Organization of the sympathetic innervation in liver tissue from monkey and man

Cell Tissue Res. 1978 Dec 29;195(3):371-80. doi: 10.1007/BF00233883.


The sympathetic innervation of the liver of monkey and man has been investigated in a combined fluorescence histochemical, chemical and electron microscopical study. By means of the Falck-Hillarp fluorescence method a dense network of monoamine-containing nerve fibers was visualized in liver tissue of monkey and man. The nerve fibers ran in close contact to both hepatocytes and blood vessels. Chemical quantitations showed high concentrations of noradrenaline in both human and monkey liver. Microspectrofluorometry of the intraneuronal monoamine resulted in spectra characteristic of a catecholamine. For the electron microscopical study the dopamine analogue, 5-hydroxydopamine, was used to "label" the catecholamine terminals in both human and monkey liver. The nerve profiles, identified as catecholamine-containing, were demonstrated in a perivascular location and in close contact to hepatocytes. No synaptic membrane specializations were present between nerve fibers and hepatocytes. The general ultramorphology and intralobular distribution pattern of nerves in the liver of monkey and man were similar. The present results prove the existence of a sympathetic innervation of hepatocytes and blood vessels in the liver of man and monkey.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chemical Phenomena
  • Chemistry
  • Haplorhini
  • Humans
  • Liver / innervation*
  • Liver / ultrastructure
  • Macaca mulatta
  • Microscopy, Fluorescence
  • Norepinephrine
  • Spectrometry, Fluorescence
  • Sympathetic Nervous System*


  • Norepinephrine