This discovery of this brain tissuewhich acts as a protective barrier, allows us to better understand and deepen the functioning of our brain. This fabric also serves as immune cell monitoring platformwhich have the role of detect infections and inflammations. Published this Thursday in the journal Science (source 1), this discovery by scientists at the University of Rochester Medical Center in the United States shows that there is a other protective brain membrane than those already known. Her name, SLYM (Subarachnoidal Lymphatic-like Membrane) which is located between the two compartments of the subarachnoid space, the last barrier before the cranium. Very thin and delicate, the SLYM is a membrane of the same type as that lining other vital organs of the body, such as the heart or the lungs, according to the study.
A possible influence in the self-defense of the brain
This type of membrane, given its constitution, makes it possible to protect and above all to harbor immune cells of the organism. The research team believes that the latter could play a important role in the defense of the brain but also could influence drug delivery to this one.
“This layer therefore represents an innate immune niche ideally positioned to monitor cerebrospinal fluid,” the scientists write in the study.
Seeming to contain its own immune cells, this new membrane would have a key place in monitoring the proper functioning of the brain, by scrutinizing the cerebral fluid and sifting through it, looking for any signs of infection. This alert system would make it possible to diagnose or detect a pathology quite early, and in the event of dysfunction of this membrane, the pathology can settle and develop more easily. They also discovered that SLYM contains a large number of specific cells, including the number increases in response to inflammation and aging.