Yao, Y., Taub, A.B., LeSauter, J. et al. Identification of the suprachiasmatic nucleus venous portal system in the mammalian brain. Nat Commun 12, 5643 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-021-25793-z
There is only one known portal system in the mammalian brain – that of the pituitary gland, first identified in 1933 by Popa and Fielding. Here we describe a second portal pathway in the mouse linking the capillary vessels of the brain’s clock suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) to those of the organum vasculosum of the lamina terminalis (OVLT), a circumventricular organ. The localized blood vessels of portal pathways enable small amounts of important secretions to reach their specialized targets in high concentrations without dilution in the general circulatory system. These brain clock portal vessels point to an entirely new route and targets for secreted SCN signals, and potentially restructures our understanding of brain communication pathways.