JOHN BAVOSI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JOHN BAVOSI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Liver tissue anatomy. Cutaway illustration of the main parenchymal tissue of the liver, mostly consisting of hepatocytes (liver cells) and branches of the hepatic blood vessels (here veins, blue). To maximise contact with the blood, the vessels branch between the cells. Six cells are grouped around each branch, joined by tight junctions (green), forming the hexagonal lobule structure of liver tissue. Blood passes between the cells in a flow towards the centre of each lobule. In this process, the blood is detoxified, plasma proteins are synthesized, and spent red blood cells are reabsorbed. The liver is a multi-function organ that also produces bile.
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