SMO in a pattern resembling that of other CVOs where the strategic location of the SMO is probably for signal integration between brainstem nuclei and the rostrally located neuronal centers.
Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications – Elsevier
Published: Jul 12, 2018
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