The brain and central nervous system (CNS) are thought to be devoid of lymphatic tissues that aid in immunosurveillance. In Nature, Kipnis and colleagues identify lymphatic vessels in the brain near the meningeal dural sinuses. These vessels express signature molecules, such as Lyve-1, podoplanin and Prox1, that distinguish lymphatic vessels from endothelial vessels. Both lymphocytes and CD11c+ cells traffic within these vessels. Cerebrospinal fluid and T cells drain to deep cervical LNs but fail to do so after ligation of the meningeal lymphatic vessels and accumulate instead within the meningeal spaces. These findings support evidence that the CNS is not as 'immunoprivileged' as previously thought.

Nature (1 June 2015) doi:10.1038/nature14432