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Experimental neurology

Long-term hydrocephalus alters the cytoarchitecture of the adult subventricular zone.


PMID 24858805

Abstract

Hydrocephalus can develop secondarily to a disturbance in production, flow and/or absorption of cerebrospinal fluid. Experimental models of hydrocephalus, especially subacute and chronic hydrocephalus, are few and limited, and the effects of hydrocephalus on the subventricular zone are unclear. The aim of this study was to analyze the effects of long-term obstructive hydrocephalus on the subventricular zone, which is the neurogenic niche lining the lateral ventricles. We developed a new method to induce hydrocephalus by obstructing the aqueduct of Sylvius in the mouse brain, thus simulating aqueductal stenosis in humans. In 120-day-old rodents (n=18 per group), the degree of ventricular dilatation and cellular composition of the subventricular zone were studied by immunofluorescence and transmission electron microscopy. In adult patients (age>18years), the sizes of the subventricular zone, corpus callosum, and internal capsule were analyzed by magnetic resonance images obtained from patients with and without aqueductal stenosis (n=25 per group). Mice with 60-day hydrocephalus had a reduced number of Ki67+ and doublecortin+cells on immunofluorescence, as well as decreased number of neural progenitors and neuroblasts in the subventricular zone on electron microscopy analysis as compared to non-hydrocephalic mice. Remarkably, a number of extracellular matrix structures (fractones) contacting the ventricular lumen and blood vessels were also observed around the subventricular zone in mice with hydrocephalus. In humans, the widths of the subventricular zone, corpus callosum, and internal capsule in patients with aqueductal stenosis were significantly smaller than age and gender-matched patients without aqueductal stenosis. In summary, supratentorial hydrocephalus reduces the proliferation rate of neural progenitors and modifies the cytoarchitecture and extracellular matrix compounds of the subventricular zone. In humans, this similar process reduces the subventricular niche as well as the width of corpus callosum and internal capsule.