Insights into the Pathogenesis of Hydrocephalus from Transgenic and Experimental Animal Models

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Hydrocephalus is a progressive brain disorder characterized by abnormalities in the flow of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and ventricular dilatation that leads to cerebral atrophy, and if left untreated, can be fatal. Genetic mutations, congenital malformations, infectious diseases, intracerebral hemorrhages and tumors are common conditions resulting in hydrocephalus. Although the causes of obstructive hydrocephalus are better understood, the mechanisms resulting in chronic, progressive communicating congenital and acquired hydrocephalus are less well understood. In this regard, recent studies in transgenic (tg) mice suggest that increased expression of cytokines such as TGF-β1 might play an important role by disrupting the vascular extracellular matrix (ECM) remodeling, promoting hemorrhages, and altering the reabsorption of CSF. In this context, the main objective of this manuscript is to provide an overview on the cellular and molecular mechanisms of hydrocephalus based on studies derived from tg and experimental animal models.

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