Scientists discover human interstitium organ and it can be possibly the human body’s largest organ. It was hiding in plain sight, according to a new study.
The so-called interstitium is an interconnected system of tiny fluid-filled cavities throughout the entire body that acts as a “highway” for our internal water supply, study co-author Dr. Neil Theise told.
The human body holds 60 percent water. While two-thirds of that liquid remains inside cells, the remaining water called interstitial fluid is free to move throughout cavities inside the body.
Scientists had not previously shown that there was a unified system for moving that water, because they didn’t know what they were looking at.
The new organ interstitium exists within connective tissue, beneath the skin. It is surrounded with several other organs and could be considered the body’s largest organ, researchers said.
But a greater consensus among the scientific community is needed before the interstitium can be officially called an organ, according to Theise, a professor of pathology at New York University Langone School of Medicine.
Researchers previously thought the space between flesh and organs was made up of solid collagen of a protein. However Theise’s research reportedly shows that space is actually a scaffolding of collagen that’s filled with water.
Thinly slicing tissue to put it under a microscope destroys the collagen structure of the interstitium, so it wasn’t until researchers were not able to detect the interstitium.