Scientists think they've discovered a new human organ, the 'interstitium'

Scientists think they've discovered a new human organ, the 'interstitium'

The remaining fluid is "interstitial", and the current paper is the first to define the interstitium as an organ in its own right and, the authors write, one of the largest of the body, the authors write.

The so-called interstitium is an interconnected system of tiny fluid-filled cavities throughout the entire body that acts as a "highway" for our internal water supply, study co-author Dr. Neil Theise told.

USA scientists say they have discovered a new human organ - one of the largest in the body, and one that was there the whole time.

Interstitium or interstitial fluid has been known to doctors for some time now but this new study provides a fresh insight into the role that this plays in the human body and scientists are now calling it a new organ. Dr. Neil Theise, Professor of pathology at NYU Langone Health in NY, who was a co-senior author of the study said they thought that this was an "interesting tissue" initially.

The organ is made up of a group of tissues in a living organism that have been adapted to perform a specific function.

Image of fresh-frozen human bile duct (left) shows collagen bundles in blue; the asterisks mark fluid-filled spaces of the interstitium.

Jordan Oloman is a Freelance Writer for IGN, who doesn't really know what to do with the rumour that cancer cells can use his body as a waterpark. They came across interstitium while they were studying a patient's bile duct for signs of cancer. Knowing what to look for, they quickly found the watery chambers around other tissues and organs in the body.

Researchers have known about the presence of interstitial tissue - connective tissue and fluid between organs in the body - for a long time.

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Essentially, it's believed that the interstitium is helping cancerous cells travel directly to the lymphatic system, which carries lymph fluid directly to the heart and is a key part of our circulatory system.

Previously, physicians had a somewhat nebulous understanding of the interstitial space, Nathanson said.

The results may have implications for a variety of fields of medicine, including cancer research.

These compartments are found beneath the skin, as well as lining the gut, lungs, blood vessels and muscles, and join together to form a network supported by a mesh of strong, flexible proteins. It offers a microscopic view of living tissues instead of fixed ones.

Cancer can spread through the lymphatic system, so the researchers wanted to see if cancer cells might also spread into the interstitium.

Traditionally, when such tissue samples are examined under a microscope, the tissues are dehydrated and look like dense layers, Theise said. It was a series of interconnected cavities in this submucosal tissue level that not match any known anatomy.

This is the second time in as many years humans have learned details about a new organ.

The study also suggests it may play a role in the spread of cancer cells. "This discovery will open up new research pathways for inflammation and cancer progression", said Dr. Petros Constantinos Benias, co-lead author of the study, a member of the Feinstein Institute and an assistant professor at the Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell Health, in a written statement.

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