Dictionary > Cerebrospinal fluid

Cerebrospinal fluid

noun, plural: cerebrospinal fluids
A clear, colorless body fluid that fills the ventricles of the brain and the central canal of the spinal cord
The cerebrospinal fluid is a body fluid found in the brain and the spinal cord. In particular, it fills the brain ventricles, cisterns, and sulci. It also fills the central canal of the spinal cord. It is produced by specialized ependymal cells in the choroid plexuses. It is produced daily at a rate of about 25 mL per hour. To keep the 125-150 mL volume, it is constantly reabsorbed.1
The cerebrospinal fluid is primarily comprised of water (99%). It also contains small quantities of glucose, protein, sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, and chloride.
The cerebrospinal fluid acts as a cushion or buffer, protecting the brain from mechanical injuries. It also removes metabolic waste products from the brain as it returns to the vascular system.
The cerebrospinal fluid returns to the vascular system via the arachnoid granulations, i.e. small protrusions of the arachnoid mater into the dural venous sinuses of the brain. Through these protrusions, the cerebrospinal fluid is permitted to exit the subarachnoid space and then enter the bloodstream.
Analysis of the cerebrospinal fluid can be accomplished using lumbar puncture. The presence of white blood cells or bacteria within the cerebrospinal fluid is a possible indication of bacterial infection (meningitis).

  • CSF

See also:

  • body fluid
  • brain
  • spinal cord
  • Related term(s):

    • Cerebrospinal fluid pressure
    • Cerebrospinal fluid proteins


    1 Wright, B. L. C., Lai, J. T. F., & Sinclair, A. J. (2012). “Cerebrospinal fluid and lumbar puncture: a practical review”. Journal of Neurology. 259 (8): 1530–1545.

    You will also like...

    Consciousness and behavior
    Consciousness and Behavior

    Human consciousness and behavior are an interesting topic since they are determined and controlled by the brain. Conscio..

    Biological Cell Defense
    Biological Cell Defense

    Organisms employ different strategies to boost its defenses against antigens. Humans have an immune system to combat pat..

    Carbohydrates, fats and proteins - dietary sources
    A Balanced Diet – Carbohydrates and Fat

    Apart from vitamins, the human body also requires high energy sources such as carbohydrates and fats. If you want an ove..

    Genetics – Lesson Outline & Worksheets
    Genetics – Lesson Outline & Worksheets

      Topics Modules Quizzes/Worksheets Description Introduction to Genetics Genetics – Definition: Heredity and ..

    Geological Periods
    Geological Periods

    Geological periods is a study guide that cites the different geological periods on Earth's timeline. Each has a brief ov..

    An artist's depiction of the origin of amphibians
    Amphibians & Early Reptiles

    Obtaining air outside an aquatic environment required species to acquire suitable adaptations, and this was the case of ..