The Human Interstitium as a Body-Wide Communication Network

Event Date: July 9th, 2024

The Human Interstitium as a Body-Wide Communication Network




Event Details

Title: “The Human Interstitium as a Body-Wide Communication Network”

Presenter: Neil Theise, MD

Professor of pathology, NYU Grossman School of Medicine. Co-chief, division of GI and liver pathology, NYU Langone Health

Date: Tuesday, July 9th, 2024

Time: 8:00 am EST

Location: via Zoom

Cost: Free. CME credit available. Please email your name, degree title and institution if applicable to [email protected] during the event to claim credit.

Presentation Description:

Recent studies of the macro- and microanatomy of the human interstitium demonstrate a continuous and complex structure that spans the human body. Filled with hyaluronic acid, which has a high water-holding capacity, fluid flows freely through the structures.  Crossing between adjacent tissue layers within organs and between organs, spanning the cardiovascular and central and peripheral nervous systems, its structure suggests the capacity for functioning as a body-wide communication network for cellular (immunocytes, malignancy, infection), microbiome, and molecular and electrical signaling.  Some implications for integrative medicine will be discussed.

Speaker Bio:

Neil Theise, MD is a professor of pathology at the NYU Grossman School of Medicine.  His clinical practice focuses on liver and transplantation pathology.   Dr. Theise’s early research into human hepatocarcinogenesis became foundational for the LIRADS system for radiologic screening of hepatocellular carcinoma.  His studies of liver regeneration confirmed the presence of a hepatic stem/progenitor cell niche in human livers and, in turn, led to pioneering work on adult stem cell plasticity.

On the clinical front, Dr. Theise is particularly proud of the international collaborations that led to the recent Beijing classification for assessment of fibrotic regression vs. progression in treated chronic hepatitis.  Currently, he focuses on defining the anatomy of the human interstitium as a body-wide communication network.  Dr. Theise’s recent book, “Notes on Complexity: A Scientific Theory of Connection, Consciousness, and Being,” presents the fundamentals of complexity theory to a general audience, with further insights from his interdisciplinary collaborations in fields such as integrative medicine, consciousness studies, and science-religion dialogue.  “Notes on Complexity” was awarded a 2024 Nautilus Book Award Gold Medal in the category of Science and Cosmology.

Selected References:

Structure and Distribution of an Unrecognized Interstitium in Human Tissues. Benias PC, Wells RG, Sackey-Aboagye B, Klavan H, Reidy J, Buonocore D, Miranda M, Kornacki S, Wayne M, Carr-Locke DL, Theise ND. Sci Rep. 2018 Mar 27;8(1):4947.

Evidence for continuity of interstitial spaces across tissue and organ boundaries in humans. Cenaj O, Allison DHR, Imam R, Zeck B, Drohan LM, Chiriboga L, Llewellyn J, Liu CZ, Park YN, Wells RG, Theise ND. Commun Biol. 2021 Mar 31;4(1):436.

What’s old is new again: The anatomical studies of Franklin P. Mall and the fascial-interstitial spaces. Pirri C, Wells RG, De Caro R, Stecco C, Theise ND. Clin Anat. 2023 Sep;36(6):887-895.

Coordinated development of the mouse extrahepatic bile duct: Implications for neonatal susceptibility to biliary injury. Khandekar G, Llewellyn J, Kriegermeier A, Waisbourd-Zinman O, Johnson N, Du Y, Giwa R, Liu X, Kisseleva T, Russo PA, Theise ND, Wells RG. J Hepatol. 2020 Jan;72(1):135-145.

RadioLab podcast: “The Interstitium” –

Notes on Complexity: A Scientific Theory of Connection, Consciousness, and Being –

Armchair Expert podcast: