The Liver

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What are liver cells called?
Hepatocytes
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What do liver cells do?
Carry out hundreds of metabolic processes and play an important role in homeostasis.
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What is it essential for liver cells to have?
A very good blood supply.
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What two sources of blood flow is the liver provided with?
Oxygenated blood from the heart and deoxygenated blood from the digestive system
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How does the blood from the heart reach the liver?
From the aorta via hepatic artery into the liver.
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Why is it essential that there is oxygenated blood in the liver?
Because this supplies the liver with oxygen that is essential for aerobic respiration.
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Why do liver cells need to carry out so much respiration?
Because many of the metabolic processes requre energy (ATP) so a good supply of oxygen is needed so lots of aerobic respiration can take place.
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How does blood from the digestive system reach the liver?
Through the hepatic portal vein
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Why is it essential that deoxygenated blood comes from here?
Because the blood is rich in products of digestion
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Is the concentration of compounds controlled?
No it is uncontrolled and blood may also contain toxic compounds that have been absorbed in the intestine.
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How does blood leave the liver?
Through the hepatic vein. This rejoins the vena cava and blood returns to normal circulation.
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How are cells, chambers and blood vessels arranged in the liver?
In the best way possible to maximise contact between blood supply and liver cells.
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What two parts is the liver divided into?
Lobes and then smaller cylindrical lobules.
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What happens when a hepatic artery and hepatic portal vein enters the liver?
It splits into smaller and smaller vessels.
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What are inter-lobular vessels?
Vessels that run between and parallel to lobules
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What happens when branches from the hepatic artery and hepatic portal vein enter lobules?
Blood from two vessels mixes and passes along a special chamber called a sinusoid
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What do sinusoids do?
Empty into intra-lobular vessel (branch of hepatic vein)
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What does the hepatic vein do?
Drain blood from the liver
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What is one function of the liver?
Producing bile
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Where is the bile released?
Into a bile canaliculi (small canal)
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What happens when the many bile canaliculi join together?
They form a bile duct which transports bile to the gall bladder
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Are liver cells specialised or unspecialised?
Relatively unspecialised
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What is the structure of a liver cell?
Simple cuboidial shape with many microvilli on their surface
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Name 3 functions of liver cells...
Protein Synthesis, Transformation and storage of carbohydrates, synthesis of cholesterol and bile salts and detoxification
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What is different about liver cell?
Cytoplasm must be very dense and is specialised in amount of certain organelles it has
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What are Kupffer cells?
Specialised macrophages
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What do Kupffer cells do?
Move about within the sinusoids and are involved in the breakdown and recycling of old red blood cells.
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What is a product of haemoglobin breakdown?
Billirubin
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What is billirubin excreted as part of?
Bile and faesces
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What is the significance of billirubin in feasces?
It is the brown pigment
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Card 2

Front

What do liver cells do?

Back

Carry out hundreds of metabolic processes and play an important role in homeostasis.

Card 3

Front

What is it essential for liver cells to have?

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

Front

What two sources of blood flow is the liver provided with?

Back

Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

Front

How does the blood from the heart reach the liver?

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