Researchers at the New York University School of Medicine (USA) have identified a previously unknown element of the human body, which they classify as a new organ . The interstice, as it is called, is a network of fluid-filled cavities that lie under the skin and cover many other organs. Find out more about this important organ in our post!
Why is it considered an organ?
According to a study, the interstice is a rich network of fluid that is located below the skin and interconnects different parts of the body. According to the researchers, the fluid in the body is inside cells, in the heart, blood vessels, lymph nodes, lymph vessels and now we know that also in the interstitium. Previously, it was believed that this fluid only floated between organs and cells.
The interstice was previously thought of as a dense collagen wall . It was recognized in this way because, in the sample preparation process, fluids were drained and existing cavities collapsed. The technique used in the published work allowed a better observation of the structure and verified that the interstice is, in fact, a space full of cavities filled with liquid and that covers the digestive system, lung, urinary system and surrounds arteries, veins and fascia.
Shock absorber: This organ has characteristics that guarantee its distension and compression, being found in places subject to expansion and contraction, such as the lungs.
Fluid flow: This characteristic is important to understand the hypothesis that cancer can spread through the body when it reaches the interstitial space.
How hadn’t it been discovered until now?
These structures are not visible with any of the standard methods of visualizing human anatomy. Now, scientists have been able to identify this new “organ” thanks to the technological advances of live endomicroscopy , which shows in real time the histology and tissue structure.
Is this discovery important?
By understanding that the interstice is actually an organ, we can better understand several processes. The authors of the article indicate that this discovery could be the key to understanding how cancer spreads so quickly to organs that were apparently not interconnected.