Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Scientists discover a new part of the brain that acts as a ‘purifying filter’

At this point in humanity’s game, human anatomy continues to surprise. this time, a paper from magazine Science Reported discovery by Danish and American researchers of AK new meningesA fourth is found surrounding the brain, whose role in the proper functioning of the central nervous system seems as simple as it is indispensable: filtering the cerebrospinal fluid, separating the “clean” parts from the “dirty”.

are called meninges Mucusinitials of subarachnoid lymphatic membrane (lymphatic-type subarachnoid membrane), a type of cell structure he defined as “fine”, although in its shape it is known to him from other similar membranes that act as a protective barrier in organs such as the heart and lungs works.

According to experts from the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences of the University of Copenhagen (Denmark) and the Medical Center of the University of Rochester (USA), SLYM, however, is an original meningeal layer, different from the other three known so far. ) joined.

Like the other meninges, its function is to protect, but in a very specific way, by filtering (like a water filter) the cerebrospinal fluid that surrounds the brain.

A filter for fine neural activity

In it paperTopic “A mesothelium divides the subarachnoid space into functional compartments.and published this week in the prestigious ScienceThe authors carefully explain the extremely wide coverage offered by this filter, which in these cases is capable of retaining particles up to 3 kilodaltons, the common atomic mass unit.

Meninges are called SLYM. Photo University of Copenhagen

Of course, it’s not a coffee or water filter. A kilodalton is one thousand daltons. and Dalton is twelfth the mass of a carbon-12 atom (in its ground state), Converting 3 kilodaltons to grams requires writing several tens of zeros after the comma.

To ascertain the importance of this discovery in the future, suffice it to say that some of the most severe neurodegenerative diseases (for example, Alzheimer’s) are perpetuated by the accumulation of certain substances that, in equilibrium, are functional to neurons and their atmosphere, but is toxic in excess.

Colloquially said, they “dirty” the environment. They hinder the proper functioning of complex and extremely delicate machinery.

The role of a membrane like this is, in the end, central. And not to mention the effects if it doesn’t work properly.

GI and brain walls

By the way, it is “as narrow as the width of a cell,” he graphed. alejandro andersonNeurologist, director of the Institute of Neurology Buenos Aires (INBA).

Anderson, an avid preacher of his field, detailed the various structures that protect the central nervous system, which is made up of “our brain, brain stem, cerebellum, and spinal cord”, because “they are isolated are and protected from the outside, as well as the rest of our body.

It’s like a fortress with various security barriers: “The first line of defense is the bones, the skull, the rigid structure. The second level of protection consists of membranes called meninges surrounding and surrounding the nervous system.”

This Discovery Could Be Important For The Study Of Neurodegenerative Diseases In The Future.

This discovery could be important for the study of neurodegenerative diseases in the future.

According to him, “The first is the hard meninges, which is the ‘dura mater’, and the two soft ones, known as the ‘leptomeninges’, which are the ‘arachnoid mater’ and the ‘pia mater’.”

Those who are concerned about these issues will be interested to know that “there is also a set of cells and white blood cells capable of attacking invading agents that can cause harm” and, in addition, “chemical and structural defense that blocks chemical substances” and potentially dangerous agents can complicate the nervous system”.

The latter is called the “blood-brain barrier”, and it separates the blood in the veins and arteries from the cerebrospinal fluid.

The innovation, now, is that this fluid, which transports oxygen and nutrients throughout the nervous system, will be “treated” (filtered) by a new and much thinner physiological membrane.

Why is she so thin? At the same time it houses the cells of the immune system, “It is a hermetic barrier that allows only very small molecules to pass from one side to the other. To put it another way, it keeps ‘clean’ cerebrospinal fluid.” separates it from the ‘dirty'”, he explained.

Alzheimer’s and Multiple Sclerosis

In Andersen’s words, the Science paper explained that “proper functioning of this membrane is very important, to the extent that the cerebrospinal fluid must be able to conduct toxins and then eliminate them. Avoid degenerative and central nervous system diseasessuch as Alzheimer’s and multiple sclerosis.

However, for now the horizon is pure challenge, as it involves learning more about how SLYM works, its properties and limitations.

Challenges because, on the one hand, it remains to be understood whether the degeneration of the membrane itself, in addition to spoiling the images of people with these diseases, can cause them.

The authors point this out in a passage toward the end of the paper: “Here, we show a large increase in the number and diversity of immune cells residing in SLYM in response to acute inflammation and natural aging.”

They then state that “Physical disruption of SLYM, by altering cerebrospinal fluid flow patterns, may explain the prolonged suppression of glymphatic flow following traumatic brain injury, as well as the post-traumatic risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.” can increase.”

On the other hand, because from now on “it will be necessary to study degree of selectivity that is in this filter”, Anderson said, and concluded: “In a detailed study of this meninge, it is necessary to re-evaluate and re-evaluate, which drugs pass and which do not pass into the central nervous system”.


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