Continuous positive airway pressure increases CSF flow and glymphatic transport

Burhan Ozturk, Sunil Koundal, Ehab Al Bizri, Xinan Chen, Zachary Gursky, Feng Dai, Andrew Lim, Paul Heerdt, Jonathan Kipnis, Allen Tannenbaum, Hedok Lee, Helene Benveniste

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Respiration can positively influence cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) flow in the brain, yet its effects on central nervous system (CNS) fluid homeostasis, including waste clearance function via glymphatic and meningeal lymphatic systems, remain unclear. Here, we investigated the effect of supporting respiratory function via continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) on glymphatic-lymphatic function in spontaneously breathing anesthetized rodents. To do this, we used a systems approach combining engineering, MRI, computational fluid dynamics analysis, and physiological testing. We first designed a nasal CPAP device for use in the rat and demonstrated that it functioned similarly to clinical devices, as evidenced by its ability to open the upper airway, augment end-expiratory lung volume, and improve arterial oxygenation. We further showed that CPAP increased CSF flow speed at the skull base and augmented glymphatic transport regionally. The CPAP-induced augmented CSF flow speed was associated with an increase in intracranial pressure (ICP), including the ICP waveform pulse amplitude. We suggest that the augmented pulse amplitude with CPAP underlies the increase in CSF bulk flow and glymphatic transport. Our results provide insights into the functional crosstalk at the pulmonary-CSF interface and suggest that CPAP might have therapeutic benefit for sustaining glymphatic-lymphatic function.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere170270
JournalJCI Insight
Issue number12
StatePublished - 2023


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