A New Wrinkle in Human Anatomy

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Researchers at the NYU School of Medicine in New York City have identified a previously unknown feature of the human body called the interstitium.

According to this research, layers of the body below the skin's surface; lining the digestive tract, lungs, and urinary systems; and surrounding the arteries, veins, and muscles once thought to be dense, connective tissues are actually interconnected, fluid-filled compartments supported by a meshwork of flexible, strong protein fibers.

The interstitium may act as a shock absorber that helps prevent tissues from tearing as organs, muscles, and blood vessels squeeze, pump, and pulse as part of daily function. These fluid-filled compartments may also explain how certain types of cancer spread, how certain factors associated with aging – wrinkling of the skin and stiffening of the limbs, for example – occur, and how certain inflammatory diseases progress.

Sourced from: Scientific Reports