Medical Research Council - London Institute of Medical Sciences

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Neighbour Blood Watch

Brain's vessels called dural sinuses play host to neuro-immune interactions

25 February 2021

Neighbour Blood Watch

Blood pools on its way out of the brain – collecting in unique vessels called dural sinuses. These are more than just funnel points from the skull though, it seems they’re excellent places for the neighbouring immune system to check up on the brain – T cells patrol these neuroimmune meeting points, sifting through the blood for signs of infection. This mouse’s brain produces amyloid beta plaques (blue) similar to those found in human Alzheimer’s disease. Collecting around cells in the dural sinuses (highlighted in purple and yellow), they may trigger T cells to flock to the brain causing unwanted damaging inflammation. Designing drugs to squirt into these little brain pockets may one day help to calm and control the immune response, easing conditions that become common as age changes how our brains and defences communicate.

Written by John Ankers

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