This Nature paper by a group at UVA looked at the presence of lymphatic vessels in the brain. Traditionally thought of as a immune privileged organ, the thought of immuno therapy in the brain was largely ignored. In the past decade or so, a lot of traction has been gained in the field of neuro-immunology with treatments such as immune checkpoint inhibitors showing some promise in the treatments of different brain tumor models. It was still a large mystery of how these immune cells were acting on these cancer cells, but this group seems to have the answer! Imaging layers of the meninges and looking at different cell populations, they were able to spot a region in the dural sinus which were lined with lymphatic vessels. I especially enjoyed this article because of its origins in trying to ask why something was working instead of simply using a therapy that was working. I always love reading nature papers and other highly impactful papers because of the final paragraph… Malfunction of the meningeal lymphatic vessels could be a root cause of a variety of neurological disorders in which altered immunity is a fundamental player What if fixing this solves many of the neurological diseases out there? I know it won’t be that simple, but it’s a really exciting thought.
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