CHAPTER 16
Digestive Glands and Associated Organs
319
Figure 16-13A.
Hepatocytes and hepatic sinusoids, liver.
H&E,
3
523; inset
3
593
Hepatocytes
are large polygonal cells with round nuclei posi-
tioned at the center of the cells. These cells have numerous
functions that include modiF
cation and storage of ingested
nutrients, production of many blood proteins, drug metabo-
lism, and exocrine secretion of bile salts. This higher magniF
-
cation view shows hepatocytes arranged in plates that are one
or two cells thick. The
hepatic sinusoids
are located between
the plates of hepatocytes. The endothelial cells that line the
sinusoids are discontinuous, which allows proteins and other
materials to pass through the walls of the sinusoids.
Kupffer
cells
are specialized macrophages in the liver. They are irregu-
lar in shape with ovoid nuclei and often have ingested mate-
rials in their cytoplasm, making them distinguishable from
hepatocytes and other cells. They move along the luminal sur-
face of the hepatic sinusoids and clear (
phagocytose
) debris
and damaged erythrocytes from the bloodstream.
Kupffer
Kupffer
cell
cell
Kupffer
cell
Hepatic
Hepatic
sinusoids
sinusoids
Hepatic
sinusoids
Endothelial
Endothelial
cell
cell
Endothelial
cell
Kupffer
Kupffer
cell
cell
Kupffer
cell
Hepatic
Hepatic
sinusoid
sinusoid
Hepatic
sinusoid
A
Lumen
Lumen
of hepatic
of hepatic
sinusoid
sinusoid
Space of
Space of
Disse
Disse
Space of
Disse
Space
Space
of Disse
of Disse
Space
of Disse
Microvilli in
space of Disse
Endothelial
cell
Mitochondria
of hepatocyte
Smooth
endoplasmic
reticulum of
hepatocyte
Lumen of
Lumen of
hepatic sinusoid
hepatic sinusoid
Nucleus of
Nucleus of
lymphocyte
lymphocyte
Lumen
of hepatic
sinusoid
Lumen of
hepatic sinusoid
Nucleus of
lymphocyte
B
Figure 16-13B.
Space of Disse, hepatocyte.
EM,
3
7,991
The
perisinusoidal space
known as the
space of Disse
is shown here. This space is formed by the surfaces of the hepatocytes and
endothelial cells of the hepatic sinusoid. A nucleus of a lymphocyte is seen in the lumen of the hepatic sinusoid. The space of Disse
contains many
microvilli
, which are extensions from the hepatocyte surface. Hepatocytes contain many
mitochondria
and much
smooth endoplasmic reticulum (SER)
. Hepatocytes are not directly in contact with the bloodstream; the space of Disse provides an
environment for the exchange of proteins, plasma, and other material between the hepatocytes and blood in the hepatic sinusoid
(±ig. 16-14A). The perisinusoidal space of Disse is also the main extracellular compartment from which liver lymph is derived.
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