by Biotech Express News Bureau
Using updated technology, U.S. scientists report they’ve discovered a “highway of moving fluid.” “This finding has potential to drive dramatic advances in medicine,” said study co-senior author Dr. Neil Theise, a pathology professor at NYU Langone Health in New York City. A study published by Nature is the first to identify these compartments collectively as a new organ. (Read Nature article here)
Figure: Identification of bile duct reticular pattern and demonstration of submucosal space. (A,B) pCLE of bile duct after fluorescein injection shows a reticular pattern at a depth of 60–70 μm. Scale bar, 20 μm. (C–E) Bile duct tissue removed at the time of Whipple surgery was frozen and ex vivo pCLE performed, demonstrating persistence of the reticular pattern. Scale bar, 20 μm. (F) Unstained frozen tissue of submucosa of a bile duct imaged by fluorescent microscopy, showing the reticular pattern in this layer of bile duct wall. The “bright” spaces are now dark (fluoresceinated fluid drained in processing and the tissue structures remained stained with residual fluorescein). (G) Masson trichrome of fresh-frozen bile duct shows that the dark bands are collagen bundles (blue) (left). The upper right shows Masson trichrome of a normally processed/fixed bile duct from the same patient, with collapse of spaces and apparent adherence of collagen bundles to each other. Lower right shows the fixed specimen stained with H&E; the thin spaces between collagen layers (arrows) reflect normally fluid-filled spaces that are almost completely collapsed. (H) Frozen (top) and fixed (bottom) bile ducts immunostained with antibodies against CD34 (left, brown) and D2-40 (right, brown) show cells lining the collagen bundles; note that bundles often seem to have a lining cell on one side, but not the other (20×, DAB, hematoxylin). (I) Schematic of the fluid-filled space supported by a network of collagen bundles lined on one side with cells. Illustration by Jill Gregory. Printed with permission from Mount Sinai Health System, licenced under CC-BY-ND. (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/4.0/legalcode).
Interstitium might be the “biggest organ” in the human body was earlier thought to be widespread, fluid-filled spaces within and between tissues all over the body.
Interstitium would be the 80th organ in the human body. 79th reported in the starting of 2017, known as the mesentery, is a double fold of peritoneum – the lining of the abdominal cavity – that holds our intestine to the wall of our abdomen. The research article on mesentery was published in The Lancet medical journal.
The newfound network Interstitium lies below the skin’s surface and between muscles, lining the digestive tract, lungs and urinary systems, and surrounding arteries and veins. Now it is a subject of intensive study whether mesentry is a part of interstitium or the two are distinct organs. Interstitium’s 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. According to experts, these interstitial spaces are organized by a collagen “mesh” and can shrink and expand “and may thus serve as shock absorbers.” This function of Interstitium is somehow same as to the function of mesentry in digestive tract. The Interstitium system drains into the lymphatic system, and is said to be the source of lymph, which is vital to the functioning of inflammation-causing immune cells.
The cells that reside in this network may also play a role in many other body processes, from skin aging to the stiffening of limbs and the progression of inflammatory diseases, according to the report. They also say that insterstitum spaces may play a crucial role in helping cancer spread to different parts of the body making it metastatic. Metastasis is the medical term for cancer that spreads to a different part of the body from where it started.
When cancer enters this layer, in the skin or in the viscera, it is then that it starts spreading to other parts of the body.
The knowledge of this biggest organ has opened a door to find cure for many diseases. Researchers are speculating role of this organ in cancer but only the time will let us know more about this organ’s function.
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