A new study has shown the existence of a fourth meningeal layer, called the subarachnoid lymphatic-like membrane (SLYM) in mouse and human brains.
About subarachnoid lymphatic-like membrane
- The SLYM divides the subarachnoid space – which exists between arachnoid and pia mater, and consists of the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), blood vessels, and cisterns – into an outer superficial compartment and an inner deep compartment lining the brain.
- SLYM also showed the presence of podoplanin (PDPN).
- The PDPN protein is found in mesothelium, membranes that line body cavities and internal organs.
- Mesothelium is present where tissues slide against each other and is believed to act as a boundary lubricant to ease movement, and SLYM too may reduce friction between the brain and skull during movements like positional changes of the head as well as physiological functions.
- SLYM only allows the exchange of a few small molecules through it.
- The newly-discovered membrane acts as a barrier that limits the exchange of most peptides and proteins between the upper and lower subarachnoid space compartments.
- It also seems to separate “clean” and “dirty” CSF, possibly playing a role in the glymphatic system – a waste-clearing system that promotes efficient elimination of soluble proteins and metabolites from the central nervous system.
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