Novel threadlike structures (NTSs) on the surfaces of mammalian abdominal organs have recently attracted interests regarding their ability to transport fluid, enable cell migration, and possibly facilitate cancer metastasis. Nevertheless, histological studies of NTSs have been sporadic and often have inconsistent interpretations of the NTS internal structure. In this article, we provide a synthetic and consistent view of the NTS internal structure: the NTS is a loose bundle of fibrous stroma that forms interstitial channels and microsinusoids infiltrated with inflammatory cells. The fibroblasts are embedded in the stroma and mostly aligned along the major axis of the NTS. The sinusoids, which are in inconsecutive cross sections, have boundaries more or less delineated by extracellular fibers, partly surrounded by endothelial-like cells, or both. We compare these morphological features to other well-known connective tissues (i.e., trabecular meshwork and lymphatic capillary) and discuss the biomechanical and biological functions of NTSs based on their structural characteristics.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by a National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korea Government’s Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MEST) in 2010 (No. 2010– 0025289), by a Korean Pharmacopuncture Foundation grant funded by the Korean Pharmacopuncture Institute (KPI-2010-003), and by the grant of the Traditional Korean Medicine R&D Project, Ministry for Health & Welfare, Republic of Korea.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
- Molecular Biology
- Cell Biology