Blood-flow route from the hepatic artery and portal vein to the sinusoid in normal human liver observed by confocal laser scanning microscopy.

Analytical and quantitative cytology and histology / the International Academy of Cytology [and] American Society of Cytology

PubMedID: 10560500

Oikawa H, Masuda T, Yashima A, Satodate R. Blood-flow route from the hepatic artery and portal vein to the sinusoid in normal human liver observed by confocal laser scanning microscopy. Anal Quant Cytol Histol. 1999;21(3):255-61.
OBJECTIVE
To observe the microvasculature in normal human liver.

STUDY DESIGN
Four autopsy livers cut into 50-micron-thick sections were observed by confocal laser scanning microscopy. Immunofluorescence was performed using anti-alpha smooth muscle actin (alpha-SMA) antibody. In addition, double immunofluorescence was performed on the other sections using antilysozyme antibody. The routes from the portal vein branches and hepatic artery branches to the sinusoids were defined as follows: portal venule, septal branch, inlet venule, hepatic arteriole and terminal hepatic arteriole.

RESULTS
The reactivity of the walls of septal branches and inlet venule was positive for alpha-SMA. Lysozyme-positive cells (Kupffer cells) were dense in the sinusoids but were sparse in the septal branches and absent from the inlet venules. Terminal hepatic arterioles were observed along the septal branch, and the anastomoses between them were observed at the peripheral portion. No routes opening directly from the terminal hepatic arteriole into the sinusoids or arterioportal anastomoses in the portal tract were observed on alpha-SMA-stained sections.

CONCLUSION
Regulation of the microcirculation in human liver may be performed by the smooth muscle layer of both peripheral portal and hepatic arterial routes.