Lymphatics in the CNS and Their Role in Neurological Diseases

Identification: Kipnis, Jonathan


Description

Lymphatics in the CNS and Their Role in Neurological Diseases
 
Jonathan Kipnis
Center for Brain Immunology and Glia (BIG), Department of Neuroscience, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA 22908, USA
 
Immune cells and their derived molecules have major impact on brain function. Mice deficient in adaptive immunity have impaired cognitive and social function compared to that of wild-type mice. Importantly, replenishment of the T cell compartment in immune deficient mice restored proper brain function. Despite the robust influence on brain function, T cells are not found within the brain parenchyma, a fact that only adds more mystery into these enigmatic interactions between T cells and the brain. Our results suggest that meningeal space, surrounding the brain, is the site where CNS-associated immune activity takes place. We have recently discovered a presence of meningeal lymphatic vessels that drain CNS molecules and immune cells to the deep cervical lymph nodes. This communication between the CNS and the peripheral immunity is playing a key role in several neurological and psychiatric disorders and, therefore, may serve as a novel therapeutic target that is worth in-depth mechanistic exploration.  
 
This work was supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health (AG034113, AG057496 and NS096967) and National Multiple Sclerosis Society (NMSS).

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