Immunocytochemical study on the liver innervation in patients with cirrhosis

Acta Histochem. 2000 Nov;102(4):391-402. doi: 10.1078/0065-1281-00568.


In the liver, the autonomic nervous system plays an important role in degenerative and inflammatory changes. The aim of the present study was to investigate the distribution of neuronal fibres containing neuropeptides in livers of 5 patients with cirrhosis by immunocytochemical localization at the light and electron microscopical level of substance P (SP), neuropeptide Y (NPY), somatostatin (SOM), and calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP). In patients with alcoholic cirrhosis, a decreased number of neuronal fibres was found in the portal tract and fibrous septa as well as in the sinusoids of regenerative nodules. NPY- and SP-immunoreactive neuronal fibres were more numerous than CGRP-containing fibres. They were located mainly in portal tracts. These findings led to the conclusion that peptidergic innervation plays a role in inflammatory and fibrotic changes in cirrhotic liver.

MeSH terms

  • Calcitonin Gene-Related Peptide / biosynthesis
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry*
  • Liver / innervation*
  • Liver / metabolism*
  • Liver / ultrastructure*
  • Liver Cirrhosis, Alcoholic / metabolism*
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Neuropeptide Y / biosynthesis
  • Neuropeptides / biosynthesis
  • Somatostatin / biosynthesis
  • Substance P / biosynthesis


  • Neuropeptide Y
  • Neuropeptides
  • Substance P
  • Somatostatin
  • Calcitonin Gene-Related Peptide