NewsHealth

‘Interstitium’ acts as a shock absorber for vital tissues and could improve understanding of cancer spread.
Josh Gabbatiss

Traditional medical microscopic slides have previously missed an entire organ in the human body due to the way in which they are prepared
Scientists have identified a new human organ hiding in plain sight, in a discovery they hope could help them understand the spread of cancer within the body.

Layers long thought to be dense, connective tissue are actually a series of fluid-filled compartments researchers have termed the “interstitium”.

These compartments are found beneath the skin, as well as lining the gut, lungs, blood vessels and muscles, and join together to form a network supported by a mesh of strong, flexible proteins.

New analysis published in the journal Scientific Reports is the first to identify these spaces collectively as a new organ and try to understand their function.

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Remarkably, the interstitium had previously gone unnoticed despite being one of the largest organs in the human body.

 

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