Liver innervation and hepatic function: new insights

J Surg Res. 2015 Apr;194(2):511-519. doi: 10.1016/j.jss.2014.12.006. Epub 2014 Dec 8.


The hepatic nervous system has a well-known impact on the regulation of liver function and organism homeostasis. The aim of this review is to summarize the new available data regarding the role of hepatic nerves. In the last decade, studies have shown that hepatic nerves exert subtle but significant modifications on the regulation of glucose and lipid metabolism, food intake, and liver regeneration. They also play a role in liver disease pathogenesis, and hepatic denervation has beneficial results to liver graft ischemia-reperfusion injury. Available data are still limited, and further research toward neural pathways involving the liver that can modify response to disease is required.

Keywords: Hepatic innervation; Liver regeneration; Liver repair; Metabolism; Transplanted liver.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Homeostasis
  • Humans
  • Liver / innervation*
  • Liver / physiology