In 2018, a research team from NYU School of Medicine published a paper in the journal Scientific Reports, entitled : Structure and Distribution of an Unrecognized Interstitium in Human Tissues.
The paper described what is now known as the Interstitium - a contiguous network of interconnected fluid-filled spaces below the skin's surface, lining the digestive tract, lungs and urinary systems, and surrounding arteries, veins, and the.
For many years, anatomists had overlooked the interconnection of interstitial spaces - largely because of their dependence on the examination of dry, fixed tissue on microscope slides.
The fluid in the Interstitium - comprised of water and solutes, cytokines, hormones and other proteins etc. - may account for as much as 20% of the body weight.
It's now thought that the interstitium is :
It's also thought that the interstitium may be of crucial importance in the progress of disease - e.g. in the transport and metastasis of cancer cells.
Much more research. however, is needed to clarify its full list of functions and their medical implications.
Note: Some research teams have suggested that the interstitium should be thought-of as a bodily 'organ' - though the definition of an 'organ' is at present quite vague (ref.), and some other researchers have rejected the idea (ref.)
Also see :(another recently discovered 'organ')
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