Tumblelog by Soup.io
Newer posts are loading.
You are at the newest post.
Click here to check if anything new just came in.




so uhhhhhh i know this is a plant blog but realtalk lads im a little freaked out by that wild ass new organ discovered in our bodies according to a paper published literally yesterday am i right my lads, my bois, lmao hhaha

(as of 3/28/2018, paper was published in the reputable international research journal “Nature” on 3/27/2018, publication here, study was started in 2013) ok so like uhhh this is my rough translation of the paper they published using my current level of biological knowledge, if anyone else has a more in depth understanding with human anatomy things and would like to add on with anything i might have missed feel free to add but this is my takeaway: 

-scientists were looking at some stuff in the inside of a bile duct they were studying in a live patient (this will be important later) using a laser that lets them see the cells in real time. they injected some stuff into the duct and saw the spaces inbetween the cells fill up with fluid in strange, tube-like structures that didn’t correspond with what they expected to be there, so they sectioned and froze them to study them closer; they realized that upon closer inspection, the fluid-filled places were VERY small collagen tubes forming a complex matrix of bundles surrounded by a weird cell covering that seemed to connect them to one another. they called this the Interstitium. 

-they sectioned some more places where squeezy things might happen, like the inner linings of the bladder, lungs, lymph nodes, and the soft tissue enclosing our muscles, filled them with the same indicator, and hyper froze them like they did to the first sample and found the same weird matrix of fluid-filled tubing:


they concluded from what they found from this that: 

1. our previous thought of the space inbetween the cells in these parts of the body, which we thought were just kinda like, there or whatever doing nothing (a series of spaces that were already called the Interstitium that were largely ignored), are actually full of complex tubing running through a ton of very important parts of your body

2. when the structures they’re chilling around (like your bladder and bowel) contract, the fluid moves around all weird

3. the reason this wasn’t discovered before is because when the tubes are squished too hard- like when scientists are cutting into them- they have a tendency to collapse really easily, especially when being treated with chemicals for microscope use, giving the impression of the kind of tissues that we’ve traditionally seen in specimens and thought of being in these sensitive areas (closely compact and dense cell mats). it turns out that in living people, these tubes run between the cells carrying fluid; the scientists were able to see this initially in live patients using the above mentioned laser technology, and then took live biopsies by quickly freezing the cells in place before removal to prevent their collapse.

4. yes, these can move cancer cells around, which is HUGE seeing as they seem to enclose a LOT of important and delicate muscles in our bodies in one giant, complex system. when they looked at it in cancer patients, the tumors they found seemed to kind of be….leaking….into them…..because the tumors were putting pressure on the fluid tubes….which easily collapse…..and move things that fall into the fluid around….

5. the scientists also explored things like hernias and colon damage in relation to these, but unfortunately this is where my translation powers run out as non-plant-related terminology starts being used lmao im so sorry im like this

tl;dr: the membranes that surround some really important parts of squishy things like our stomach, bowels, colon, lungs, muscles, etc are full of very delicate and complex tubing that runs in a weirdly complex system to other important squishy things throughout our bodies and looks like a weird organ that we didn’t know was there before (or like, we knew about it, we just didn’t know it was so…connected and uh…organy). also it seems to have an impact on the spread of cancer throughout these regions

here’s the paper again if you want to have a read and see pics of the tubing itself and draw more in depth conclusions from it lmao 

Graduate of Biomedical Science here; this paper is pretty much understandable to me.

You’ve picked out the main stuff, but here’s some things I think is very interesting:

  • The discovery of these spaces dramatically expands the lymphatic system. Basically, this is how the lymph nodes are connected to the rest of the body. Before it was kinda like ‘yeah here are the lymph nodes, and the lymph fluid kinda goes to the somehow? idk’. But now we have a whole system. It’s like discovering the entire circulatory system when before you only had the heart to work with.
  • This is super important for cancers and detecting when a cancer has spread (metastasised, in the lingo). They talk about the spread of cancers into the deeper tissues (such as stomach cancers invading their submucosal tissue and skin cancers pentrating deeper into the dermis layers), but what is most important is that they detected the cancers spreading into the interstitial spaces before there was anything to detect within the lymph nodes. This is super important, as usually lymph node biopsies are done to detect if a cancer is spreading; this is before that very stage. This is literally catching cancers in the act of spreading before they’ve hit another organ this is fucking incredible.
  • It’s providing an explanation for oedema (or edema, for my US followers), which is the build-up of fluid in certain areas of the body (usually the lower limbs, but it can be anywhere). For so long it’s been like ‘I guess there’s something wrong with your blood vessels??’ but like the lymphatic system, we’ve now got another explanation. ‘Ah, okay, there’s something going down in your interstitial fluid!’ A more effective diagnosis and treatment could be made, Bam! Enrich more people’s lives.
  • They may play a role in how scar formation works. Some scar tissue can get a bit crazy and grow too much, meaning it needs to be cut away as it hinders movement or it just fucking painful. Perhaps the interstitial tubing/fluid plays a role in this, considering collagen is used in scar tissue, and these spaces are full of it.
  • There’s clearly communication between these spaces and the digestive system, as they found tattoo pigment from the intestines in these spaces. Tattooing in the intestine is done to mark lesions for removal or observation later on, so the fact this pigment is actively moving out of the digestive system and else means it could play a role in disease we don’t know much about, like inflammatory bowel conditions.


Thank you OP for sharing this, I haven’t nerded out and been so fascinated by a study in a long time.


Don't be the product, buy the product!