ABOUT THE LIVER
The liver has numerous synthetic and detoxifying functions necessary for life.Read More
The liver has numerous synthetic and detoxifying functions necessary for life. The liver helps process the nutrients from the food we ingest, makes proteins important for physiologic homeostasis (e.g., clotting factors), and metabolizes drugs and other external substances that may be toxic (e.g., alcohol). Progressive liver disease is insidious, and often no signs and symptoms appear until less than 20% of viable liver mass remains. The bulk of the cells in the liver are hepatocytes. Additional cell types include cholangiocytes which make the bile ducts; stellate cells which create the extracellular matrix maintaining the liver architecture; and Kupfer cells, which are scavenger immune cells that provide immune surveillance. Sinusoidal endothelial cells line the sinusoids, where blood is filtered as it comes into direct contact with hepatocytes.