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Extracranial transport of brain lymphatics via cranial nerve in human.

Neuroscience Letters 2024 March 21
Extracranial waste transport from the brain interstitial fluid to the deep cervical lymph node (dCLN) is not extensively understood. The present study aims to show the cranial nerves that have a role in the transport of brain lymphatics vessels (LVs), their localization, diameter, and number using podoplanin (PDPN) and CD31 immunohistochemistry (IHC) and Western blotting. Cranial nerve samples from 6 human cases (3 cadavers, and 3 autopsies) were evaluated for IHC and 3 autopsies for Western blotting. The IHC staining showed LVs along the optic, olfactory, oculomotor, trigeminal, facial, glossopharyngeal, accessory, and vagus nerves. However, no LVs present along the trochlear, abducens, vestibulocochlear, and hypoglossal nerves. The LVs were predominantly localized at the endoneurium of the cranial nerve that has motor components, and LVs in the cranial nerves that had sensory components were present in all 3 layers. The number of LVs accompanying the olfactory, optic, and trigeminal nerves was classified as numerous; oculomotor, glossopharyngeal, vagus, and accessory was moderate; and facial nerves was few. The largest diameter of LVs was in the epineurium and the smallest one was in the endoneurium. The majority of Western blotting results correlated with the IHC. The present findings suggest that specific cranial nerves with variable quantities provide a pathway for the transport of wastes from the brain to dCLN. Thus, the knowledge of the transport of brain lymphatics along cranial nerves may help understand the pathophysiology of various neurological diseases.

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