In a landmark discovery the US scientists have identified a new organ in human beings consisting of a network of fluid-filled compartments that act like shock absorbers. This previously undiscovered organ which has been dubbed as interstitium by the researchers protects tissues of vital organs from tearing.
Newly discovered organ, one of the largest in the body can be found beneath the surface of the skin. It also remains present in tissue layers lining the gut, lungs, blood vessels, and muscles.
The findings which was published in the journal Scientific Reports, has implications for the function of all organs and most tissues. Researchers from the New York University in the US showed that layers of the body long thought to be dense, connective tissues are instead interconnected, fluid-filled compartments.
This series of spaces, supported by a meshwork of strong (collagen) and flexible (elastin) connective tissue proteins, may act like shock absorbers that keep tissues from tearing as organs, muscles, and vessels squeeze, pump, and pulse as part of daily function.
The scientists believe that interstitium may help them in understanding how cancer spreads within 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,” Neil Theise, professor at New York University said.