Neurons that contact the cerebrospinal fluid exist at the ependymal layer of the central canal of the brain stem and spinal cord. Although they are present in all vertebrates, their functions remain unknown, including their roles in the spinal neurogenic niche. These neurons express PKD2L1, a protein forming a cationic channel sensitive to pH and osmolarity, which would correspond to sensory functions. At the spinal cord level, these neurons have preserved some immaturity and migration characteristics, and could thus constitute an important neuron reservoir alternative to neurogenesis which is very limited at the spinal cord level. We are now characterizing their responses to hormones and neurotransmitters present in the cerebrospinal fluid and the network in which these neurons are inserted
Experimental procedures :
- acute spinal cord slices
- patch clamp recordings
- immunohistofluorescence and confocal microscopy
See attached papers.