An 80th organ discovered in the human body?


A team of researchers has discovered an “interstitial” structure composed of compartments filled with liquid on human tissues.

The body does not finish to reveal its secrets. Thanks to a new way to visualize human anatomy, US researchers have discovered a “pore” structure – between human tissue – which could be considered a 80 th member,  reports The Independent. Last year, scientists had already got their hands on the 79th , the mesentery, long considered fragmented, but which had been recognized as an organ in its own right, that is to say “a set of tissues competing to the achievement of a physiological function “.

The 80th – if it is confirmed – is called interstitium. The discovery published in the scientific journal, Scientific Reports , could improve the understanding of the functioning of organs and the spread of certain diseases such as cancer, said BFM TV .

A new technology

If scientists were already aware of the presence of a layer of tissue under the skin, including lining the lungs, intestines, blood vessels and muscles, it was considered dense. But the reality would be quite different, since it would actually be a vast interconnected set of compartments filled with fluid and extending throughout the body.

The interstitium had gone unnoticed because of the traditional method of preparing microscope slides, which partially destroyed this organ by evacuating the fluid. In fact, cells had until now been considered only as simple layers of tissue. But thanks to confocal endomicroscopy – a more suitable technology that enables real-time cell observation, via laser light on living tissue – this “interstitium” has been observed.


According to the team of researchers, these fluid compartments act as “dampers” to protect the tissues from damage, but they provide at the same time channels allowing cancer to spread in the body. “This discovery could lead to dramatic advances in medicine, such as the ability to directly sample interstitial fluid and make it a powerful diagnostic tool,” said Dr. Neil Theise, a physician behind the study, in The Independent .

For this discovery to officially become a new human organ, “a consensus will have to develop” between the scientists who will study it, adds Dr. Neil Theise to Live Science .

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