Innervation of the liver: morphology and function

Liver. 1996 Jun;16(3):151-60. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0676.1996.tb00721.x.


Although it has been known for many years that the liver receives a nerve supply, it is only with the advent of immunohistochemistry that this innervation has been analysed in depth. It is now appreciated not only that many different nerve types are present, but also that there are significant differences between species, especially in the degree of parenchymal innervation. This has stimulated more detailed investigation of the innervation of the human liver in both health and disease. At the same time, functional studies have been underlining the important roles that these nerves play in processes as diverse as osmoreception and liver regeneration. This article briefly reviews current understanding of the morphology and functions of the hepatic nerve supply.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Liver / cytology
  • Liver / physiology*
  • Liver Diseases
  • Liver Transplantation
  • Nerve Fibers / metabolism*