Stellate cells storing retinol in the liver of adult lamprey, Lampetra japonica

Cell Tissue Res. 1987 Aug;249(2):289-99. doi: 10.1007/BF00215511.


Distribution, localization and fine structure of the stellate cells in the liver of lamprey, Lampetra japonica, were studied during the spawning migration by use of Kupffer's gold-chloride method, fluorescence microscopy for vitamin A (retinol) and electron microscopy. The stellate cells in the lamprey liver differ in some of their properties from those in mammalian livers. Stellate cells which store abundant retinol in lipid droplets, occur not only in the hepatic parenchyma, but also in the dense perivascular and capsular connective tissue of the liver and in the interstitium of pancreatic tissue. In the hepatic parenchyma these cells are located perisinusoidally or along thick bundles of collagen fibrils. The stellate cells display a number of large retinol-containing lipid droplets, granular endoplasmic reticulum, tubular structures, dense bodies. Golgi complex, microtubules, and microfilaments. In the space of Disse, the stellate cells and extracellular fibrilar components such as collagen fibrils and microfibrils (11-12 nm in diameter) are intervened between the two layers of basal laminae. Differentiation and possible functions of the stellate cells in the lamprey liver are discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Histocytochemistry
  • Lampreys
  • Liver / cytology
  • Liver / metabolism*
  • Liver / ultrastructure
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Microscopy, Fluorescence
  • Vitamin A / metabolism*


  • Vitamin A