Updated on 10 June 2015
The team further elaborated that depending on the age, the vessels have also appeared in different people, which might play a key role in the ageing process.
Singapore: Researchers have discovered the "missing" link between the brain and immune system in the human body, a study that promises to treat neurological diseases like Alzheimer's and multiple sclerosis in future.
According to the team from University of Virginia's School of Medicine, like every other tissue, brain was found to be connected to the peripheral immune system through meningeal lymphatic vessels. The vessels explained the current medical mysteries - why patients with Alzheimer's diseases have accumulated the large quantity of protein plaques in the brain.
Dr Jonathon Kipnis, Professor, Department of Neurosciences in the University of Virginia and director of UVA's Centre for Brain Immunology and Glia (BIG) added, "We believed that these vessels might play a major role for every neurological diseases that have an immune component to it. Though it was hard to imagine that these vessels would not be involved in a neurological diseases with an immune component.
The discovery was made possible by the work of Dr Antonie Louveau, a Post-doctoral fellow in Prof Kipnis's lab. The vessels were detected after Dr Louveau developed a method to mount a mouse's meninges. After he noticed the vessel-like patterns in the distribution of immune cells on his slides, he then tested for brain's elusive lymphatic vessels which were found.
The unexpected presences of the lymphatic vessels raised a tremendous number of questions that now need answers, both about the working of the brain and diseases that plagued it. This study appeared in the ‘Nature' Journal