Gastrointestinal Tract - Liver Histology

From Embryology
Jump to: navigation, search



Portal Triad
Liver cellular structure cartoon

This section of notes gives an overview mainly of adult liver histology, see also Liver Development notes.

HMsmall.jpg Page also provides further background information for Medicine phase 1 Health Maintenance B Hepatobiliary System 1 Practical Virtual Slides.

This page content is not part of the HMB practical class.

HMB: Pancreas Histology | Liver Histology | Gall Bladder Histology | Renal System Histology

GIT Links: Introduction | Medicine Lecture | Science Lecture | Endoderm | Stomach | Liver | Gall Bladder | Pancreas | Intestine | Tongue | Taste | Stage 13 | Stage 22 | Abnormalities | Movies | Postnatal | Milk | Tooth | Tongue | BGD Lecture | BGD Practical | Category:Gastrointestinal Tract

GIT Histology Links: Upper GIT | Salivary Gland | Smooth Muscle Histology | Liver | Gall Bladder | Pancreas | Colon | Histology Stains | Histology | GIT Development

Lab Audio

Podcast icon.jpg Wednesday 17 August 2011 3-4 pm G2G4.

Links: listen 1 | download 1 | listen 2 | download 2 | listen 3 | download 3 | listen 4 | download 4 | listen 5 | download 5 | Liver Histology Background


Liver Histology: Central vein (label) | Central vein (unlabel) | Portal triad 1 (label) | Portal triad 2 (label) | Portal triad (unlabel) | Hepatocytes (unlabel) | Hepatocytes polyploid (label) | Liver Development | GIT Histology

Liver Structure

Liver Lobule

This looped animation shows the different ways of interpreting the cellular structure of the liver lobule. Liver animated cartoon.gif

Liver Blood Flow

Dual blood supply of the liver merges upon entry into the liver lobule at the portal field.
  1. branches of the portal vein
  2. branches of the hepatic artery
Liver structure cartoon.jpg


These are the adult functional cells forming the majority of the liver (80% of the cells).

Many different functions including:

  • Storage of substances including glucose (as glycogen), vitamin A (possibly in specialized adipocytes), vitamin B12, folic acid and iron.
  • Lipid Turnover synthesis of plasmalipoproteins
  • Plasma Protein Synthesis albumin, alpha and beta globulins, prothrombin, fibrinogen
  • Metabolism fat soluble compounds (drugs, insecticides), steroid hormones turnover
  • Secretion bile (about 1 litre/day)
Adult Liver sinusoid structure

Histology Images

Development Histology

Adult Histology

Liver Histology: Central vein (label) | Central vein (unlabel) | Portal triad 1 (label) | Portal triad 2 (label) | Portal triad (unlabel) | Hepatocytes (unlabel) | Hepatocytes polyploid (label) | Liver Development | GIT Histology
Liver histology 001.jpg Liver histology 004.jpg
Liver histology 002.jpg Liver histology 003.jpg

Liver histology 005.jpg

Unlabeled Large Images

Hepatocyte Polyploidy

Liver histology 004.jpg

Human hepatocytes

Liver polyploidy 01.jpg

Mouse hepatocytes in vitro and in vivo[1]

Liver Histology - Electron Micrograph

The electron micrographs below show the cellular, vascular and bilary organisation of the liver.

Liver histology EM01.jpg Liver histology EM02.jpg


  1. Andrew W Duncan, Matthew H Taylor, Raymond D Hickey, Amy E Hanlon Newell, Michelle L Lenzi, Susan B Olson, Milton J Finegold, Markus Grompe The ploidy conveyor of mature hepatocytes as a source of genetic variation. Nature: 2010, 467(7316);707-10 PMID:20861837 | PMC2967727 | Nature


  • Glisson's capsule (Glisson's sheath) - a collagenous capsule covering the external surface of the liver the outer layer comprising a single layer of mesothelial cells. The capsule also extends into the liver as "sheaths" around the hepatic ducts, hepatic arteries and portal tributaries. Named after Francis Glisson (1599 – 1677) a British anatomist.
  • Kupffer cells - liver macrophage located in sinusoidal space. Named after Karl Wilhelm von Kupffer (1829 - 1902 ) a German anatomist.
  • sinusoids (vascular sinusoids, liver sinusoids) - the spaces between the hepatocytes that are distensible vascular channels lined with fenestrated endothelial cells forming a discontinuous simple squamous epithelium.
  • stellate cells (Ito cells) - Named after Toshio Ito, a twentieth century Japanese physician PMID 11450594

External Links

External Links Notice - The dynamic nature of the internet may mean that some of these listed links may no longer function. If the link no longer works search the web with the link text or name.

Glossary Links

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z | Numbers | Symbols

Cite this page: Hill, M.A. (2014) Embryology Gastrointestinal Tract - Liver Histology. Retrieved April 18, 2014, from

What Links Here?
Dr Mark Hill 2014, UNSW Embryology ISBN: 978 0 7334 2609 4 - UNSW CRICOS Provider Code No. 00098G
Personal tools

Human Embryo