Liver Structure and Innervation

  • Dieter Sasse


The problems one encounters in any attempt to describe the architecture of the liver date back to the beginnings of light microscopy itself. For most other organs, it is not very difficult to establish conformity between the structural and functional units, and in such cases the proposed nomenclature makes use of the suffix “-on.” Thus, the nephron is the structural and functional unit of the kidney, the neuron of nervous tissue, the chondron of cartilage, and so on. The term “hepaton” was used years ago, but it has never really been accepted because the structural units are difficult to recognize and because the liver has two quite separate functions. As an organ of excretion, it is connected by the bile duct to the gut, for which it serves as a gland comparable to the pancreas, whereas its type of microcirculation is similar to that of an endocrine organ that also acts in a heterotopic position. This chapter demonstrates that despite our increased knowledge, fundamental problems persist when hepatic structures are described in terms of their functional aspects.


Kupffer Cell Liver Lobule Binucleate Cell Celiac Plexus Septum Transversum 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dieter Sasse
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of AnatomyUniversity of BaselBaselSwitzerland

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