Researchers from institutions in the United States and Denmark have discovered a new brain structure. It is a thin membrane located just below the bones of the skull and appears to contribute to the defense of the brain.
The new structure, called the slym (subarachnoid lymphatic-like membrane), was Described this Thursday (5) in the journal Science It was found in a study focusing on the meninges consisting of the layers of the dura mater, arachnoid and pia mater.
First author, Kjeld Mullgaard, Professor of Neuroanatomy at the University of Copenhagen, raised the question: Does the central nervous system have a mesothelium (the layer that lines the chest, abdomen, and space around the heart, and protects the organs)? The study, in partnership with several scientists, showed that yes.
The coelom divides the space below the arachnoid layer and, according to the researchers, helps control the flow of cerebrospinal fluid, which contributes to the transportation and removal of waste products from the brain.
The thin, delicate structure consists of one or a few thick cells. However, by allowing fresh cerebrospinal fluid to flow in and the toxic proteins out, scientists estimate that it may be related to Alzheimer’s disease and other neurological diseases.
According to the study, the integrity of the system prevents the entry of external defense cells – the central nervous system maintains its own set of defense cells. Moreover, the construct appears to focus on cells examining the cerebrospinal fluid for signs of infection.
“Functional characterization of slym provides essential information about immune barriers and fluid transport in the brain,” the authors evaluate.
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