Comparative study of the mammalian liver innervation: an immunohistochemical study of protein gene product 9.5, dopamine beta-hydroxylase and tyrosine hydroxylase

Comp Biochem Physiol A Physiol. 1995 Apr;110(4):289-98. doi: 10.1016/0300-9629(94)00189-z.


The liver innervation of eight different mammalian species was examined by immunohistochemical localization of protein gene product (PGP) 9.5 to visualize the general innervation for autonomic nerve fibres. In addition, dopamine beta-hydroxylase (DBH) and tyrosine hydroxylase (TH), two enzymes involved in catecholamine synthesis, were localized immunohistochemically to delineate hepatic sympathetic nerve fibres. We found that: (1) Within the interlobular region of each species, PGP 9.5, DBH and TH-positive nerve fibres were all seen in close association with branches of hepatic arteries, portal veins and bile ducts. (2) Within the parenchyma of the guinea-pig, cat, dog, pig, monkey and human liver, the presence of the three immuno-positive nerve fibres could be unequivocally identified, although the density of these intralobular fibres showed marked species variation. Moreover, immunoelectron microscopic study confirmed that PGP 9.5-positive nerve terminals of the human liver are in close apposition to hepatocytes. (3) In mouse and rat, no parenchymal nerve fibres immunoreactive for PGP 9.5, TH or DBH could be demonstrated.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Animals
  • Autonomic Nervous System / anatomy & histology
  • Autonomic Nervous System / enzymology
  • Cats
  • Dogs
  • Dopamine beta-Hydroxylase / metabolism*
  • Guinea Pigs
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Liver / enzymology*
  • Liver / innervation*
  • Macaca
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C3H
  • Microscopy, Immunoelectron
  • Middle Aged
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Species Specificity
  • Swine
  • Thiolester Hydrolases / metabolism*
  • Tyrosine 3-Monooxygenase / metabolism*
  • Ubiquitin Thiolesterase


  • Tyrosine 3-Monooxygenase
  • Dopamine beta-Hydroxylase
  • Thiolester Hydrolases
  • Ubiquitin Thiolesterase