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Subarachnoid injection of Microfil reveals connections between cerebrospinal fluid and nasal lymphatics in the non-human primate

Authors

  • M. Johnston,

    Corresponding author
    1. Neuroscience Program, Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology, Sunnybrook and Women's College Health Sciences Centre, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada
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  • A. Zakharov,

    1. Neuroscience Program, Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology, Sunnybrook and Women's College Health Sciences Centre, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada
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  • L. Koh,

    1. Neuroscience Program, Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology, Sunnybrook and Women's College Health Sciences Centre, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada
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  • D. Armstrong

    1. Neuroscience Program, Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology, Sunnybrook and Women's College Health Sciences Centre, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada
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Dr Miles G. Johnston, Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology, Neuroscience Research, Sunnybrook & Women's College Health Sciences Centre, University of Toronto, Research Building, S-111, 2075 Bayview Avenue, Toronto, ON M4N 3M5, Canada. Tel: +1 (416) 480 5700; Fax: +1 (416) 480 5737; E-mail: miles.johnston@sw.ca

Abstract

Based on quantitative and qualitative studies in a variety of mammalian species, it would appear that a significant portion of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) drainage is associated with transport along cranial and spinal nerves with absorption taking place into lymphatic vessels external to the central nervous system. CSF appears to convect primarily through the cribriform plate into lymphatics associated with the submucosa of the olfactory and respiratory epithelium. However, the significance of this pathway for CSF absorption in primates has never been established unequivocally. In past studies, we infused Microfil into the subarachnoid compartment of numerous species to visualize CSF transport pathways. The success of this method encouraged us to use a similar approach in the non-human primate. Yellow Microfil® was injected post mortem into the cisterna magna of 6 years old Barbados green monkeys (Cercopithecus aethiops sabeus, n = 6). Macroscopic and microscopic examination revealed that Microfil was (1) distributed throughout the subarachnoid compartment, (2) located in the perineurial spaces associated with the fila olfactoria, (3) present within the olfactory submucosa, and (4) situated within an extensive network of lymphatic vessels in the nasal submucosa, nasal septum and turbinate tissues. We conclude that the Microfil distribution patterns in the monkey were very similar to those observed in many other species suggesting that significant nasal lymphatic uptake of CSF occurs in the non-human primate.

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