, Volume 112, Issue 1, pp 45-63

Energy gradients for the homeostatic control of brain ECF composition and for VT signal migration: introduction of the tide hypothesis

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Summary.

The present paper enlightens a new point of view on brain homeostasis and communication, namely how the brain takes advantage of different chemical-physical phenomena such as pressure waves, and temperature and concentration gradients to allow the renewal of the extra-cellular fluid (i.e., the homeostasis of the brain internal milieu) as well as some forms of intercellular communications (Volume Transmission) at an energy cost much lower than the classical synaptic transmission (the prototype of Wiring Transmission).

In particular, the possible functional meaning of the intracranial pressure waves is discussed in the frame of the so called “tide hypothesis” which maintains that the pressure waves, created by the cardiac pump, modulate the cerebro-spinal fluid flow from and towards the subarachnoid space as well as towards and from the Virchow-Robin spaces. These fluid push-pull movements favor both the migration of signals and the extra-cellular fluid renewal, especially in the cerebral cortex.

Dedicated to Prof. B. Magnani, Professor of Cardiology, Medical Faculty of Bologna, Italy