Contribution of Direct Cerebral Vascular Transport in Brain Substance Clearance

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Aging Dis


The accumulation of harmful substances has long been recognized as a likely cause of many neurodegenerative diseases. The two classic brain clearance pathways are cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and vascular circulation systems. Since the discovery of the glymphatic system, research on the CSF pathway has gained momentum, and impaired CSF clearance has been implicated in virtually all neurodegenerative animal models. However, the contribution of the direct participation of vascular transport across the blood-brain barrier in clearing substances is often ignored in glymphatic papers. Supportive evidence for the direct involvement of parenchymal vasculature in substance clearance is accumulated. First, multiple mechanisms have been proposed for the vascular drainage of exogenous and endogenous substances across the blood-brain barriers. Second, the "traditional" role of arachnoid villi and granulations as the main site for CSF draining into the vasculature system has been questioned. Third, MRI studies using different CSF tracers indicate that parenchymal vasculature directly participates in tracer efflux, consistent with immunohistochemical findings. Here we will review evidence in the literature that supports the direct participation of the parenchymal vascular system in substance clearance, in addition to the CSF clearance pathways.

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ePub ahead of print