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Iben Lundgaard

WCMM Fellow | Glia-Immune Interactions

Our research

The brain has a tight blood-brain barrier limiting the removal of solutes to the vascular compartment, and does not contain any lymphatic vessels. Instead, a peri-vascular bulk flow system, named the glia-lymphatic (glymphatic) facilitates brain-wide clearance. The glymphatic system mediates exchange of solutes and peptides, such as amyloid beta, between the brain parenchyma and the cerebrospinal fluid. The system received its name due to the crucial role of astrocytes’ aquaporin 4 (AQP4) water channels for this system. Due to this clearance function, it is believed that the glymphatic system and astrocytes are crucial for removing metabolites and thus maintaining a healthy milieu and preventing diseases.

The Lundgaard laboratory studies the role of the glymphatic system and cerebrospinal fluid efflux pathways in neurodegenerative diseases and our research techniques range from 9.4T MRI of rodents, light sheet imaging of optically cleared volumes, electron microscopy, pig models, and non-invasiv 7T MRI of human subjects.


  • To understand the glymphatic system in order to develop therapies to enhance or restore glymphatic function in humans.

Strengths of the group

  • 3D light sheet microscopy & animal models


Impairment of the glymphatic system has been shown to exacerbate amyloid pathology in mouse models of Alzheimer's disease. We believe that by harnessing the glymphatic system, we can delay the onset of Alzheimer's disease.

| Research Output


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Iben Lundgaard. Portrait

Iben Lundgaard

Principal Investigator

Phone: +46 46 222 06 21

Email: iben [dot] lundgaard [at] med [dot] lu [dot] se

Profile in Lund University Research Portal

Iben Lundgaard – The cleaning system of the brain