Scientists Discover a New Human Organ Called the 'Interstitium'

Not a distinct well-defined organ like the heart liver or even the skin it's made up of widespread fluid-filled spaces in and between tissues all over the body known as the'interstitium

"Just taking a bite of tissue from this space allows the fluid in the space to drain and the supporting collagen bundles to collapse like the floors of a collapsing building", he said. But scientists have discovered an important new organ that may play a critical role in how many tissues and other organs do their jobs, as well as in some diseases like cancer.

Researchers in the U.S. have discovered a "new" organ in the human body which may cast some light on how tumours spread, raising hopes that in the future it will be possible to detect them earlier on.

Illustration of the interstitium, fluid-filled spaces supported by a network of collagen bundles, lined on one side with cellsJILL GREGORY, REPRINTED WITH PERMISSION FROM MOUNT SINAI HEALTH SYSTEM, LICENSED UNDER CC-BY-ND.For years, scientists have fixed tissue and looked at it under the microscope in order to better understand the body.

They attack the body by rapidly multiplying and are at their most deadly when they reach the lymph nodes.

More research is likely to be needed to find out whether this improved understanding of the interstitium can be used to fight disease. It has been identified in connective tissues, including those just below the surface of the skin.

In his opinion, the interstitium acts as a source of lymph, the fluid vital to the functioning of immune cells and which carries infection-fighting white blood cells.

He said that about 60 percent of the human body is made of water, and about two-thirds of that is found in cells. The laser lights up the tissues, sensors analyze the reflected fluorescent patterns, offering a microscopic real-time view of the living tissues.

Dr Theise explained: "These were the remnants of the collapsed spaces". David Carr-Locke and Petros Benias made the discovery while investigating a patients bile duct for cancer.

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As part of the study, researchers collected tissue from 12 cancer patients when they removed the pancreas and the bile duct.

Theise and his team are now conducting further analysis on this newly discovered fluid to see how it might aid physicians in detecting (and therefore treating) cancers earlier on.

Traditionally, when such tissue samples are examined under a microscope, the tissues are dehydrated and look like dense layers, Theise said. "The more tissues I saw, the more I realized it's everywhere", he said.

This series of spaces, supported by a meshwork of strong (collagen) and flexible (elastin) connective tissue proteins, may act like shock absorbers that keep tissues from tearing as organs, muscles, and vessels squeeze, pump, and pulse as part of daily function.

The researchers were able to see every detail in the samples, writing that they observed where fluid accumulated in specific spaces.

But in new research published Tuesday in the journal Scientific Reports, researchers at New York University's School of Medicine announced they had discovered a brand new "organ" called the interstitium - and it may lead to insights about how to treat cancer.

Dr. Michael Nathanson, professor of medicine and cell biology and chief of the section of digestive diseases at Yale University School of Medicine, is of similar opinion.

"This has both", he said of the interstitium, per CNN.

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