US researchers have found another human organ -- one of the biggest in the body, and one that was there the entire time.The new organ is known as the Interstitium and it is found everywhere in our bodies, acting as a shock absorber in all places where tissues are moved or subjected to force.
Interstitium is a tissue lies beneath the top layer of skin but is also in tissue layers lining the gut, lungs, blood vessels, and muscles.
The largest organ in the human body?
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.This organ might help protect the rest of our organs and tissue. It could also explain the spread of certain cancers, as well as how a number of diseases progress in the body.
What is the function of this newly found organ?
According to the report, interstitial spaces are organized by a collagen "mesh", can shrink, expand, and "may thus serve as shock absorbers."These "dynamically compressible and distensible sinuses" act as thoroughfares to transport critical fluids within organs and around the body.The Interstitium plays an important role in carrying lymph, the clear fluid that also travels through lymphatic vessels and supports immunity.
It might also play a role in some of our body's less desirable functions:
- It may be an important part of a sudden swelling called edema
- It may also help in the spread of cancer cells during metastasis
- And it may have an important function during fibrosis, or the stiffening of certain tissues
Because of its "dynamic" role in all these functions, the researchers said that the Interstitium should be called an organ in its own right.The team of researchers said that their findings mean that many of the normal and abnormal activities of different organs need to be reconsidered to include the newly discovered role that the nearby Interstitium appears to play.
Watch the video below for a better understanding: