New found 'organ' in humans found by advanced visualizing anatomy
30 March, 2018, 01:04 | Author: Stuart Potter
Previously, the human body is known to have a lot of fluids - nearly half found within the cells and another seventh of it inside the heart, blood vessels, lymph nodes, and lymph vessels.
According to a report in the journal Scientific Reports, researchers say the network that carries this interstitial fluid is its own distinct organ and it may even be one of the largest organs in the body. It's the name being offered to the many small, fluid-filled voids within human cells that bury the whole body.
It surrounds arteries, muscles, and the digestive and urinary tracts in a layer long thought to be dense connective tissue.
The researchers explored further by flash freezing some of these tissues and looking at them under a microscope. The fluid contained inside the tissue could also play all kinds of unknown roles.
Not only does the finding shed new light on the understanding of the humanbody, but it could also help reveal clues about the spread of cancer in certain areas of the body. When they brought the results to New York University School of Medicine Pathologist Neil Theise, he immediately set to work, trying to explain what they were seeing.
The researchers said they were able to see the "highway of moving fluid" (as it's described in the press release) because they used a newer technique called confocal laser endomicroscopy.
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Because the interstitium drains out into the lymphatic system, cancer cells that penetrate it have increased chances of spreading to lymph nodes or to other organs.
It may be an important part of a sudden swelling called edema.
"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 Theise. According to a report, they are reviewing previous studies to obtain more information on the new organ. "We have a new window on the mechanism of tumour spread", he said.
They suspect the fluid-filled spaces may act like shock absorbers that prevent the tearing of tissue in organs, muscles and vessels as they move during normal functioning.
It will take time and research before the medical community at large decides whether or not to treat the interstitium as an organ.
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