Skull malformations are associated with vascular anomalies that can impair fluid balance in the central nervous system. We previously reported that humans with craniosynostosis and mutations in TWIST1 have dural venous sinus malformations. It is still unknown whether meningeal lymphatic networks, which are patterned alongside the venous sinuses, are also affected. We now show that the growth and expansion of meningeal lymphatics are perturbed in Twist1 craniosynostosis models. Changes to the local meningeal environment, including hypoplastic dura and venous malformations, affect the ability of lymphatic networks to sprout and remodel. Dorsal networks along the transverse sinus are hypoplastic with reduced branching. By contrast, basal networks closer to the skull base are more variably affected, showing exuberant growth in some animals, suggesting they are compensating for vessel loss in dorsal networks. Injecting a molecular tracer into cerebrospinal fluid reveals significantly less drainage to the deep cervical lymph nodes, which is indicative of impaired lymphatic function. Collectively, our results show that meningeal lymphatic networks are affected in craniosynostosis, suggesting that the clearance of β-amyloid and waste from the central nervous system may be impeded.

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