|Image assembled from graphics at Clker clipart|
Until 2015, anatomy textbooks generally taught that the human immune system doesn't penetrate brain tissue. But that same year, University of Virginia neuroscientist Jonathan Kipnis and his team discovered immune system cells working in the brain after all. They immediately wanted to know why. The team's 2016 research revealed an unexpected additional role for molecules historically known only to target invading cells. They then speculated on ways this dual-function molecule may have evolved.To read the rest, click on "New Dual-Function Brain Cell Found".
Kipnis' group tracked the immune system molecule, called interferon gamma, in mouse brains. They found that immune system cells produce the interferon, which travels through the meninges—three membranes enclosing the brain and spinal cord—to directly interact with brain cells.