Liver

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Inferior surface of the liver.

The liver is located in the abdominal cavity, and is involved in the synthesis and secretion of proteins, cholesterol and lipoproteins. It is also involved in bile formation and secretion, as well as the metabolism and storage of lipid soluble drugs, steroids, carbohydrates, and glycogen. The liver is also big-time involved in the detoxification of substances.

In terms of gross structure, the liver consists of four lobes:

  1. Right lobe
  2. Left lobe
  3. Caudate lobe
  4. Quadrate lobe

Attachments

  • Coronary ligament superiorly
  • Ligamentum teres inferiorly
  • falciform ligament anteriorly

Blood supply

A single lobule of the liver of a pig. X 60.

Classic lobule

  • Roughly hexagonal in shape
  • Consists of central venules surrounded by portal triads at the corners of the borders

Cell types

There are three cell types in the liver:

  1. hepatocytes
  2. sinusoidal lining cells
  3. Bile duct cells

Histology

A lobule is a roughly hexagonal arrangement of plates of hepatocytes radiating outward from a central vein (CV) in the center. At the vertices of the lobule are regularly distributed portal triads. A triad consists of a bile duct and branches of the hepatic artery and hepatic portal vein. [1] Emptying into the central vein are sinusoids. The space between sinusoidal endothelium and hepatocytes is called the space of Disse (a potential space) [2]. This space is where hepatocytes interact with the sinusoidal circulation. At their apical surface, hepatocytes excrete bile into bile canaliculi, which move onto bile ductules and in turn open up into bile ducts. And that's all I have to say about that.


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