Just when you thought medical science knew everything about the human body, scientists would like to introduce you to an organ you never knew you had: the interstitium.
New research published in Scientific Reports has revealed that the human body contains a network of fluid-filled channels that had previously been undiscovered. The spaces were found all around the body’s connective tissue which lines the digestive tract, lungs, urinary systems, and surrounding muscles.
While the fluid-carrying channels have not been officially designated an organ by a majority of scientists, Neil Theise of New York University’s School of Medicine says the interstitium holds nearly a fifth of the body’s fluids.
“We think they act as shock absorbers,” Theise said, reports New Scientist.
Theise and his team add that the interstitium may also explain how cancer cells spread from one area of the body to another. Scientists searching for reasons why cancer sometimes spreads to patient’s lymph nodes are looking at this fluid channel as the possible answer.
Lymph, a fluid containing illness-fighting white blood cells, drains into the human lymphatic system and the interstitium may be the source of this fluid transfer.
“Once they get in, it’s like they’re on a water slide,” Theise claims. “We have a new window on the mechanism of tumor spread.”
— Live Science (@LiveScience) March 27, 2018
The interstitial space is the primary source of lymph and is a major fluid compartment in the body. While the anatomy and composition of the interstitial space between cells is increasingly understood, the existence, location, and structure of larger inter- and intra-tissue spaces is described only vaguely in the literature. This is particularly important in reference to “third spacing” (interstitial fluid build-up) and when considering overall interstitial fluid flow and volume, which have not been well studied1.
Advances in in vivo microscopy offer the potential to…continue reading the study here…
Mr Americana, Overpasses News Desk
March 27th, 2018