Encyclopedia of Medical Immunology

2014 Edition
| Editors: Ian R. Mackay, Noel R. Rose, Betty Diamond, Anne Davidson

Ultrastructure of the Liver Sinusoid

  • David G. Le CouteurEmail author
  • Alessandra Warren
  • Victoria Cogger
  • Patrick Bertolino
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-0-387-84828-0_71

The Liver Sinusoid

The liver sinusoids are the blood vessels that make up the microcirculation of the liver. Ultrastructure refers to the morphological cellular features that can be resolved by electron microscopy.

The liver has many immunological roles including production of acute-phase proteins, clearance of waste products generated by systemic inflammation and immune responses, deletion of activated T cells, and induction of tolerance to ingested and self-antigens (Parker and Picut 2012). The liver sinusoids form the interface between circulating blood and the hepatocytes thus are strategically placed to undertake and/or regulate the immune functions of the liver.

The sinusoidal vessels branch off from the terminal portal venules, carry blood between the plates of hepatocytes, and then drain into the central venules (Fig. 1). Each sinusoid traverses a distance of about 1 mm, and there are about one billion sinusoids in a human liver (Fraser et al. 2012). They occupy about 30 % of...
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • David G. Le Couteur
    • 1
    Email author
  • Alessandra Warren
    • 1
  • Victoria Cogger
    • 1
  • Patrick Bertolino
    • 2
  1. 1.Centre for Education and Research on Ageing (CERA), and the ANZAC Medical Research InstituteUniversity of SydneySydneyAustralia
  2. 2.Liver Immunology group, Centenary Institute & AW Morrow Gastroenterology and Liver CentreUniversity of SydneySydneyAustralia