In traditional biopsies, the histologists would have thought what they saw were artifacts. But now, they are realizing they are real findings. However, I have to tell you, this isn’t so new. I think it was over 15 years ago I read Helene Langevin’s research study on how taking a thin acupuncture needle into the tissue, fascia winds around the needle! If you rotate the needle then mechanotransduction occurs in fascia – you can see it. She recently did a lecture on this particular paper and has a similar message to what I’ve spent two weeks trying to compose. I really think of her as an unsung hero in the field. I used her algorithm to do my first research paper and admire her greatly.
So with an acupuncture needle, if you had fluid in the sponge, the fluid would get pushed to the “holes” and get wrung out. The actual cells inside of the tissue respond to that mechanical stimulation and release substances like ATP and change shape. I’d speculate it’s the same thing these doctors found recently.
What I wonder about – and I’d bet Helene and others who actually do this research could perhaps shed light on – are two points:
- The “holes” these medical folks found weren’t seen before because they weren’t using this type of staining within a body before now nor were they using this type of process or technology in histology in vivo.
- I had to look a LOT of this up, but the proteins dealing with the lymphatics, CD34 and D2-40, were the positive cells they found and that’s what they did the paper on to start but then they looked beyond the bile duct and found the same type of tissue continuum.
These two points were where they went on to make some generalized notions with their main findings and I’m not sure what they are stating is valid. What I got out of the main article is that on one side of the “hole” they found cells and on the other side, no cells, just fiber. The way the article concluded this point I think is what made this notion of something “new” existing and why so many people are now talking about it.
I always say, in research and science, if no one argues about your idea, you aren’t doing enough. It’s only when you ruffle feathers that more research is done to either support or deny the findings. So at the very least, this is exciting stuff for one reason – maybe more research will be done using these processes!
This idea that it’s an organ I think bugs people, but it really comes down to how you define an organ. Let’s say an organ is a part of an organism that is typically self-contained and has a specific vital function. I consider fascia and the extracellular matrix to be a whole-body sensory system. One could argue that fascia has many vital functions but then again, so does the liver and that’s certainly an organ, right?
My concern is that the authors jumped to a conclusion but didn’t clarify how they got there. They would have to confirm they saw the same cells but they didn’t do that. I think perhaps what would be a better conclusion is that these “holes” have interesting properties that need more research!
It seems to me the CD34 is new, so that’s useful to add to existing literature for sure and I really think this may push other researchers who know about this stuff to do new studies.
I think the importance of the pre-lymphatics and the interstitial fluids in fascia are now at the forefront of our attention. Immunology and the immune responses between tissue and cells, and the immune response between fascial flow, lymph, and the funneling of information, all need to be researched.
We’ve had five fascia congresses since 2007. In 2015 there was a joint meeting about oncology and acupuncture – experts from biology, immunology, and integrative medicine and cancer biology and medicine came to discuss the role of connective tissue and fluid flow. I think this is what’s so exciting because this may be the link to finding cures to cancer and other systemic diseases and disorders.
If doctors collaborated with the researchers already knee deep in this study we would move further ahead. Just as Thomas Findley said on that first call in 2004 about wanting to bring researchers together to share their findings as a way to move this research ahead – we need to continue to connect, communicate, not put egos in front of who said what first. This is now critical for all fields in health and medicine to come together and learn from one another to truly impact people needing answers.
There’s more to this than what you read on your Facebook feed and your Google searches. I for one will do my part to push you into learning more than what you see on social media. Much thanks for reading.