A team of medical researchers have recently announced discovery of a hitherto unknown part of human anatomy which could have an effect on the function of tissues and organs. It could also have implications for mechanisms of crucial diseases.
Their findings have been published in the journal Scientific Reports. As per the study, the layers of the body so far considered dense, connective tissues are actually interconnected compartments that are filled with fluids. They exist underneath the surface of the skin, line the lungs, digestive tract, and urinary systems, and surround the veins, arteries, and the fascia between the muscles.
Such Spaces Have Myriad Functions
Such spaces, underpinned by a mesh of solid yet flexible connective tissue proteins, can function as shock absorbers that can thwart tissues from tearing on account of muscles, organs, and vessels squeezing and pumping to complete their daily functions.
Apart from that, layer also forms a crucial passage for moving fluids which in turn can explain how cancer spreads. The newly discovered network which drains into the lymphatic system is the source of lymph, which is crucial for the immune cells’ functioning. The immune cells are responsible for inflammation. In addition, the cells present in the space, along with the bundles of collagen they border, transform with age and could result in the skin wrinkling, limbs stiffening, and the progress of fibrotic, sclerotic, and inflammatory diseases.
According to the researchers, the space remained undiscovered for so long because of the scrutiny of fixed tissue on slides in microscope, which is believed to result in the most accurate peek into biological reality.