Morphological indications for considerable diffuse reabsorption of cerebrospinal fluid in spinal meninges particularly in the areas of meningeal funnels - An electronmicroscopical study including tracing experiments in rats

Wolfgang Zenker, Sergei Bankoul, Johann Sebastian Braun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Transmission and scanning electron microscopical observations in the rat indicate a considerable capacity of the spinal meninges to reabsorb cerebrospinal fluid. The density of blood vessels and lymphatics in the duramater is extremely high, particularly in the areas of meningeal funnels and spinal nerve root sleeves. Arterioles with closely related unmyelinated nerve fibres, many fenestrated capillaries and venules predetermine these areas as sites where absorption processes could take place. At certain sites of the meningeal angle region, the arachnoid membrane, mostly multilayered, is reduced to only three or four layers. Intercellular discontinuities and cytoplasmic fenestrations occurring in the arachnoid lining cell layer result in direct communications between the subarachnoid space and cisterns of the arachnoid "reticular layer". These cisterns are partly fluid-filled, partly occupied by a net of collagen fibre bundles. Some cisterns harbour macrophages that often project filiform processes through the lining cell layer into the subarachnoid space, contacting cerebrospinal fluid. Desmosomes and gap junctions are present in all layers of the arachnoid. However, tight junctions and the continuous electrondense intercellular gap, known to occur normally within the "arachnoid barrier layer", were not seen in many sites of the meningeal angle region. Numerous arachnoid cells display a high degree of vesiculation. Cationized ferritin, introduced in vivo into the rat subarachnoid space, passes inter- and intracellularly from the cerebrospinal fluid compartment through the arachnoid membrane, reaching durai blood vessels and lymphatics. Tracer could be visualized both in the cytoplasm of the endothelium and on the luminal surface of the cells. Tracer also passed through pial cell layers into pial vessels, through leptomeningeal sheaths into vessels crossing the subarachnoid space, into the connective tissue compartment and into vessels of spinal dorsal root ganglia. In the angle region, a particularly large number of macrophages can be found on the surface of leptomeninges, within the arachnoid reticular layers, and in close relation to dural and epidural capillaries, venules and lymphatics. Their possible role in the process of cerebrospinal fluid reabsorption is discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)243-258
Number of pages16
JournalAnatomy and Embryology
Volume189
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 1994

Keywords

  • Cerebrospinal fluid reabsorption
  • Dorsal root ganglia
  • Macrophages
  • Spinal meninges
  • Tracer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Embryology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Morphological indications for considerable diffuse reabsorption of cerebrospinal fluid in spinal meninges particularly in the areas of meningeal funnels - An electronmicroscopical study including tracing experiments in rats'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this