Jonathan Kipnis on discovering the brain’s lymphatic system

Written by Lauren Pulling, Editor

In October 2017 we had the pleasure of attending ‘Clearing the brain: protein clearance in neurodegenerative disease’, a 1-day symposium organized by the Leonard Wolfson Experimental Neurology Centre (LWENC) at University College London (UCL; London, UK). The event saw researchers and clinicians from across the world come together to share the latest research and debate the future of the field, with topics spanning perivascular clearance, fluid biomarkers, glymphatics, lymphatics, and a lively panel discussion.

In this, the second video in our series from the event, we speak to Jonathan Kipnis, Professor at the University of Virginia School of Medicine and Director of the Center for Brain Immunology and Glia (VA, USA). In 2015, Jonathan’s lab made history when they discovered that meningeal vessels directly link the brain with the lymphatic system in mice, which overturned decades of teaching that the brain lacks a direct connection to the immune system. Since then, these findings have been replicated in the human brain. In this video, Jonathan tells us more about the initial discovery and what these findings could mean for the future of brain clearance research.

Want to find out more about the event? Catch up on our highlights in our Twitter Moment, plus have a look at our interviews with other speakers from the event:

You can also find out more about LWENC, dementia research at UCL and the event itself via the links below:




  1. Neuro Central