Liver tissue cirrhosis, light micrograph

Liver tissue cirrhosis, light micrograph

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Credit: STEVE GSCHMEISSNER/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Liver cirrhosis. Light micrograph of a section through liver tissue showing primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC). This is a condition where the bile ducts in the liver are attacked by the body's own immune system. Toxic substances, which are normally excreted through the bile, (such as alcohol) are kept inside the liver and lead to further damage. The liver responds to the injury or death of some of its cells by producing interlacing strands (septa) of fibrous scar tissue (light brown) between the active liver lobules (pink). Cirrhosis is not always related to the over-consumption of alcohol and seems to be strongly linked to certain genes for autoimmune disorders.

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