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Section of central canal of medulla spinalis, showing ependymal and neuroglial cells.
Latin '
Gray's subject #189 829
MeSH A08.
Main article: Central ventricles

Ependyma is the thin epithelial membrane lining the ventricular system of the brain and the spinal cord. Ependyma is one of the four types of neuroglia in the central nervous system. It is involved in the production of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF).

Ependymal CellsEdit

The ependyma is made up of ependymal cells. These are the epithelial cells that line the CSF-filled ventricles in the brain and the central canal of the spinal cord. The cells are cuboidal/columnar. Their apical surfaces are covered in a layer of cilia, which circulate CSF around the central nervous system. Their apical surfaces are also covered with microvilli, which absorb CSF. Within the brain's ventricles, a population of modified ependymal cells and capillaries together form a system called the choroid plexus, which produces the CSF.


Ependymoma is a tumor of the ependyma.

Stem cellsEdit

Jonas Frisén and his colleagues at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm believe that ependyma is the prime candidate for the location of neural stem cells.[1]


  1. Johansson CB, Momma S, Clarke DL, Risling M, Lendahl U, Frisen J (1999). Identification of a neural stem cell in the adult mammalian central nervous system.. Cell 96 (1): 25-34. PMID 9989494.

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