Researchers Find the Missing Link Between the Brain and the Immune System!
In searching for T-cell gateways into and out of the meninges, Louveau discovered functional lymphatic vessels lining the dural sinuses
This is truly groundbreaking, amazing, show-stopping news everyone! Researchers at the University of Virginia School of Medicine have determined that the brain is directly connected to the immune system by vessels previously thought not to exist. How cool is that?!
The discovery was made possible by the work of Antoine Louveau, PhD. The vessels were detected after Louveau developed a method to mount a mouse’s meninges – the membranes covering the brain – on a single slide so that they could be examined as a whole.
In searching for T-cell gateways into and out of the meninges, Louveau discovered functional lymphatic vessels lining the dural sinuses. These structures express all of the molecular hallmarks of lymphatic endothelial cells, are able to carry both fluid and immune cells from the cerebrospinal fluid, and are connected to the deep cervical lymph nodes. The unique location of these vessels may have impeded their discovery to date, thereby contributing to the long-held concept of the absence of lymphatic vasculature in the central nervous system.
This phenomenal discovery could have massive implications for the study and treatment of neurological diseases ranging from autism to Alzheimer’s disease to multiple sclerosis :)