Scientists have identified a new human organ hidden from view and hope it can help them understand the spread of cancer in the body.
Layers that can last a long time so that dense connective tissue are actually a series of compartments filled with fluid, the researchers call it “interstitial space.”
These compartments are located under the skin and lining the gut, lungs, blood vessels and muscles, and join together to form a network supported by a mesh of strong, flexible proteins.
A new analysis, published in Scientific Reports, is the first, collectively identifying these areas as a new organ and trying to understand their function.
Surprisingly, the interstitial had previously gone unnoticed, even though it was one of the largest organs in the human body.
The team behind the discovery suggests that the compartments can act as “shock absorbers” that protect the body’s tissues from damage.
Mount Sinai Beth Israel Medical Centermedics Dr David Carr-Locke and Dr Petros Benias found the interstitium in a patient’s bile duct and looked for signs of cancer.
They recognized cavities that did not coincide with any previously known human anatomy and went to the pathologist at the University of New York. Neil Theise, to request your experience.
Researchers realized that conventional methods for the study of body tissues have lost the interstitial because the “fixation” of mounting slides of medical fluid drain includes the method and thus destroys the structure of the organ.
Instead of their true identity as in the whole body, buffers filled with liquid bruised cells had been overlooked and were considered simple connective tissue.
This is the conclusion, scientists have realized that this structure is found not only in the bile duct, but also in many important internal organs.
“This fixation artefact of collapse has made a fluid-filled tissue type throughout the body appear solid in biopsy slides for decades, and our results correct for this to expand the anatomy of most tissues,” said Dr Theise.
By freezing the biopsy tissue of the bile ducts of 12 additional patients, the team could obtain the anatomy of their newly discovered structure.
They realized that film drains into the lymphatic system – the network of lymphatic vessels that are involved in the body’s immune response.
In addition to their ability to buffer body organs and protect against damage, the researchers found evidence that cancer cells from tumors through the interstitial space could enter the lymphatic system.
In providing a road in which fluid can move around the body, the interconnected cells of the interstitium, therefore, can have the unfortunate side effect of cancer spread throughout the body.
“This finding has potential to drive dramatic advances in medicine, including the possibility that the direct sampling of interstitial fluid may become a powerful diagnostic tool,” said Dr Theise.
Understanding this newly discovered limit in human anatomy could allow scientists to develop new tests for cancer.