Cerebrospinal Fluid

William Vernau, Karen Vernau, Cleta Sue Bailey

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

22 Scopus citations


This chapter discusses the anatomy, functions, and biochemistry of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). CSF has four major functions: physical support of neural structures, excretion and "sink" action, intracerebral transport, and control of the chemical environment of the central nervous system. CSF provides a "water jacket" of physical support and buoyancy. The CSF is protective because its volume changes reciprocally with changes in the volume of intracranial contents, particularly blood. Thus, the CSF protects the brain from changes in arterial and central venous pressure associated with posture, respiration, and exertion. Acute or chronic pathological changes in intracranial contents can be accommodated, to a point, by changes in the CSF volume. The direct transfer of brain metabolites into the CSF provides excretory function. This capacity is important because the brain lacks a lymphatic system. The lymphatic function of the CSF is also manifested in the removal of large proteins and cells, such as bacteria or blood cells, by bulk CSF absorption. The "sink" action of the CSF arises from the restricted access of water-soluble substances to the CSF and the low concentration of these solutes in the CSF.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationClinical Biochemistry of Domestic Animals
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages51
ISBN (Print)9780123704917
StatePublished - 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Cerebrospinal Fluid'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this