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Medicine LibreTexts

22.7C: Histology of the Liver

  • Page ID
    8046
  • Hepatocytes are the main tissue cells of the liver. The gallbladder contains the mucosa, muscularis, perimuscular, and serosa layers.

     

    LEARNING OBJECTIVES

     

    Describe the histology of the liver

     

    KEY TAKEAWAYS

    Key Points

     

    • A hepatocyte is the main tissue cell of the liver and makes up 70–80% of the liver’s cytoplasmic mass.
    • Hepatocytes contain large amounts of rough endoplasmic reticulum and free ribosomes.
    • Hepatocytes are involved in: protein synthesis; protein storage; the transformation of carbohydrates,; the synthesis of cholesterol, bile salts, and phospholipids; and detoxification, modification, and excretion of exogenous and endogenous substances.
    • Hepatocytes are unique in that they are one of the few types of cells in the human body that are capable of regeneration.
    • There are several different layers of the gallbladder: the mucosa (epithelium and lamina propria), the muscularis, the perimuscular, and the serosa.

     

    Key Terms

     

    • hepatocyte: Any of the cells in the liver responsible for the metabolism of proteins, carbohydrates, and lipids, and for detoxification.

    The Liver

    This is a photo of a microscope slide. It is a cross-section of a human liver that shows hepatocytes.

     

    Hepatocytes: A cross-section of a human liver that shows hepatocytes.

    A hepatocyte is the main tissue cell of the liver and makes up 70–80% of the liver’s cytoplasmic mass. Hepatocytes contain large amounts of rough endoplasmic reticulum and free ribosomes. Hepatocytes are involved in:

    • Protein synthesis.
    • Protein storage.
    • The transformation of carbohydrates.
    • The synthesis of cholesterol, bile salts, and phospholipids.
    • The detoxification, modification, and excretion of exogenous and endogenous substances.

    Hepatocytes also initiate the formation and secretion of bile. Hepatocytes are organized into plates separated by vascular channels (sinusoids) for blood vessels. The hepatocyte plates are one cell thick in mammals.

    Hepatocytes are unique in that they are one of the few types of cell in the human body that are capable of regeneration. Hepatocytes are derived from hepatoblasts, the precursor stem cell of the liver that divides to produce new hepatocytes. The liver is capable of complete regeneration from as little as 25% of the original organ.